Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

A White Russian is a sweet, smooth, creamy cocktail. Made with a vodka base, the White Russian achieves its distinctive taste and texture with the use of Kahlua and cream. Served over ice, it is simple to make. Because Kahlua gives the drink it’s distinctive color and taste, you need a substitute for a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail.

Coffee Syrup

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Kahula is a coffee flavored liquor, flavored with coffee beans, vanilla beans and sugar, all with a rum base. o make your own coffee syrup, use fresh coffee. The stronger the taste of the coffee, the better it is. If you do not have strong-tasting coffee, reduce your coffee by boiling it until you have half the volume. If you like, season your coffee with a fresh vanilla bean or add in one or two drops of vanilla extract. Sweeten the coffee to taste, using roughly a 3 to 1 ratio of coffee to sugar.

With Espresso

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

You can also make your nonalcholic White Russian with fresh coffee. Use roughly 1 cup of chilled espresso per serving of White Russian. You can add vanilla extract to taste, and use a sweetener that can easily dissolve in liquids, such as agave syrup. You can also use maple syrup as your sweetener, in which case the vanilla extract may not be needed.

Other Ingredients

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

The only other ingredient for a non-alcoholic White Russian, other than the coffee or coffee syrup, is heavy cream. While you can use other substitutes, such as milk, almond milk or coconut milk, the classic is made with heavy cream, which gives the drink its richness. Do not dilute the coffee syrup too much — use only a splash for a 1-cup serving of chilled espresso, or roughly 3 ounces for coffee syrup.

Serving It

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

White Russians are traditionally served over ice in a rocks glass. Blending the ice or using chips rather than cubes will water down the drink, robbing it of its distinctive creaminess.You can choose to not stir your cream into the syrup or coffee, which will mean there is a strip of dark brown at the bottom of the glass, complemented by a light beige color on the top. To ensure an even split between coffee and cream, pour the cream into the glass with the ice already in it, over the back of a spoon.

About the Author

Rachel Benson

Rachel has worked professionally as a chef and writer on food since 2010. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree, she holds a diploma in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute. She has an active interest in wine, fine dining and sustainable agriculture.