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How to make the ultimate White Russian, because you deserve it

If it's good enough for The Dude, it's good enough for us.


Potent, sweet, and deliciously creamy, the White Russian is undoubtedly a revered cocktail classic.

A rich and satisfying after-dinner drink blended from vodka, coffee liqueur, and light cream - the White Russian is one of those cocktails that just has it all. Alcohol, sugar, caffeine and dairy - what more could you possibly want in a cocktail? 

Named for the fact that vodka is primarily a Russian export (and not related to the origins of the cocktail itself), the first variation of the Russian was the Black Russian, made with vodka and coffee liqueur. It’s rumoured that the drink was made especially for Perle Mesta, the American ambassador to Luxembourg, during her stay at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels in 1949. It was at the start of the Cold War so bartender Gustav Tops felt that a dark, ‘ominous’ drink would be appropriate for the occasion. A short while after, Gustav Tops decided to add a little cream to the mix and thus the birth of the White Russian. 

Over the next decade, the White Russian spread throughout the western hemisphere becoming a popular choice for an after-dinner refresher. Despite the cocktail being en vogue with the elite crowds at high-end cocktail bars, the White Russian wasn't as widely known as other famous cocktails. Until 1998, that is.

The Coen brothers’ cult comedy classic, The Big Lebowski was released in 1998 and the White Russian rose to fame with Jeff Bridges’ character, the Dude, sipping it exclusively—and constantly.  Naturally, fans of the film followed suit, and the cocktail has since surged back to superstardom. It’s one of pop culture’s best drinks-related successes, right up there with Carrie Bradshaw’s impact on the Cosmo. 

Today, the cocktail is so popular that you can now find different variations of the White Russian found on cocktail menus all across the world. Think: the White Canadian, which is made with goat’s milk instead of cream, the White Mexican, which uses horchata instead of cream, the White Cuban, which uses rum instead of vodka and the White Belgian, which is made with chocolate liqueur instead of coffee liqueur. The Dude would certainly abide.

Although it's origins are confusing, making a White Russian at home is not. But to make things even easier for you, dear readers, we reached out to the mixology experts over at Absolut to discover what it takes to whip up the delicious beverage at home. 

And oh, did they deliver...

The Ultimate White Russian Cocktail


  • Ice Cubes
  • 40 ml Vodka
  • 40 ml Kahlúa
  • 40 ml Cream


  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.
  2. Add vodka and Kahlúa, top off by adding a cream layer. Pour the cream on the back of a spoon to get the layering right. If you fail with the layering, just stir. It tastes just as good!

TOP TIP: Don't have cream to hand? Try it out with plant-based or regular milk! Or try one of the other versions described up above.

READ MORE: How to make the ultimate Amaretto Sour, because you deserve it