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Cosy Up With Jarrod’s Vanilla Chai White Russian | First Choice Liquor Market

Winter is well and truly here, which means it’s time to settle in on the couch for a good movie and a creamy Vanilla Chai White Russian. Jarrod aka @diycocktailguy is showing us how to shake up this twist on a classic cocktail!

chai vanilla

A Twist on a Classic: The Vanilla Chai White Russian

Believe it or not, the White Russian was neither created in Russia nor created by a Russian — but we’ll get to that later. The most important thing to remember is that a classic White Russian is a simple 3 ingredients that are shaken and served chilled. Easy, right? 


“Just in time for winter, let’s make this Vanilla Chai White Russian — a twist on the classic cocktail,” Jarrod @diycocktailguy says. The beauty of the Vanilla Chai White Russian is in its simplicity — a creamy concoction of warming spiced chai and roasted coffee that pairs perfectly with a winter movie night in. 


And if the White Russian is sounding familiar, it’s because it was the cocktail of choice for Jeff Bridges’ character “The Dude ” in the cult movie, The Big Legowski. Since its creation in the 1940s, the White Russian had dipped in and out of popularity but the 1998 Coen Brothers dark comedy brought it back into the mainstream for a lasting cultural moment. 


A couple of rounds of Vanilla Chai White Russians and a screening of The Big Legowski? Sounds like a match made in heaven. So, get your cocktail shaker at the ready and follow these easy steps!

How to make the Vanilla Chai White Russian


(Serves 2)


60mL of Absolut Vanilla Vodka

90mL of Kahlúa Coffee Liqueur 

30mL of Baileys Irish Cream

1 sachet of vanilla chai mix 

Milk or cream 

Ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick, to garnish



  1. Grab your cocktail shaker and add 60mL of Absolut Vanilla Vodka.
  2. Then, add a further 90mL of Kahlúa Coffee Liqueur or any coffee liqueur of your choosing.
  3. To boost the creaminess factor, add 30mL of Baileys Irish Cream
  4. Next, add a sachet of vanilla chai which you can easily grab from your local Coles.
  5. Once you’ve added all your ingredients, give them a decent shake. You want to make sure that the vanilla chai has mixed evenly. 
  6. Grab your tumblers and fill them with ice. Evenly divide your cocktail into the glasses.
  7. Add approximately 30mL of milk or cream to each tumbler, topping up your cocktail to just below the brim. 
  8. To garnish, dust a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and place a cinnamon stick on top.
  9. Settle in on the couch for your movie night and cheers away — nostrovia!

Where did the White Russian cocktail originate from?

Legend has it that the Black Russian cocktail was the creation of a Belgium bartender in the 1940s to honour the then American ambassador to Luxembourg, who was somewhat of a socialite amongst the elite circle of the time. The ‘Russian’ in a Black Russian comes from the addition of — you guessed it — vodka, similar to how the iconic Moscow Mule gained its name. By the time the 1950s rolled around, and sweet and milky cocktails were all the rage, the White Russian variation hit the scene and skyrocketed to popularity. 

What’s the difference between a Black Russian and White Russian cocktail?

By now, you know that the White Russian is an easy cocktail with 3 main ingredients — vodka, coffee liqueur and milk or cream. Its older sibling, the Black Russian, takes a similar simple-is-best approach with its convenient mix of vodka, coffee liqueur and cola. If White Russians are best enjoyed during the colder months, then Black Russians are a refreshing accompaniment for a summer BBQ or pool party. Plus, nothing is stopping you from taking your White Russian up a notch by adding a touch of Baileys Irish Cream as Jarrod recommends or going down the decadent route with our rich Chocolate White Russian

You’ve now heard of the White Russian, but what about the White Canadian and White Mexican?

As White Russians rose to fame in bars across the globe, it’s no surprise that each country decided to put their own stamp on the classic cocktail. In the White Canadian, you’ll find the vodka swapped out for maple or rye whiskey. While a White Mexican can take two different paths: either subbing the vodka for tequila, or switching the milk for horchata — a popular Mexican rice milk drink that boasts delicious vanilla and cinnamon flavours. 

Can you make a White Russian vegan?

The best part about the White Russian? Not only is it simple and quick, it’s super easy to swap out ingredients to suit different allergies and dietaries amongst your friend group. For anyone who is vegan or lactose intolerant, creamy coconut or almond milk is a great variation. If your group isn’t too keen on coffee, a chocolate liqueur is a trusty replacement. In short, the White Russian is the perfect cocktail to mix and match depending on your mood. Top it up with milk or cream (or even 50/50) based on if you’re after a lighter or richer cocktail.


If all this talk of White Russians has got you searching for other coffee based cocktails to give a go, try this Salted Caramel Espresso Martini or serve up a round of decadent Toblerone cocktails!

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