How to Make Hazelnut Espresso White Russian

A White Russian might seem like an old school, vintage cocktail from the disco days of the 70s, but when you blend it with coffee and hazelnut – it is full-on RIGHT NOW delicious.

Something magical happens to anything and everything when you add coffee.

When you enhance this with coffee liqueur (like Kahlua), the world seems to sparkle that much more.

This hazelnut espresso White Russian is something you will be delighted to take into the future with you.

Hazelnut Espresso White Russian

A White Russian might be a vintage goodie, but when mixed with coffee and hazelnut – it is full-on RIGHT NOW delicious drink.

Course Drinks
Cuisine russian
Keyword Hazelnut Espresso White Russian recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 268 kcal


  • 2 pumps hazelnut syrup
  • 4 oz chilled espresso
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • 3 oz heavy cream
  • ice
  • 2 cocktail glasses


  1. Make the espresso

  2. Put ice, 1 pump of hazelnut syrup and 2 ounces of espresso into each cocktail glass. Stir.

  3. Pour 1 ounce of vodka and a ½ ounce of coffee liqueur into each glass. Stir.

  4. Slowly pour 1.5 ounces of cream into each glass.

Recipe Notes

Take a spoon, turn it backwards and run the cream down it into the glass – this helps it pour more slowly


How to Make Hazelnut Espresso White Russians

This very simple recipe makes for 2 servings.

Step #1. Make The Espresso

Make the espresso.

If you’re a fan of espresso, you’ve probably already figured out a solution to this, but if not, here are our top suggestions for how to get that sweet nectar of the gods when you go to make your Hazelnut Espresso White Russian.

  • Use an espresso machine: Of course, the best option for a quality espresso is to use an actual espresso machine. Here are our suggestions for the best espresso machines on the market right now!
  • Use a Stovetop Espresso maker: If an espresso machine just isn’t in the cards right now, don’t despair! A great alternative is a stovetop espresso maker. Affordable and easy to use, a stovetop espresso maker can be the perfect way to get a shot of espresso without breaking the bank on a new machine.
  • Other alternatives: While a Moka Pot is a quick and easy alternative, there are other ways to make an espresso at home without an official “espresso machine.” You can see several of these methods here!

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Step #2. Pump and Pour

Put ice, 1 pump of hazelnut syrup and 2 ounces of espresso into each glass. Stir.

PRO TIP: You can make your own hazelnut coffee and forgo the syrup. 

Step #3. Turn It Into A ‘Grown Up’ Drink

Pour 1 ounce of vodka and a ½ ounce of coffee liqueur into each glass. Stir.

Some people recommend that you do a little taste test here – just be careful. You don’t want to make yourself too tipsy before the drink is done!

And we know how easy it is to get carried away...

PRO TIP - The marriage of hazelnut syrup and espresso is a thing of beauty. You can drink this drink sans booze – it’s not a hazelnut espresso White Russian anymore, but it is delicious. And your mother-in-law won’t give you the stink eye for drinking it in the AM.

Step #4. Make It Creamy

Slowly pour 1.5 ounces of cream into each glass.

PRO TIP - Take a spoon, turn it backwards and run the cream down it into the glass – this helps it pour more slowly. This doesn’t make it taste any different, but it will look even prettier.
PRO TIP - If you are really into it, you can even make your own coffee creamer. Learn how here.

Step #5. Enjoy!

Put on a Bees Gees album (Stayin’ Alive anyone?), sit back and take a trip down memory lane to the good ol’ days of the 70s – remembering, of course,  how great today is because of the marriage of coffee, hazelnut, vodka and Kahlua.

A Little Russian History

The White Russian was actually not the first drink to be invented with “Russian” in the title.

The Black Russian was its direct predecessor and was a signature drink designed specifically for the American ambassador to Luxembourg, Perle Mesta. (If you’re wondering, no, neither America nor Luxembourg are next to Russia... or even near it! The name comes from the predominance of the vodka in the beverage).

The drink was whipped up by a Belgian barman named Gustave Tops for the ambassador at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels in 1949. It was a simple concoction really, just five parts vodka and two parts coffee liqueur, but with its invention the foundation had been laid for the future drink to come.

Of course, all it took was the addition of cream to the existing concoction to bring about the related drink that we all know and love, the White Russian.

The cocktail spread and became fairly popular for a time, but it was actually going through somewhat of a decline in the late nineties when the cult classic The Big Lebowski hit theaters, showcasing the drink and launching it back into the limelight.

Since then, the drink has remained very popular, with countless variations and spins to its simple premise being developed over time, with, of course, our very own Hazelnut Espresso White Russian amongst the new alternatives!

That Hazelnut Flavor…

Who doesn’t love hazelnut?

We’ll assume you do if you’ve gotten this far into a recipe that centers around it! In recent years the hazelnut phenomenon has continued to pick up steam, making it worth having a stock of good hazelnut syrup on hand for any time (like the present!) you’re thinking of making a hazelnut-infused beverage.

If you’re looking for a good hazelnut flavor, we’d recommend picking up some Monin Hazelnut Syrup on Amazon. It’s sweetened with organic cane sugar and is just plain delicious!

It also comes in a durable glass bottle. If you’re going to get some of this to stock your cupboards, though, we would also suggest picking up a to make life a bit easier. Just pump and be done with it!

Sip and Chill With Your Hazelnut Espresso White Russian

Boozy coffee drinks are one of life’s little miracle and this one is no exception.

It is delicious. And so easy to make.

What do you think – is this a drink you want to serve – perhaps at a brunch (as long as the MIL isn’t around), or maybe as an after-dinner drink?

Let us know in the comments if this how-to inspired you to make the hazelnut espresso White Russian.

Ready to try more cool recipes like this one? Check our espresso based signature drink "The Pancake" and the Maple Bourbon Coffee recipe!

And if you have a friend who would like this – please share!

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