Coffee and pumpkin spice are a perfect match, and a Pumpkin Spice White Russian is just the ticket. This easy fall cocktail combines homemade pumpkin spice syrup, coffee liqueur, vodka and heavy cream for a delicious recipe full of pumpkin spice flavors.
Some things just go well together, don’t they?
Peanut butter and jelly. Marshmallows and chocolate. Pumpkin and coffee.
Oh yes, I am team pumpkin spice in my coffee.
I look forward to a few PSLs every fall, but I also really love making my own pumpkin spice syrup during pumpkin season.
This time of year, I think it’s wonderful to stir into my coffee and mix into cocktails. You can even pour pumpkin syrup over vanilla ice cream.
Pumpkin Spice White Russian recipe
One of my favorite cocktails is the White Russian. I love how versatile it is for adding other flavors. Some of my favorite White Russian cocktail recipes are this S’mores White Russian or this Birthday Cake White Russian.
But probably my favorite of all is my Cinnamon White Russian… until now! I am now obsessed with making myself a Pumpkin White Russian on these crisp, fall weekends.
Since the White Russian is a cocktail that stars coffee liqueur, another winning flavor combination involves pumpkin spice. The pumpkin spice syrup fits in beautifully with the coffee flavor. They really are a perfect match!
With the addition of vodka and half-and-half, this easy fall cocktail tastes a lot like a creamy, boozy, iced pumpkin spice latte.
For the best Pumpkin Spice White Russian, you can even incorporate more pumpkin spice products like pumpkin vodka or pumpkin spice creamer for even more fall flavor if you like!
What is a White Russian?
A White Russian is a classic drink that features vodka, coffee liqueur and milk. It’s similar to the Black Russian.
You can make it thicker with half-and-half or cream, or you can use your favorite kind of milk.
This cocktail dates back to the 1950s, but it gained popularity in the 1990s thanks to the movie The Big Lebowski.
The classic White Russian is the drink of choice of the main character, The Dude, which helped to spark interest in this creamy cocktail.
These drinks are traditionally served as after-dinner drinks.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make a pumpkin spice White Russian:
Pumpkin spice syrup
For the pumpkin syrup, you can go the homemade route or the store-bought route.
For my homemade pumpkin syrup, I use real pumpkin and spices. Pumpkin puree, cinnamon, clove and other fall spices in this syrup are what give this cocktail its warmth and fall flavors. It’s super easy to make and it has the perfect pumpkin flavor.
If you prefer to buy your pumpkin spice syrup, check out this Torani pumpkin sauce or this Monin pumpkin spice syrup, though I’ve not tried them.
Vodka is key for giving a boozy punch to the White Russian. You can even invest in pumpkin spice vodka if you want to double the pumpkin flavor, or use vanilla vodka for more of a coffee shop flavor. Check out my Vodka 101 guide if you need help picking a brand to buy.
Kahlua and Tia Maria are two of the most well-known brands for coffee liqueur out there. Patron XO is technically a coffee-flavored tequila, but it would also be great in this pumpkin cocktail.
But my favorite is homemade coffee liqueur. You can make it with your favorite coffee beans and vodka.
Cream or milk
For the dairy component, you can choose what you like. I typically use half-and-half because I think it’s the perfect texture (plus, I almost always have it on hand for my morning coffee) but you can go thicker or thinner.
Heavy cream would give your White Russian a thicker texture, while whole milk or 2% milk would be a bit thinner. Feel free to choose non-dairy milk such as oat milk, soy milk or almond milk.
If you want even more pumpkin flavor, you can use a pumpkin spice coffee creamer.
Another extra step would be to top your White Russian with homemade whipped cream, but that’s totally optional!
Ice is an important cocktail ingredient. For this one, I recommend cubed ice. You’ll need to add it to your cocktail shaker as well as your glass, which will chill the cocktail as you shake it.
Garnish your cocktail with a cute cocktail stirrer, a cinnamon stick and/or a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. I also added a cinnamon sugar rim to the edge of the glass.
How to make a Pumpkin Spice White Russian cocktail
You can put together your pumpkin spice White Russian in just a few easy steps, but there’s two ways you can mix it up: shaking or building. You’ll want to get out your rocks glasses for this cocktail.
Shaking your White Russian is the best way to mix up your cocktail. It makes your cocktail creamy and frothy because the cream gets slightly whipped.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all your ingredients.
- Give it a really good shake.
- Pour it into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
The other way is to “build” your cocktail, by pouring each ingredient into the glass. This is great if you don’t have a cocktail shaker or simply don’t feel like getting it out.
- Into a rocks glass filled with ice, pour the pumpkin spice syrup, vodka and coffee liqueur.
- Stir them together.
- Then, top with your cream.
Either way will work perfectly and just comes down to your preference.
You can serve it at a Halloween party, as a Thanksgiving cocktail or just enjoy it any time!
More pumpkin spice cocktails
If you like pumpkin spice, you’ll love some of these other pumpkin spice cocktails! These are bound to be some of your favorite fall cocktails, or you can enjoy them during the holiday season.
My pumpkin spice Moscow mule features ginger beer, lime juice and your choice of bourbon or vodka for a delightful cocktail. It tastes like pumpkin pie!
This pumpkin spice old-fashioned is heavier, featuring bourbon as its star ingredient. Bourbon lovers would also adore this pumpkin spice whiskey smash.
If you prefer a lighter drink, give this pumpkin spice martini a try too.
Let me know what you think about this White Russian! Please leave a review below or tag me on Instagram @feastandwest.
Pumpkin Spice White Russian
Sip on a Pumpkin Spice White Russian, which tastes like a boozy, iced pumpkin spice latte!
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce coffee liqueur
- 1 ounce heavy cream (see note)
- 1/2 ounce pumpkin spice syrup
- cinnamon stick, for garnish
- sprinkle of ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, for garnish
- Put cinnamon sugar on a flat plate, and honey or maple syrup on another. Dip or roll the edge of a rocks glass in honey or maple syrup, then in the cinnamon sugar to create a cinnamon sugar rim. Fill the glass with ice.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, coffee liqueur, half-and-half and pumpkin spice syrup. Put the lid on and shake well. Pour into the glass.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
You can use your favorite milk. Heavy cream or half-and-half will yield a thicker cocktail. Whole milk, 2% milk or a non-dairy milk will be thinner, but still delicious. Pumpkin coffee creamer would also be good for more pumpkin flavor!
Pumpkin spice vodka can also be used.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 4.5 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 1g
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