Peppermint White Russian

A Peppermint White Russian is a fun twist on a classic cocktail. Combining just three ingredients, this peppermint schnapps drink is easy to make and even easier to sip. It’s perfect for the holidays with a candy cane rim! Makes 1 drink, but easily doubled or tripled.

Two peppermint white russian drinks with candy cane rims

The first time I’d ever heard of a White Russian cocktail, I was watching a movie with friends in college.

Well, ever since learning of this cocktail, I’d wondered how it would taste, but it took me years to finally take the plunge because the combination of vodka with cream (or half-and-half) and coffee liqueur sounded dangerous.

Once I’d tried it, I wondered how it would taste with a peppermint twist. And let me tell you—it’s an utter treat.

Why I love this recipe:

This White Russian recipe is creamy, smooth and utterly delicious. Also, the peppermint balances out the coffee flavors perfectly.

Most Peppermint White Russian recipes call for peppermint schnapps, vodka, coffee liqueur and cream/half-and-half/milk. This recipe omits the vodka and doubles down on the peppermint schnapps for extra peppermint flavor.

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    To me, it’s a winner!

    Also, I tested this with family members. Everyone happily sipped theirs and sang praises about the balance of peppermint with coffee and the delicious creaminess of this drink, too.

    Whether you’re looking for a Christmas cocktail for Christmas Eve, a holiday party or just because, this is the PERFECT drink to mix up and serve!

    Other holiday cocktails to try: Baileys Coffee | Cranberry Mule | Gourmet Vanilla Hot Chocolate | How to make Cranberry Bellinis | Cranberry Moscow Mule (Yule Mule) | Blizzard Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail | White Christmas Martini

    Need mixed drink inspiration? Check out my Cocktail Recipe Index for more ideas.

    Peppermint schnapps, Kahlua and cream in bottles on marble

    What you need to make this Christmas cocktail:

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    In addition to these tools, you’re going to need a few ingredients, too:

    • Peppermint Schnapps: This is the star of the show, folks. While you could use homemade Candy Cane Vodka in this drink, I love the easy and deliciousness of peppermint schnapps. Schnapps is a distilled spirit that’s flavored with fruit, herbs or spices. Peppermint Schnapps is a liquor flavored with peppermint, and it tastes like a candy cane.
    • Coffee Liqueur: Coffee liqueur adds wonderful flavor to any drink. Depending on the brand, it’s made with a spirit (like rum), sugar and coffee beans. Kahlua is my go-to coffee liquor, but it’s certainly not the only one available on the market.
    • Heavy whipping cream: While you could use whole milk or half-and-half, I really love the decadence that heavy whipping cream offers. It’s a nice balance to the alcohol in this cocktail, too.
    • White chocolate or white chocolate melts: we’ll use this to rim our glasses! Plan to melt about ¼ cup of chips or melts to dip your glass(es) in. Alternately, you could use simple syrup in place of this, though I really like how the white chocolate melts help hold the candy canes in place without running.
    • Peppermint or candy canes: if you’re making this Christmas cocktail, you’ve GOT to use crushed candy canes for the most festive rim ever!
    Collage showing how to mix a Peppermint White Russian

    How to make a Peppermint White Russian

    Rim your glasses. Melt white chocolate (or white chocolate melts) and dip the rim(s) of your glass(es) into it. There doesn’t need to be a ton on this, so don’t feel like you need to melt a lot of chocolate! Dip the glass(es) into the crushed candy canes for a festive candy cane rim.

    Make the drink. Place a large ice cube in your prepared glass. Pour in the peppermint schnapps, then the coffee liqueur. Top with the heavy cream, and stir until combined.

    Serve immediately. Garnish with a mini candy cane, if you so choose!

    Collage showing a Peppermint White Russian drink from the side and from above

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    These are the perfect cocktail for a holiday party or any type of holiday gathering because it’s festive, delicious, and simple.

    If I were serving this peppermint schnapps drink at a party, here’s how I’d do it to make it as simple as possible:

    • Rim glasses ahead of time. This will make it easier for you or guests who are mixing their own drinks! Also, you can rim a batch of glasses really quickly.
    • Clear off a flat space in your kitchen/dining room and turn it into a makeshift bar. (You could also use a bar cart for this.) Set out the prepared glasses with this recipe below and the bottles of liquor so guests can mix their own!
    Two Peppermint White Russians on marble coasters

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which ingredient changes a Black Russian to a White Russian?

    A White Russian adds a splash of cream or milk, while a Black Russian does not.

    Does kahlua go bad?

    Yes, it can go bad, but coffee liqueurs have a long shelf-life. Search for the expiration date on your bottle if you’re concerned that it might not be good anymore.

    Is White Russian a manly drink?

    I don’t really tend to think of drinks as manly or feminine. This one is delicious, and if it’s a selling point, The Dude always drinks White Russians, too.

    Does Kahlua have caffeine?

    Yes. Coffee liqueur has caffeine in it, unless it is otherwise marked.

    A hand holds a milky cocktail with a candy cane rim

    Quick tips and tricks to the best Christmas White Russian:

    • Don’t try to substitute out the peppermint schnapps. It’s the element of this cocktail that turns it from a classic White Russian drink into a Peppermint White Russian.
    • Use the heavy cream. While you could make this recipe with half-and-half or even whole milk, I really liked the decadence of the heavy cream. It balances out the liquors nicely and makes this easy to sip.

    Other peppermint schnapps drinks and Christmas cocktails:

    Two peppermint white russian drinks with candy cane rims

    Peppermint White Russian

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    A Peppermint White Russian is a fun twist on a classic cocktail. Combining just three ingredients, this peppermint schnapps drink is easy to make and even easier to sip. It’s perfect for the holidays with a candy cane rim!
    4.73 from 22 votes
    Servings 1 drink
    Calories 459 kcal
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 5 minutes


    • 2 oz. peppermint schnapps
    • 1 oz. coffee liqueur like Kaluha
    • 1 ½ oz. heavy whipping cream

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


    • Rim the glass. Melt white chocolate (or white chocolate melts) and dip the rim(s) of your glass(es) into it. There doesn’t need to be a ton on this, so don’t feel like you need to melt a lot of chocolate! Dip the glass(es) into the crushed candy canes for a festive candy cane rim.
    • Place ice (or a large ice cube) into the prepared glass.
    • Pour the peppermint schnapps into the glass.
    • Pour the coffee liqueur into the glass next.
    • Top with a splash of heavy whipping cream, and stir to combine.
    • Enjoy immediately.


    Serving: 1 drinkCalories: 459kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 1gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 16mgSugar: 28g
    Keyword Christmas drink, Christmas party, Christmas recipe, cocktail, drink recipe, drinks, easy drink, easy drink recipe, easy drinks, peppermint drink, peppermint schnapps drink, white russian
    Course Drinks & Cocktails
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. This creamy libation with Kahlua and schnapps is the perfect cocktail for the holidays or any time you want to bliss out!

      1. Hey CA! This drink IS fun and festive. 🙂

        You’ve got a great question, and I have a long answer. First thing’s first: I haven’t tried to make a pitcher. While it can be done, the pitcher needs to be stirred right before any drink is poured and they need to be poured over ice. Do not add ice to the pitcher itself because it’ll water down the drinks before they’re poured. Also, the pitcher would need to stay COLD, so keep it in the fridge.

        Another way to make this faster would be to combine the schnapps and cream in a pitcher, then pour that into a glass over ice and finish each cup with a pour of the coffee liqueur. This will give them the layered look that you see here.

        You could also print out the recipe, set out the ingredients and let guests mix their own if the pitcher situation sounds like too much of a do.

        If you give it a try, let me know how it goes! Cheers to you!

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