Get ready for the most wonderful cocktail recipe of the season - my Christmas white Russian recipe with gingerbread syrup. This festive cocktail is simple to make with Kahlúa, vodka, milk, and a cozy addition of homemade gingerbread syrup. The perfect holiday cocktail!
But this creamy festive Christmas cocktail is my number one favorite cocktail right now for pure holiday flavor.
This cocktail incorporates one of my other favorite recipes, gingerbread syrup made from scratch. It's an easy and quick simple syrup recipe with molasses and cozy spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
I created that gingerbread syrup recipe for making gingerbread lattes at home but I've since used it on pancakes, in cocktails, and in overnight oats recipes.
The syrup just requires simmering the ingredients together for a few minutes so I really encourage you to make it, I think you'll really love it. And then you can make ginger white Russian cocktails, bourbon cocktails, iced coffee.... the list goes on!
What is in a white Russian cocktail?
A white Russian cocktail is made with vodka and Kahlúa and topped with milk or cream. A black Russian cocktail is simply Kahlúa and vodka.
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
- coffee liqueur: I use Kahlúa for this recipe which is the most accessible coffee liqueur where I live. This gives a coffee flavor to the cocktail.
- vodka: this is the other alcohol used in this cocktail recipe. I use Tito's vodka. Use your favorite vodka.
- milk: I use oat milk or almond milk for my drink because I'm not a fan of the taste of cow's milk but you can use whatever milk you like. Or can be like the Dude in The Big Lebowski and use cream. It's all up to you! (This is one of my favorite movies also.)
- gingerbread syrup: for this recipe, I use my gingerbread simple syrup which is really easy to make with just sugar and water, molasses, and some holiday spices. This is essential for a gingerbread white Russian, but you can skip it and enjoy a classic white Russian cocktail instead.
- ice cubes: essential for super frosty cocktails
- milk: I prefer my drink with plant-based milk. I find coffee cream (10%) too heavy for me, but my daughter and my mom love making their white Russians with heavy cream (35%). Try it out and see if it's for you.
To make the gingerbread syrup:
Combine the sugar, water, molasses, and the spices. Bring this to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Simmering longer will thicken the mixture even more, like in the photos below. The syrup will also thicken when stored in the fridge.
To start, coat the rim of your glass lightly with gingerbread syrup.
- On a small plate, mix the cinnamon and sugar.
- Carefully roll and stamp the coated rim of the cocktail glass in the sugar mix, coating it.
- Next, add ice.
- Drizzle the gingerbread syrup.
- Add the vodka.
- Add the Kahlúa.
- Finish the drink by adding the milk or cream.
- To garnish it further, grate fresh nutmeg on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick for stirring.
Tips for Making a White Russian Cocktail
What to serve with a gingerbread white Russian
This is a great cocktail to serve at a holiday party this time of year. I like to serve a few different types of appetizers when having guests over. Try these air fryer pita chip Christmas trees, some cheesy pull-apart rolls, or set out a few bowls of chips or tortillas along with dip like caramelized onion dip, or whipped ricotta dip.
These cocktails are best made as needed.
If you're serving them right away, you can premix a large batch in a large pitcher.
I prefer to make them one at a time because I think the rippling of the ingredients and the contrast of the color of the Kahlúa and the cream in the glass is part of the charm of a white Russian drink.
I use a ratio of 1:1 for white Russian cocktails. I use 1.5 oz of vodka to 1.5 Kahlúa.
Gingerbread White Russian Cocktail
Gingerbread White Russian
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 1.5 oz Kahlúa
- 1 oz gingerbread syrup
- 2 oz milk (or cream)
- Make the syrup by combining the ingredients in a small pan, bringing it to a boil, and then simmering for about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Gingerbread White Russian
- Coat the rim of a cocktail glass with a bit of the syrup.
- On a small plate, mix the cinnamon and sugar. Stamp the syrup-coated rim in the cinnamon and sugar mix to coat it.
- Add ice to the glass.
- Add the vodka.
- Add the Kahlua.
- Add the milk or cream.
- To serve: add frothed oat milk or whipped cream on top and fresh grated nutmeg (optional).
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
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