Perfect for the holidays or any chilly day, this Hot White Russian is cozy while still packing a bit of a punch and is a great adult alternative to hot cocoa.

Footed clear glass mugs containing hot chocolate garnished with whipped cream, on white striped cloth, with bottle of Kahlua in background.

As I write this post, the weather outside is frightful. It really is. It’s the outside thermometer reads 5°F and the windchill is -9°F! BRRRR!

Luckily I’m tucked inside a cozy coffee shop sipping on a latte with my warm coat draped over my shoulders. And I’m writing about a Hot White Russian, which truthfully, I could go for right about now. But there’s that slippery drive home with two pieces of extra-precious cargo, so I’ll save this drink for Christmas, and stick with my latte.

Front overhead of 2 glass mugs containing White Russian drink.

I’m glad the sun is shining and the snow is sparkling, making that bitter cold just a bit more tolerable. I love looking out over our property this time of year and seeing the snowy apple trees and the deer tracks on the ground.

We bought a 9-foot Christmas tree this year and I might just leave it up all year if Ben lets me. I’m completely enamored with the Christmas season, and the fact that we’re near to family this year and we’ll be able to spend Christmas together despite the weather.

Overhead of two mugs of white russian on white striped cloth.

We have a packed full Christmas schedule with family gatherings and it’s the first time in years we’ll be celebrating with my extended family. I’m forever grateful that God opened the door for Ben to get a job near our family and that his parents were able to move nearby too. And apparently the snow or the cold or something is making me extra sappy this morning.

About this White Russian

So should we chat about this Hot White Russian before I start tearing up in this coffee shop? Seems like a good plan to me.

This cocktail isn’t identical to a regular White Russian because it’s hot, and I also add extra coffee. If you’re liking the White Russian theme, try this really delightful twist: White Chocolate White Russian with vodka, white chocolate liqueur, coffee liqueur, and Irish cream liqueur. Totally yummy!

I use whole milk instead of cream — I find that it is plenty creamy for me, but if you’d like to try it with cream, go for it! It’s the holidays after all. I wouldn’t recommend skim milk for this particular recipe as it won’t give you the same creaminess and it also has a higher tendency to curdle when heated.

What do you need to make hot White Russians?

  • Hot coffee (nice and strong)
  • Kahlúa
  • Whole milk (or heavy cream)
  • Vodka
  • Whipped cream to garnish. Totally optional, but you’re going to want it. 

Add as much vodka as you like, or leave it out entirely. Just remember that Kahlúa also contains alcohol, so this is definitely an adults-only hot chocolate.

This dessert type drink would be so good served with cookies (milk and cookies, right?) Dark chocolate and pecan cookies would be totally yummy and kind of decadent with these Hot White Russian drinks. Or maybe Snickerdoodles, or malted chocolate chip cookies … So good!

Looking for a hot chocolate recipe that’s perfect for everyone? Try this easy hot chocolate recipe, with a lactose-free option, orange hot chocolate or ginger spiced hot chocolate. Everyone’s been talking about hot cocoa bombs. You’ll want to try Pop Rocks Hot Cocoa Bombs.

Front view of two mugs of white Russian hot chocolate with two spoons on cloth.

The recipe is written in parts so that you can easily make this for a big group if you’re hosting a holiday party. To give you an idea of what a “part” should be, I add a couple of tips at the end of the recipe regarding how to make this for one, and also how to make 2-3 servings.

If you’re searching for more holiday sips, try:


A bit of history about the original White Russian: Originally made in Brussels, Belgium, the drink was created in honor of the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. Obviously not a Russian drink, it’s so named because vodka is a main ingredient. (Consider that little bit of information a gift from me to you. Use it to impress your guests with your amazing knowledge of trivia at your next cocktail party!)

Front view of two clear glass footed mugs containing White Russian hot chocolate garnished with whipped cream.

Hot White Russian

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

Perfect for the holidays or any chilly day, this Hot White Russian is cozy while still packing a bit of a punch and is a great adult alternative to hot cocoa.


  • 4 oz. (2 parts) freshly brewed coffee
  • 2 oz. (1 part) Kahlua
  • 2 oz. (1 part) whole milk
  • 1 oz. (1/2 part) vodka (I like Grey Goose)
  • Whipped cream for topping (optional, I guess…but add the whipped cream!)


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and heat until warm (I recommend 150-155°F). Do not boil.
  2. Pour into mugs and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream, if desired.


  • For one serving (9-oz serving), I’d recommend using 2-ounces as a part. (2 ounces Kahlua, 1 ounce vodka, 2 ounces milk, 4 ounces coffee)
  • If you use 1/2 cup as a “part,” this recipe makes three 6-ounce cups or two 9-ounce cups. (1/2 cup Kahlua, 1/4 cup vodka, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1 cup fresh brewed coffee). Multiply parts as needed to serve your group!
  • If you’re feeling in the mood for decadence, use cream instead of whole milk. Skim milk is not recommended for this recipe.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 9 oz.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 18g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Disclosure: I have been compensated by Milk Means More for my time to develop this recipe and write this post. All opinions are as always, my own. Find out more about why Milk Means More on TwitterFacebookYouTubeInstagram and Pinterest.