To some, including me, the milky boozy white Russian cocktail has always seemed like a horrendous drinking experience. True fact, my Mom and her friends would drink these when they had the occasional party in the summer and around the holidays too. I was a kid, of course, wondering WTF are these idiots drinking? Milk with vodka. Yuck!
However, making it vegan certainly helps it seem more appealing, and as my heyday with vodka has come to a close this seems like the only sophisticated, kinda fun way to consume it on occasion. I’m sure you know how it’s grown in popularity ever since the film The Big Lebowski became a cult hit. You can read more about that here for context. So for my holiday treat, I’m adding peppermint to the mix for a festive twist and candy canes are the obvious ingredient to elevate this bizarre cocktail. I present to you the vegan candy cane white Russian!
Let’s make a vegan candy cane white Russian. It’s super simple folks! The peppermint ice cubes are optional, but I think it’s a cool way to infuse the essence into the drink. Also, buyer beware, according to Barnivore.com Kaluha isn’t vegan friendly. Shocker, I know! So I’m using Tia Maria as the substitute. Same, same.
vegan candy cane white russian
here's a festive way to level up the classic white russian cocktail!
peppermint ice cubes (optional)
- 1 ¼ C (10 oz) cold water
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
candy cane white russian
- 2 peppermint candy canes, crushed finely
- 4 oz top shelf vodka, divided
- 2 oz. vegan coffee liqueur (Tia Maria), divided
- 3 tbsp vegan vanilla coffee creamer, divided
- 2 whole peppermint candy canes, as stir stick garnish
If you’re not making the peppermint ice cubes, skip to making the cocktail with regular ice cubes and you can add the peppermint extract to the cocktail directly, if desired.
To make the peppermint ice cubes, in a liquid measuring cup, add cold water, stir in peppermint extract. Divide mixture evenly into an ice cube tray. I like the large cube ice cubes for this, but any kind will do. Place ice cube tray in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight until solid.
Once the peppermint ice cubes are frozen, place crushed candy cane on a plate. Rim each cocktail glass with a bit of water or vegan creamer and generously coat the edge with the crushed candy cane.
In a cocktail shaker or mason jar, add vodka, coffee liqueur, and 3 or 4 regular ice cubes or peppermint ice cubes. Shake for about 30 seconds. Add new ice cubes to the cocktail glasses. Divide the cocktail evenly into each glass and finish the drink with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegan coffee creamer in each glass. Serve with a candy cane for stirring.