Great for a party, when your cellar is clean out of stellar wines.

We had a BYOB cocktail party to attend this evening, and since we weren’t quite sure who would be there, or whether we would actually know anyone at all, I was feeling insecure about bringing a bottle of wine from our pitiable three-bottle stash collection. Somehow the “nice” bottles I pick up at Trader Joe’s — the ones that cost $5 instead of $3 — just seemed like something I didn’t want to be caught with at the rapture — much less a dress-to-impress type party.

What I did have in my pantry was a very large bottle of vodka (leftover from The Party) and a bottle of Kahlua I picked up last week for hosting book club. I don’t know what it is about book clubs that make me think of white russians, but obviously there is some subconscious connection. Maybe something to do with the fact that my favorite novels are written by Russians?

What I do know is that The Dude was right, and it’s a mighty fine drink. One with which you must show good restraint, because that dessert-like decadence can send you three sheets windward faster than you can say coffee with cream and sugar. I loved this for a holiday party, because it’s a drink you can actually mix ahead of time, and just pour over individual cups of ice. Martha tells us how to do it here — and I followed her recipe, which was strong, so added more milk to top off my bottle.

This makes about a quart, and I carried mine to our party in a grolsch bottle from Ikea (the label was cut from a Trader Joe’s grocery bag and taped to the bottle). I thought it was delicious — but maybe there were too many partakers of good wine at the party, because when it was time to leave there was still 3/4 of the bottle. Always the inappropriate guest, I walked out with it — more for the bottle than for the Russians still to be consumed. We left half of that with the babysitters (don’t worry kids — they are older than I am) and the rest will make a nice evening drink for the Mister and me over the weekend.


White Russians (one-quart pitcher)

  • 1 1/4 cups vodka
  • 1 1/4 cups Kahlua
  • 1 1/4 cups half-n-half
  • whole milk to top off the bottle (optional)

Combine everything in a one-quart bottle and stir or shake gently to combine. Pour over individual glasses of ice, and serve.


8 thoughts on “Great for a party, when your cellar is clean out of stellar wines.

  1. this is great! LOVE that bottle, how perfect.
    i see that you’re in Indy. which side? just curious, b/c I’m NE indy and we seem to have a lot in common (though, i freely admit that i DON’T love to cook–but am very conscious of what we eat).
    great blog!

    1. Krista, glad you stopped by! We live in midtown, since May — before that we were in Broad Ripple for 10 months, and before that in the deep south for 37 years ; )

      We really like Indianapolis! Are you native to the city?

  2. I love this idea! So personal and a unique addition to a holiday party…I will have to use this soon. Only wish I could drink some of it 🙂

  3. This immediately made me think of aunt, who used to make her own Kahlua . . . don’t ask me how, I don’t really want to know. But it would make a kick-ass white russian. This is our traditional Christmas Eve drink. It looks so much classier in your pretty bottle (though I do love the idea of serving them in a pitcher!) – I think I know what I’m bringing my parents on Christmas Eve!

  4. Thanks for the White Russian recipe! It was a HIT at our Christmas Eve party. Thankfully my mother didn’t have to be carried into the Christmas Eve service.

    I left out the vodka and let people add how ever much they like. Some like more, some like less. Also, I was told the add the vodka at the last moment or else it would curdle the cream. Is that true?

    I’ve been asked to do these again next year!

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