This recipe was originally published in December 2019 and was sponsored by Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk. The text was updated for clarity in 2022.
There’s definitely a time and place to cozy up with warm mulled wine, or a spiced hot buttered rum. But when it comes to indulging in a creamy chocolatey after-dinner drink, it’s gotta be this spin on a classic White Russian.
What is a White Russian?
For starters, a classic White Russian is a chilled cocktail made with vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream – usually half-and-half, milk, or sometimes even heavy cream for extra indulgence.
It started with a classic Black Russian, which doesn’t have the cream. Once the cream was added, this new drink was then called a “White Russian”.
My Chocolate White Russian is made with one more addition: chocolate syrup to take it to a whole new level.
I like to think of this drink as a mix between a chocolate martini and a mocha martini (or in other words, an espresso martini with chocolate.
The VIP Ingredient
As I mentioned, cream is usually the ingredient that adds creaminess to this dessert-like beverage. However, I use something a little more unique, but that’s absolutely creamy, indulgent, and next-level.
Can you guess what it is? Sweetened Condensed Milk.
Sweetened condensed milk brings an extra velvety texture to this beverage, along with a touch of sweetness, making it perfect for celebrating (or just enjoying!).
Can I use Cream or Milk Instead?
Yes, if you don’t have sweetened condensed milk or would prefer a more traditional White Russian, feel free to substitute half-and-half or whole milk in its place.
Which Liqueurs Should I Use?
Here’s what you’ll need for this boozy cocktail. Please drink responsibly!
First things first: you’re going to need vodka. Use whichever brand you like to drink in mixed drinks, so you know you’ll love the flavor.
If you’re looking to mix things up a little – or like your drinks even sweeter – use a flavored variety. Both vanilla and chocolate vodka would be delicious!
Next up is a coffee liqueur. This is where it gets its coffee flavor. I recommend finding a high-quality variety for the smoothest drink. Cheaper versions have a harsh aftertaste.
While you could use a coffee cream liqueur, I recommend using one without any cream, since we are already adding it. Feel free to use a more sweet and flavored variety like Kahlua, or stick with a simple straight-forward coffee liqueur like one from Du Nord or Vincenzi.
What about Chocolate Liqueur?
I definitely tested this recipe with chocolate liqueur too (it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it).
And after many tests, the favorite was the combination using vodka and chocolate syrup, because it had a much more intense chocolate flavor than using alcohol in its place.
Now, I won’t stop you if you want to go all out on the chocolate and use syrup and chocolate liqueur. Just note you may need to play around with the ratios so it’s to your liking.
How to Make a Chocolate White Russian
Making a Chocolate White Russian is so easy to do, it might quickly become a regular dessert drink when you need to unwind, for dinner parties, and holiday celebrations alike!
Keep in mind this drink is a concentrated sipper – similar to a martini – so go slowly and enjoy.
Here’s what you’ll need to do when making 1 or 2 cocktails. You can also make a batch ahead of time, but we’ll cover that in a little bit.
First, Prep a Chocolate Rimmed Glass
If you want to take your presentation to an elite level, go ahead and garnish the rim with a sugar and cocoa mix. It will look fancy, and no one has to know just how easy it is. Just be sure you do this before pouring the mixed drink!
- Stir together cocoa powder and raw sugar on a small plate or in a shallow dish. The raw sugar is important because the larger sugar granules won’t dissolve in the water.
- Run a small amount of water along the rim of the glass. You could also use simple syrup if you have it on hand, or extra chocolate sauce.
- Dip the rim of the glass in your cocoa sugar mixture until coated. Then pour in your cocktail once it’s ready.
Let’s Make the Drink!
- Place several ice cubes in a cocktail shaker – it doesn’t need to be filled with ice, but several cubes to chill the liquids will do.
- Why: Using a shaker will help the thicker syrups incorporate the best!
- No shaker? Not a problem, use a mason jar as your shaker or fill a larger glass with several ice cubes, and stir it instead.
- Add the vodka and coffee liqueur to the shaker. Pouring the liquors over ice helps to dilute them first and begin the chilling process.
- Next, drizzle in the chocolate syrup and then the sweetened condensed milk (or cream if you’re using it). Add it last so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the shaker.
- Shake, shake, shake. But not too hard, you don’t want to chip the ice. Just enough to get it all creamy and incorporate the ingredients.
- Pour the cocktail into a martini glass or an old-fashioned glass (or heck, any glass you can drink from will work.
- Garnish with chocolate shavings or heck, even whipped cream and extra chocolate drizzle!
And just like that, you are holiday party-ready, with an elegant (and oh so easy) cocktail to serve your guests!
- Serve it over ice as a traditional version is done.
- Add mint syrup or peppermint extract for a peppermint chocolate cocktail!
- Add a dollop of vanilla ice cream to really turn it into a dessert.
Make Ahead & Big Batches
If you want to make this cocktail ahead of time for a large party or gathering, stir together the ingredients in a large pitcher until combined. Store in the fridge until ready to enjoy.
When you’re ready to serve, pour 1-2 drinks into a shaker with ice to chill. If the pitcher has been in the fridge for a while, you could potentially skip this step and serve without shaking.
I do recommend adding the chocolate rim to the glasses immediately before serving, or the sugar will melt if prepared in advance.
Enjoy More for Dessert
Looking for some sweet treats to serve with your Chocolate White Russian? Check these out:
- Mocha Brownies
- Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
- Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Stars
- Dark and White Chocolate Mousse
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Chocolate White Russian with Chocolate Syrup
Optional: Chocolate Glass Rim
- ¼ cup sugar in the raw
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Optional Chocolate Rim: Stir together cocoa powder and raw sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Run a small amount of water or simple syrup (or even chocolate syrup) across the edge of the glass. Press the wet rim into the sugar mixture, turning the glass until the rim is coated. Set aside.
- For the cocktail, place several ice cubes in a cocktail shaker; it does not need to be filled to the top. Add the vodka and coffee liqueur to the shaker. Next, add in the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate syrup.
- Cover and shake gently; do not shake too hard or the ice will break. Once the ingredients are fully incorporated, pour into your prepared martini glasses (or an old-fashioned glass) and garnish with additional chocolate shavings, as desired.
- If desired, serve this cocktail on the rocks, as a traditional White Russian.
- The photos feature two cocktails not served over ice.
This recipe is part of our Date Night Recipes to Love roundup. Check it out!