Peppermint White Russian

Celebrate the festive season with a peppermint-infused twist on the beloved classic cocktail, the Peppermint White Russian. This holiday cocktail combines the velvety smoothness of a traditional White Russian with the refreshing essence of candy canes and will have you toasting to winter cheer.

Two peppermint candy rimmed glasses with Peppermint candy canes in them.

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Peppermint White Russian recipe

Peppermint is a staple of the holiday season. It all starts with the peppermint mocha, after all.

If you’re a fan of peppermint in your coffee, you will love this delicious White Russian recipe. Instead of vodka, you’ll use peppermint schnapps, mint vodka or crème de menthe liqueur to yield a tasty, creamy cocktail with loads of refreshing mint.

Add a layer of crushed candy canes and a peppermint swizzle stick to make the drink even more festive than its flavor.

This simple cocktail is one you will enjoy during the holiday season for years to come. Let’s get right to it!

More peppermint drink recipes: Peppermint MartiniPeppermint Hot Cocoa BombsPeppermint Hot Chocolate

A refreshing drink with peppermint and ice.

Why you’ll love this recipe

If you love peppermint ice cream, you will love this cocktail!

  • Creamy with the robust flavors of coffee and dreamy peppermint, the Peppermint White Russian is a twist on a classic cocktail everyone should try.
  • You’ll love trying this version with minty freshness! 
  • This easy cocktail is an easy recipe for beginner home mixologists.
  • It’s the perfect cocktail for a holiday party or any gathering this time of year.
A Peppermint drink with whipped cream.

What is a White Russian?

The classic White Russian cocktail is made with coffee liqueur, vodka and heavy cream. Creamy and sweet, it can pack quite a punch thanks to the two types of booze.

The White Russian is not actually from Russia. Like the Moscow Mule, which is also vodka-based, the moniker simply comes from the fact that it’s made with vodka, which is Russian. However, vodka is made in many countries these days.

In fact, the Black Russian — the White Russian’s predecessor — was created in the 1940s by a Belgian bartender named Gustave Tops the Hotel Metropole in Brussels. He designed it in honor of the American ambassador to Luxembourg, Perle Mesta.

The drink has faded in and out of popularity and saw a resurgence in the 1990s thanks to the movie The Big Lebowski. The White Russian is the drink of choice of the main character, The Dude, which helped to spark interest in this creamy cocktail.

A Peppermint cocktail with candy canes garnish and ice cubes.

Tools & glassware

To make this twist on the White Russian, you don’t need a lot of special equipment.

If you want to add the candy cane rim, you’ll need a couple of plates for the maple syrup and the crushed peppermint pieces. Place candy canes or peppermint candies in a zip-top bag and crush them with a meat mallet or wooden spoon.

The ingredients can then be shaken in a cocktail shaker or stirred together in a mixing glass or your drinking glass. Then, you’ll pour it over ice into a rocks glass.

A Peppermint White Russian cocktail adorned with candy canes and gold sprinkles.

Ingredients

A traditional White Russian contains just three simple ingredients: vodka, coffee liqueur and heavy cream. Oh, and ice! Don’t forget the ice.

But with this Peppermint White Russian, we’re mixing things up a bit. Here’s what you will need:

  • Peppermint liqueur: We’re replacing the vodka in the classic White Russian with a minty liqueur. You can use peppermint vodka, peppermint schnapps, or white crème de menthe. (Green crème de menthe will give the drink a green color, but it will taste great.)
  • Coffee liqueur: Coffee liqueur is what gives this drink its bold coffee flavor, giving the drink strong mint chocolate vibes. Kahlua and Tia Maria are popular brands, but you can use any brand. Making DIY coffee liqueur is also a delicious way to bring in your favorite coffee beans.
  • Cream: Fresh cream is the classic choice for this cocktail, but you can choose what you like. I typically use half-and-half but you can go even thinner if you like with 2% milk or whole milk.
  • Simple syrup: You need something strong and sticky to hold up the heavy candy cane pieces on the rim. You can also use honey or maple syrup to rim the glass, but water won’t cut it. (And will dissolve the candy.)
  • Crushed candy canes: To crush candy canes or peppermint candies, place them in a zip-top bag and crush them with a meat mallet or wooden spoon. Be careful — the broken pieces can be quite sharp.
  • Peppermint stick: Add a candy swizzle stick for another peppermint twist. 
Homemade Peppermint Vodka is the key to making the best minty fresh cocktails for the holidays. Infuse peppermint candies with vodka for a sweet spirit you can enjoy in a mixed drink or as a shooter. Makes a great Christmas gift! (via feastandwest.com)

Variations and substitutions

Peppermint Pink Russian: Make homemade peppermint vodka with peppermint candies or candy canes. The result is a pink-infused liqueur, and when mixed with cream, it will have a festive pinky red color.

Mint Green Russian: Use green crème de menthe in this recipe and garnish it with a mint sprig. It will look like mint chocolate chip ice cream or a grasshopper cocktail! And it will have major Thin Mint vibes.

Mint Chocolate Russian: Add chocolate milk or a splash of chocolate syrup to make a minty chocolate version of this drink. You could also do white chocolate syrup.

Dairy-free White Russian: You can make it with coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk or oat milk.

Virgin White Russian: For a non-alcoholic version, use zero-proof coffee liqueur, such as Lyre’s Coffee Originale, and zero-proof vodka, such as Strykk Not Vodka. Add ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract into the mix to add the minty flavor.

A person holding a silver cocktail shaker filled with White Russian on a white background.

How to make a Peppermint White Russian

You can put together this classic drink with a twist in just a few easy steps, but there are two ways you can mix it up: shaking or building.

Shaken

Shaking your White Russian is the best way to mix up your cocktail because it makes your cocktail thick, creamy and frothy as the cream gets slightly whipped.

  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all your ingredients.
  2. Give it a really good shake.
  3. Pour it into a rocks glass filled with ice.
A person pouring a Peppermint White Russian into a glass with candy canes.
A person pouring milk into a glass with peppermint candy canes.

Built

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. (To be honest, this is what I do 90% of the time!)

  1. Into a rocks glass filled with ice, pour in the peppermint liqueur and coffee liqueur.
  2. Stir them together.
  3. Then, top it with cream.
A person holding a Peppermint cocktail in a glass.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • Shake the cocktail so it gets a super creamy texture. (Building in the glass is easier though!)
  • Heavy cream makes the creamiest cocktail, but half-and-half is a little lighter. Milk is fine, but it won’t thicken up quite the same as the other two.
  • Use clear peppermint liqueur to make it look like a classic White Russian. But if you like colorful drinks, green crème de menthe and pink peppermint vodka are fun additions.

What to serve with Peppermint White Russians

If you like minty stuff (and we know you do, because you read this far), this cocktail will pair well with anything peppermint!

You will probably adore these peppermint crinkle cookies or a scoop of peppermint ice cream (or add the ice cream to your drink — you’re welcome!).

Peppermint also goes well with chocolate, so serve these White Russians with hot chocolate cookies or double chocolate chip cookies for a real treat.

A refreshing drink with peppermint candy canes and ice.

FAQ

What is the key ingredient that gives the Peppermint White Russian its distinctive flavor?

The Peppermint White Russian gets its signature taste from peppermint vodka, peppermint schnapps or white crème de menthe, infusing the classic White Russian with a cool and refreshing minty twist.

Can I use regular vodka instead of peppermint vodka or crème de menthe in a Peppermint White Russian?

While you can use regular vodka, the distinct peppermint flavor comes from using peppermint-infused vodka or crème de menthe. To fully experience the festive and minty profile of the Peppermint White Russian, it’s recommended to use one of these specialty spirits. However, you can use ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract in a cocktail to add the flavor without investing in a bottle of mint liqueur.

Are there any alternatives to crushed candy canes for rimming the glass?

If you don’t have crushed candy canes, you can substitute them with other festive options like crushed peppermint candies or a mixture of sugar and a touch of peppermint extract for a similar sweet and minty rimming effect on your Peppermint White Russian.

More White Russians

— Did you make this recipe? —

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A Peppermint-infused White Russian with candy canes.

Peppermint White Russian

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
The Peppermint White Russian is a delightful winter cocktail, blending the classic richness of a White Russian with a refreshing peppermint twist. It's a festive and minty libation perfect for holiday celebrations.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

  • 2 ounces peppermint liqueur such as peppermint vodka, peppermint schnapps or white crème de menthe
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup for rim
  • 1 tablespoon crushed candy canes for rim
  • 1 peppermint stick for garnish

instructions

Rimming the glass

  • Place crushed candy canes on a plate and simple syrup on another plate. Dip the rim of the glass in the syrup. Roll the rim of the glasses in the crushed candy canes to coat the rim.

Shaken

  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine peppermint liqueur, coffee liqueur, heavy cream. Shake well.
  • Pour it into a rocks glass filled with ice.

Built

  • Add ice to a rocks glass. Pour in the peppermint liqueur and coffee liqueur. Stir them together.
  • Then, top it with cream. Stir once more.

notes

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:
  • Shake the cocktail so it gets a super creamy texture. (Building in the glass is easier though!)
  • Heavy cream makes the creamiest cocktail, but half-and-half is a little lighter. Milk is fine, but it won’t thicken up quite the same as the other two.
  • Use clear peppermint liqueur to make it look like a classic White Russian. But if you like colors, green crème de menthe and pink peppermint vodka are a fun addition.

recommended products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 drink

amount per serving:

Serving: 4ounces Calories: 404kcal Carbohydrates: 38g Protein: 1g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 7g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 13mg Potassium: 27mg Sugar: 38g Vitamin A: 417IU Vitamin C: 0.2mg Calcium: 19mg Iron: 0.1mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

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