Skip to navigationSkip to content

The White Russian’s cousin, the Colorado Bulldog, also abides

RonBailey/E+/Getty Images
Treat yourself.
  • Annaliese Griffin
By Annaliese Griffin

Editor of the Quartz Daily Obsession

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The White Russian always feels like a novelty to order, more a boozy desert than stiff drink. It’s sweet and creamy, and with all that vodka, plenty boozy too. But it’s not completely uncool: Thanks to the 1998 Coen brothers comedy The Big Lebowski, it has a laid-back, easygoing reputation, more Dude than dad.

For all its kitschy fun, I just can never quite fall in love with a White Russian, even when I put on my vintage Pendleton cardigan and channel my inner Dude (video). I find it a little flat. Luckily, this is easily remedied.

Turn it into a Colorado Bulldog, a drink I enjoyed often in my early twenties. It’s basically a White Russian with a Coke float on top, but that spritz of soda somehow really ties the room together. It adds some bright acid and the lively texture of bubbles, for a bit of an ice cream soda effect.

As you might imagine, the Colorado Bulldog is a forgiving drink, and substitutions work fine. No heavy cream? Half-and-half, or even whole milk, will work. You could use a non-dairy milk, if you wanted—coconut milk would be delicious. (Just don’t use non-dairy creamer like the Dude does with his White Russian at one point in The Big Lebowski.) Add more Coke if you want more bubbles or a drink that is lower in alcohol.

The Colorado Bulldog is definitely sweet, but it does not come across as particularly heavy. And now that boozy milkshakes are popping up all over, this seems almost restrained. You might even drink a second one.

Here’s how to make both.

Colorado Bulldog

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Kahlua
1 ounce heavy cream
1 ounce Coke
Combine the first three ingredients with ice in a shaker, give it a good shake, then pour over new ice. Top with a Coke float.

I’m not going to judge you if you love a White Russian. Here’s your recipe:

White Russian

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Kahlua
1 ounce heavy cream
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, give it a good shake, then pour over new ice (or serve it “up,” without ice).

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.