The Kahlua White Russian: Deconstructed

The White Russian is easily considered one of the most iconic cocktails of all time, and in honor of its 45th anniversary (when it first appeared in print in the November 21, 1965 Issue of the Oakland Times), Kahlua has called upon four of New York's most creative culinary minds to pay homage to this drink in their own unique way.

This simple yet utterly delicious cocktail - consisting of Kahlua, vodka and cream - has taken a place in pop-culture history, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that something so reveled would yield such inspired reinterpretations. The recipes below take apart the original cocktail, and reconstruct it in an innovative way, teasing out the original recipe's finest assets. We think the Dude would abide.

Moscow in Mexico
Created by Mixologist Gregory Seider of Summit

  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part Absolut Vodka
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1 half part walnut liquor

Combine all ingredients into metal cocktail shaker and add ice. Hard-shake for 10 seconds and double strain through tea strainer into martini glass. Using aerolatte milk frother, froth cold milk and spoon on top of cocktail. Top with cardamom powder.





Kahlua Anglaise
Created by Pastry Chef Millicent Souris of Roebling Tea Room

  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup Kahlua
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 white peppercorns (optional)
  • 5 coriander seeds (optional)
  • Splash of Absolut Vodka
  • Red berries

Separate eggs. Put yolks in a medium sized stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk together. Set a medium sized saucepan filled less than halfway with water over a high flame.

Mix Kahlua and whole milk in a small saucepan with the white peppercorns and coriander seeds. Steep over a medium high flame. Pull off the flame.

Hold the Kahlua and milk pot over the bowl of yolks and in a slow steady stream, whisk the mixture into the egg yolks.

Put the bowl with the Kahlua/milk/yolk mixture on top of the saucepan. This is referred to as a double boiler. Make sure that the water in the pot does not touch the bowl. Turn down to a gentle simmer.

Using a wide rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, constantly moving the mixture for about 10 minutes. When ready, pull the bowl off the double boiler and strain contents through a fine sieve into a bowl, removing spices and any lumps. Add a pinch of kosher salt and mix well. Let cool. Mix a splash of Absolut Vodka and red berries and pour over pound or sponge cake.

The 'Lua-Leche
Created by Molecular Gastronomist Simone Bonelli of Perbacco

For "ricotta"

  • 1/3 ounce lemon juice
  • 17 ounces milk
  • 1/2 ounce sugar


For liquid

  • 1 sheet gelatin
  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part Absolut Vodka


For espresso lid

  • 1/32 ounce agar agar
  • 2 shots espresso

Add 1/3 ounce of lemon juice to 17 ounces milk. Boil for 3-4 minutes and filter in a gauze to separate the curd. Drain from all the liquid, then add 1/2 ounce sugar. With the mixture, form little balls. These can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for no longer than two days.

Soften the gelatin sheet in cold water for five minutes, then melt it in .88 ounces of warm water and add to the vodka and Kahlua mix. Set aside in the refrigerator for an hour to make it fluid.

Mix 1/32 ounce agar agar with two shots of espresso, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and pour onto a flat surface in order to get a thin espresso gelatin. When this is set, cut circles of the same diameter of the border of the glass the drink is going to be served in.

With an espresso machine steamer, foam up some whole milk for a thick, soft foam.

Put a small "ricotta" ball on the bottom of the serving glass. Add the vodka and Kahlua mixture, filling the glass up to .79 inches to the border. Fill the glass with the warm milk foam and top off with espresso gelatin "lid."

The Cocolua
Created by Beverage Director Adam Schuman of Fatty 'Cue

  • 1 young coconut
  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part dark rum
  • 4 ounces coconut water
  • 1/2 ounce egg white
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chinese 5 Spice
  • Splash of soda
  • 1 stick sugar cane

Remove top of a young coconut by making 4-8 clean cuts with a cleaver. Transfer fresh coconut water into a clean container. Combine Kahlua, rum, egg whites and coconut water in a small shaker. Dry shake for 20-30 seconds until mixture is well incorporated.

Ice a pint glass to the top and transfer shaken mixture over ice. Cover pint glass with large metal shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Add a splash of soda to shaken mixture and strain back into the young coconut.

Garnish the cocktail with a stick of sugar cane that has had one end dipped in Chinese 5 Spice. Garnish additionally with a straw and small spoon for eating the flesh of the young coconut.