We used the Instant Pot for an ingredient in this! A beautiful winter White Russian!
When people think of a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot they don’t associate it with anything to do with a cocktail, but like we found with our Cherry Toasted Cream Ramos Gin Fizz, you can take a simple ingredient and transform it into something amazing just by toasting it! And since we still had some toasted cream left over from our first try at toasting cream in an Instant Pot (oh and we loved the results we had with our Cherry Toasted Cream Ramos Gin Fizz!) we wanted to find another cocktail that we could use some toasted cream in! We turned to another of the classic cream cocktails, the White Russian as the starting point for our next cocktail, the Chai Toasted Cream White Russian!
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What is a White Russian? Originally invented in the 1960’s, the original recipe calls for vodka, coffee liqueur and cream and it gets its name thanks to the kitschy trend of naming cocktails containing vodka after Russia (Moscow Mules anyone?) It might just be the most famous cream based cocktail, thanks to being featured in the movie, The Big Lebowski, where Jeff Bridge’s iconic character the Dude chooses to drink White Russians rather than a more “manly” drink! Of course the Dude had his own kitschy name for the White Russian, calling it a “Caucasian” on a couple of the nine total times he drinks a White Russian in the Big Lebowski!
The classic White Russian cocktail is said to be the perfect delivery vehicle for all of man’s culinary vices, fat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, and while this is true, the recipe could stand to have a bit more flavor added to it. How did we add flavor to a White Russian? Last winter we made a really great Salted Bourbon Butterscotch White Russian which was fantastic, but we didn’t want to go quite that sweet, so how about using some of that Instant Pot toasted cream which brings all kinds of warm caramel and butterscotch flavors to the party without getting super sweet?
We first found out about toasting cream when we were reading an article by the great folks over at Serious Eats, where they grabbed our attention by talking about how toasted cream might be even better than browned butter, plus they said we could use an Instant Pot to make it! Since we had just received an Instant Pot for Christmas, we were pretty exited to see a way to incorporate an Instant Pot into anything with a cocktail!
What makes toasted cream so special and gives it that wonderful butterscotch and caramel flavor? Toasting the cream causes the sugars and proteins to undergo the Maillard reaction, which is one of the amazing chemical reactions that occurs when food is cooked and transforms those proteins and sugars from simple flavors into complex aromatics and nutty flavors. Add in some caramelization from heating the cream and suddenly the cream is transformed from something simple smooth and rich into an ingredient that is nutty, warm and full of flavor (think rich golden brown cheesecake!)
We couldn’t just stop with tweaking one ingredient to add flavor to the White Russian, so we started thinking about what we could pair up with the toasted cream and the dark flavors of the coffee liqueur. One flavor that we kept coming back to was Chai tea, which not only goes really well with cream, but also has lots of warm baking spice flavors that pair up well with coffee! We made a chai tea simple syrup and when added to the White Russian we had made with the toasted cream, we loved the interplay of warm spices of the chai tea, the nutty butterscotch flavors from the toasted cream and the sweet darkness from the coffee liqueur!
How did we make the Chai Toasted Cream White Russian?
We like to make our Chai Toasted Cream White Russian by building it in the glass. Sometimes you hear cocktail recipes call for building cocktails, which means that you add in all the ingredients in the glass it will be served in rather than making it in a shaker or a mixing glass. The reason we like to build a cocktail like the Chai Toasted Cream White Russian is we want to get that gorgeous appearance that you always see in the pictures for White Russians!
We start making the Chai Toasted Cream White Russian by adding ice to a rocks glass, then adding the chai syrup, vodka and coffee liqueur and stirring to mix. Since the cream is the star of a White Russian, we add that in last. Adding the cream in last lets the cream float on top of the spirits, making for a striking contrast between the bright cream and the dark vodka and coffee liqueur! Once we serve the Chai Toasted White Russian, we instruct the drinker to stir it up to fully mix the toasted cream into the spirits so that all the flavors can be enjoyed, almost like a delicious adult milkshake!
The Chai Toasted Cream White Russian should absolutely be on your list of cocktails to try! Full of warm spice flavors, nutty butterscotch and rich coffee flavors, the Chai Toasted Cream White Russian is a satisfying after dinner cocktail that is just downright delicious! Cheers!
Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other White Russian Recipes
Hot White Russian – The Spicy Apron
Chocolate White Russian – Basil and Bubbly
Gingersnap White Russian – Meg is Well
Pink Peppermint White Russian – Kleinworth & Co
S’mores White Russian – Meg is Well
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz Kahlua Mocha
- .50 oz chai simple syrup
- 2 oz toasted cream
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 chai tea bag
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Make a strong chai tea concentrate with boiling water and tea bag. Let steep 8-10 minutes.
- Take out teabag, pour into saucepan.
- Add in sugar and bring back to a boil. Reduce liquid down slightly for 3-4 minutes. Cool.
- Fill a Rocks glass with ice.
- Combine vodka, kahlua and chai simple syrup in the rocks glass.
- Top with toasted cream.
- Stir to combine when served.
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