A Coconut White Russian is a perfectly festive twist on a classic cocktail that features equal parts of Kahlúa, vodka, and cream, or in this case coconut milk. This Coconut White Russian is served in a rocks glass rimmed with toasted coconut and honey-rimmed rocks and delivers max cozy vibes.
You may have discovered this drink from The Dude in the Coen Brothers’ “The Big Lebowski”. He drank many White Russians, or “Caucasians” as he called them while wearing his iconic bathrobe.
WHAT IS A WHITE RUSSIAN?
A White Russian is a classic cocktail made with three ingredients: Kahlúa, vodka, and cream, which is believed to have been created sometime in the 1950s or 1960s and was popular during the disco era. It fell out of fashion shortly after but regained some notoriety after the Coen Brothers’ film “The Big Lebowski” in 1998 thanks to the main character, The Dude’s, love for the beverage.
According to the official Kahlua website, the drink is made with equal parts Kahlúa, vodka, and cream, though I’ve seen many variations in ratios. I’ve decided to keep with equal parts, but feel free to make this recipe your own and play with the ratios.
WHAT IS A COCONUT WHITE RUSSIAN?
A coconut White Russian is a fun, festive twist on a White Russian that substitutes vegan, full-fat coconut milk (yes, from the can) for the dairy-filled cream a typical White Russian calls for. Cold foaming or frothing the coconut milk makes it extra luxurious and adds some extra oomph. Adding a toasted coconut and honey rim makes it extra coconutty and adds an extra dose of holiday feeling.
HOW TO MAKE A COCONUT WHITE RUSSIAN
- Start by toasting your coconut in a small frypan over medium-low heat for a minute or two or until it’s golden brown and fragrant.
- Place the toasted coconut on a small plate or saucer and put the honey on/in another small plate or saucer.
- Turn your glass over, hold it at a 45° angle, and rotate it around in the honey to coat the outer rim with a thin layer of honey. Repeat this process with the toasted coconut and then repeat it with the other glass.
- Fill the rimmed glasses with ice and top with 1.5 ounces of Kahlúa and 1.5 ounces of vodka for each glass.
- Pour the coconut milk into a small glass measuring cup or something similar and use a handheld frothing wand to froth until the volume has doubled and it looks well aerated.
- Divide the cold foam between the two glasses.
TIPS AND TRICKS
As with most recipes that have short ingredient lists, the quality of ingredients matters so use your favorite brand of Vodka and canned coconut milk. I recommend chilling your coconut before frothing for best results. A handheld frothing wand is very inexpensive and makes quick work of cold foams for this drink and any other cold foam beverage.
Coconut White Russian
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened finely shredded coconut I like Bob’s Red Mill
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 ounces Kahlúa
- 3 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces full-fat coconut milk from the can
- To a small frying pan set over medium-low heat, add the toasted coconut and toast, stirring frequently, until it’s fragrant and golden brown. This should take a minute or two; do not walk away as the coconut can go from golden to burnt very quickly. Transfer to a shallow small plate or saucer. On another, shallow plate or saucer put the honey.
- Turn the glass over and hold it by the bottom. Tip the rim into the honey at a 45° angle and carefully rotate it so that the outer rim is lined with honey all the way around. Repeat this process with the coconut, tipping the honey rim and rotating so that the honey rim is completely coated with coconut. Repeat this process with the second glass.
- Carefully fill the rimmed rocks glasses, or your glasses of choice, about 2/3 full with ice. Top each glass with 1.5 ounces of Kahlúa and 1.5 ounces of vodka.
- Pour the coconut milk into a small glass measuring cup or something similar and using a frothing wand, froth until the volume has doubled and it looks well aerated. Similarly, you can create a cold foam using a French press. Pour the milk into the press and pull the French press plunger up and down until the volume has doubled. Divide the cold foamed coconut milk between the two glasses. Serve and enjoy! You can stir gently to combine if desired.