If you love White Russians, you’ll adore the Colorado Bulldog. This creamy, fizzy cocktail is like the classic cocktail crossed with an ice cream float.
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Colorado Bulldog recipe
The beauty of a dessert drink is that you can have it with dessert or as dessert.
That’s what I love about the classic White Russian recipe, a sweet drink made with cream, coffee liqueur and vodka. It’s like drinking coffee ice cream!
You can take the White Russian to the next level with variations like this cinnamon White Russian or this birthday cake White Russian.
But there’s another rendition worth trying for your next happy hour: The Colorado Bulldog. It’s a creamy cocktail just like the White Russian, but with the addition of a splash of Coke.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s easy to make with just a few ingredients.
- The texture is unlike other cocktails — so foamy and fizzy!
- Perfect for after-dinner, this sweet drink will be loved by all!
What is the Colorado Bulldog drink?
The Colorado Bulldog is a sweet, iced cocktail made with coffee liqueur, vodka, cream and a splash of cola. Cola adds a fizzy, foamy layer and its mysterious cola flavor.
It’s unclear where this drink got its name or if it has anything to do with the state of Colorado or bulldogs. Spoon University suggests it could be a nod to Peanuts the Bulldog, the original mascot for Colorado State University before they became the Aggie Rams.
However, the Colorado Bulldog is similar to the White Russian (made with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream) and the Mind Eraser cocktail (made with coffee liqueur, vodka and club soda), which is essentially a Black Russian with a splash of club soda.
It’s also reminiscent of the dirty soda, which is cola mixed with cream.
Tools & glassware
You only need four simple ingredients, plus ice, to make your own Colorado Bulldog at home.
The strong coffee flavor of the Colorado Bulldog is all thanks to the coffee liqueur.
Kahlua and Tia Maria are two of the most well-known brands for coffee liqueur out there.
If you’re up for it, making homemade coffee liqueur is worth it. You can make it with your favorite coffee beans and vodka. It makes a great gift for the coffee cocktail lover in your life!
As with any cocktail, use the best alcohol you can afford! My go-to vodka brands right now are Tito’s, Deep Eddy, Reyka and Absolut.
A cheap vodka will taste cheap and stand out in your drink — and not in a great way — so stick to the $15-20 range if you can!
If you’d like to know more about vodka, dive into my Vodka 101 crash course.
Heavy cream (also called whipping cream) is a must for this cocktail because the cola can curdle anything thinner. Half-and-half does work, but it’s a little thinner so it can curdle a little bit.
Milk will be thinner, and it is much more likely to curdle, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
You could try a non-dairy milk or unsweetened non-dairy creamers such as oat milk, soy milk or almond milk, but I haven’t tried them. Let me know in the comments if you do!
Coca-Cola is the most popular brand for a classic Jack & Coke cocktail. Some people might argue the red can’s secret recipe is the only choice. After all, it has a high acidity which whiskey helps to balance out.
However, there are a lot of popular brands of cola you can use instead of regular Coke this tasty cocktail.
- Another one of the iconic brands of cola, Pepsi comes from my home state of North Carolina, and it’s slightly sweeter than Coke. Some might prefer the flavor of Pepsi instead.
- Bottled Mexican Coke is made with real cane sugar and doesn’t contain corn syrup. It’s a delicious way to enjoy this alcoholic drink.
- Try other cola brands besides Coke and Pepsi Boylan Sugar Cane Cola Soda is one of my favorites to pick up at a specialty shop.
- There are also craft sodas that are brewed for use in cocktails. Fentimans Curiosity Cola and Fever Tree Madagascan Cola are two that are loved.
- You could also make your own cola with a SodaStream and cola syrup. You can even make homemade cola syrup.
Variations and substitutions
Try mixing up your Colorado Bulldog in a few ways:
- Dr. Pepper Colorado Bulldog: Swap the Coke for Dr. Pepper or Mr. Pibb for a unique twist. Or do half and half.
- Tootsie Roll Bulldog: Use root beer instead of cola to give this cocktail the flavor of a tootsie roll candy, a la the Tootsie Roll drink. It’s kind of like a root beer float in cocktail form!
- Colorado Bulldog Float: Make a boozy Coke float by adding a scoop of ice cream on top (and instead of ice).
- Non-alcoholic Colorado Bulldog: Skip the vodka and use a non-alcoholic coffee liqueur, such as Lyre’s Coffee Originale.
How to make a Colorado Bulldog
Here’s what to do to make this easy cocktail at home:
In a cocktail shaker, add coffee liqueur, vodka and half-and-half.
Shake well, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Pour a splash of Coca-Cola over top until the foam just reaches the top of the glass. Let it settle and add more to top up.
Tips & tricks
To avoid curdling, use cream or half-and-half, not milk.
Use equal parts of each ingredient. If you want a stronger coffee flavor, you can add 1/2 ounce more of coffee liqueur.
Be careful when pouring in the cola, so it doesn’t bubble over. You can always add more.
What to serve with a Colorado Bulldog
You could also enjoy it with Colorado foods like these Hatch green chile chicken sliders.
Though it’s not clear where the name comes from, the Colorado Bulldog is a cocktail made with coffee liqueur, vodka and cola.
When making a Colorado Bulldog, it’s important to use cream or half-and-half, which are a lot thicker than milk. Even whole milk will curdle when it meets the acidic soda in this drink.
More dessert cocktail recipes
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- 1 ½ ounce coffee liqueur
- 1 ½ ounce vodka
- 1 ½ ounce cream
- 1 ½ ounce cola
- In a cocktail shaker, add coffee liqueur, vodka and cream. Shake well, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Pour a splash of Coca-Cola over top until the foam just reaches the top of the glass. Let it settle and add more to top up.
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