This Vegan Pumpkin Spice White Russian Recipe is a twist on a classic and the ideal drink for chilly fall evenings. We made this cocktail dairy-free with coconut cream & espresso and flavored it with warming spices of nutmeg and cinnamon. Cheers!
What is a White Russian cocktail?
A White Russian is an alcoholic beverage typically made with vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream, usually served in an Old Fashioned glass. It is not actually Russian in origin; this name derives from its primary ingredient of vodka (which is thought to have originated there).
This cocktail went out of fashion for many years but fans brought it back into the spotlight with the move The Big Lebowski in 1998. A White Russian is the drink of choice for the main character in this movie (“The Dude”).
Garlic Head has one other vegan White Russian recipe on the site currently – a Gingerbread White Russian! Today’s post is very similar but better suited for autumn.
Ingredients Needed for Pumpkin Spice White Russian
- 2 oz vodka (1/4 cup)
- 1 oz. coffee liqueur (or 1 shot of strong coffee/espresso)
- 4 TBS coconut cream (not coconut milk)
- 1/2 TBS pumpkin puree (optional)
- 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp allspice and pinch of cloves
- 1 TBS maple syrup
What is coconut cream?
Coconut cream is a creamy white substance made from skimming the top of coconut milk (coconut milk is prepared by soaking coconut meat in water). Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk but contains less water, so it is less liquid.
Confusingly, coconut cream is not the same as cream of coconut (which is heavily sweetened and processed). Coconut cream is what you will find at the top of a can of chilled coconut milk, where the water will naturally separate toward the bottom. As it contains naturally more “meat” and less water than regular milk, it is higher in fat. This fat content makes it a great substitute for heavy cream in many vegan recipes.
Coconut cream can be purchased directly from the grocery store, where is is usually sold in a very small can. If you somehow want to learn more about coconut cream, you can find that information in this recipe for coconut whipped cream.
What is Kahlúa and is it vegan?
Kahlua is a popular coffee liqueur made from rum, arabica coffee, and sugar. Kahlúa Original does not contain milk, cream or any milk derived ingredients. However, Kahlúa is not certified vegan as some of its sugar suppliers process with bone char (a common practice in the industry, which is why purchasing organic cane sugar is important if you follow a vegan diet). For more information, feel free to read details on the Kahlúa website FAQ page.
So, what is a vegan alternative for Kahlúa?
Mr. Black is an option that many people prefer when searching for animal product-free coffee liqueurs. Alternatively, you can just swap in a strong coffee or espresso.
How to Make a Vegan Pumpkin Spice White Russian
- Combine vodka and coffee liqueur/espresso in a rocks glass, stirring to combine.
- In a small bowl, mix coconut cream, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup. Next, whip with a fork or whisk until slightly aerated. Pour on top of coffee mixture. Finally, sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top of cream prior to enjoying. Serves 1.
What spices are in pumpkin spice?
Aptly named, pumpkin spice is the primary flavoring used when baking pumpkin pie. It contains the tasting notes we all know and associate with any “pumpkin” dessert (pumpkin puree itself can be rather bland). If you do not have this spice mixture on hand, it is very easy to replicate.
To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine:
- 1 part ground cinnamon
- 1 part ground ginger
- One half part nutmeg
- Small pinch of cloves