drink me 2

The Best White Russian: A Mistake

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

Before I start: I don’t have a name for this drink yet besides BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE. If you have a name suggestion, please post it in the comments!

A few years ago, I got a new bartender set for free. It had all sorts of shiny things in it: a shaker, a muddler, and many other contraptions ending in -er that I hadn’t ever seen before. Me being me, I decided to use it for everything in my life. For a little while there, every drink I had needed extra mint leaves, just so I could muddle them. I shook drinks that never should have been shaken, adding in way too many ice cubes and shaking so long my fingers lost feeling. I am nothing if not over-enthusiastic. Most of the drinks were… undrinkable. But my enthusiasm finally paid off, when one day I made my favourite drink.

It’s simple. Cream, kahlua, vodka, on the rocks. White Russians, easier to make at home than to ask for at a bar (do you know how expired that cream is?), are a pretty lazy drink to throw together. I love them so much I tend to show up to parties with my own mason jar of ready-made White Russian. I stick it in the host’s freezer and a little while later I cheerfully take it out. Yes, I am that person. And I don’t even bring enough to share.

So, one day at home, I took it and I shook it. With ice.


It was the frothiest, most delightful, most beautiful drink, with a mountain of foam to dive into. But it wasn’t enough for enthusiastic me. I made 3 more that evening, and by the end, I’d discovered paradise. Paradise happens, in case you didn’t know already, when you add cinnamon. And sugar.


I recently went to a party and made it again, this time for a friend, and was rewarded with the knowledge that it’s not just me, the diehard White Russian enthusiast, who thinks this drink is paradise. She took a sip and let out a long MMMMMMMMMMMM.

drink me 2

It’s a simple drink to make, and deeply satisfying. I think (if this blasphemy is allowed) I like it even more than a classic White Russian. You can tinker with the amounts (I like my White Russians creamy), choose to put it in a bicycle glass, shake it extra hard for more foam– but regardless, I think you’ll find you might like it enough to bring it in your own mason jar to parties. Or… is that only me?


  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz kahlua
  • lots of ice
  • whole milk

Mix together sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a shallow bowl. Wet the rim of a tall glass, preferably with milk, then dip the glass upside down into the cinnamon mixture, rimming the glass thoroughly.

Put the vodka and kahlua into your metal shaker, then add ice. Pour enough milk to fill the shaker about 2/3 of the way up (3/4 if you’re like me and like it creamy).

Shake  shake shake shake  shake         SHAKE shake shake

shakity shake                                         shake shake shakity

shakity SHAKE                                    shook shook shakity shaaaake

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE (…if you’re me, continue until your fingers freeze off. If you’re not me, be a normal human being and stop here)

Using the strainer at the top of your shaker, pour the drink into your tall rimmed glass. Then open up the shaker and use a large spoon to scoop all of the beautiful foam on top of your drink. Sprinkle some of the remaining cinnamon mixture over the top. Enjoy.

Bonus pictures: a Dr Who scarf and a skull, appropriate additions to any drink:


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I'm a PhD student in Musicology (what is musicology? Yeah, I get that all the time...) who manages her stress in healthy ways that definitely don't involve starting to bake at midnight, finishing at 4am, then remembering all the writing she has to do and eating cookies to cheer herself up.

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