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The coziest Bad Santa White Russian…for all the festive nights ahead. Homemade cinnamon vanilla simple syrup, mixed with vodka and Kahlúa, plus my seasonal twist… A shot of espresso and a sweet chocolate ribbon – adding just the right amount espresso kick and holiday sweetness. The perfect holiday twist on the classic White Russian cocktail, such a delicious December treat!

Bad Santa White Russian |

If Christmas had a cocktail it would be this White Russian. It’s got a touch of sweetness, just the right amount of creaminess, and, of course, a good kick to it too.

This one didn’t come to me on my own however. It’s actually a drink made with Red’s girlfriend, Hailey, in mind. She sent me a photo of a drink she’d order in Mexico a few months ago.

It looked and sounded like a White Russian, but with twist. I said I’d save it for December and here we are! I wasn’t able to recreate the exact drink, so instead, I made something I knew that Hail’s would love.

Bad Santa White Russian |

The steps are easy…and simple!

To make the sweet cinnamon syrup just mix together your classic White Russian ingredients. Then add an extra shot of espresso and some cream.

A little chocolate around the rim gives this drink that specialness that’s most fitting for the holiday season. I have family members who are very excited to try this in just about ten days! A good White Russian is one of their favorites to enjoy each year!

Bad Santa White Russian |

Lucky for Hail’s, she currently here. So I made mixed her up one last night and she’d gave it her full seal of approval. with the line, I think it’s my new favorite…which is really saying something because she loved the chai martini too.

Bad Santa White Russian |

Looking for other Christmas drinks? Here are my favorites: 

White Christmas Mojito

The North Pole Cocktail

Spicy Pomegranate Ginger Paloma

Frosted Mistletoe Margarita

Chai Espresso Martini

Lastly, if you make this Bad Santa White Russian, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Bad Santa White Russian

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings: 1 drink
Calories Per Serving: 1415 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Cinnamon Syrup


  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) vodka
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) Kahlua
  • 1 ounce espresso
  • 1-2 ounces (2-4 tablespoons) cinnamon syrup Instructions below
  • 1-2 ounces (2-4 tablespoons) half and half or cream
  • chocolate sauce and coarse vanilla sugar, for the rim


  • 1. To make the cinnamon syrup. In a medium pot, combine 1/2 cup water, the honey, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 3-5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This makes enough for 6 drinks.
    2. If desired, rim your glass with chocolate sauce and sugar.
    3. To make the Russian. Fill your glass with ice. Add the vodka, Kahlua, espresso, and vanilla syrup. Stir. Add the half and half and stir to combine. Garnish with cinnamon, if desired. 


Vanilla Sugar: Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 1/2 a vanilla bean, seeds scraped. 
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Bad Santa White Russian |

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  1. Could you assemble the syrup, espresso, and cream for a ready-made cocktail that you just have to add vodka and kahlua to?

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Sure, that should work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

      1. If you are making the cinnamon sugar syrup for 10 servings, you would use 20 cinnamon sticks, 2.5 cups of honey, and 10 tsp of vanilla extract, correct??

        Would you only use 1/2 water still or would you use more?

    1. Hey Charlotte,
      Wonderful!!🎅 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it and your comment! xT

    1. Hey Sue,
      Thanks so much!! I think the calculator is including all of the syrup in the count. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

    1. Hey Catherine,
      You can serve in any glass you like:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  2. 5 stars
    This cocktail is SO. GOOD. My husband and I had two each while watching Elf and doing some Christmas shopping. HO HO HO!

    1. Hey Liz,
      Happy Sunday!!☃️ Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Tried this after loving the Jack Skellington and it did not disappoint. The cinnamon syrup is delightful and makes it just different enough to feel festive. Hoping there are more White Russian recipes this year.

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Happy Sunday!! I truly appreciate you giving this a try and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

  4. These bad boys are DANGEROUS! Delicious, but dangerous. Thank you for a delicious drink recipe for the holidays.

    1. Hey Amber,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! xxTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    This was absolutely fun and delicious!!!! My daughter made it for us. Had a couple of modifications…..Nutella instead of chocolate in the rum and no espresso. We will definitely made this a part of our Christmas Holiday festivities from now on!!

    1. Hi Lorie,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Happy New Year!? xTieghan

    2. Any suggestions for espresso shot if I don’t have an espresso machine? I’d love to keep that ingredient if theres a good sub.

  6. 5 stars
    We made these for our family Christmas brunch and it was a huge success. We substiuted cold brew for expresso. The cinnamon syrup is amazing!

    1. Hi Julia,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Happy New Year!? xTieghan

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      That will obviously change the flavor profile of the drink, but yes it will work. Please let me know if you have any other questions, cheers! xTieghan

  7. Hi! Making this for a New Year’s Eve contest… we will be camping so making espresso doesn’t seem like an option. Would cold brew work? Or should I try instant? Don’t want to compromise on Taste!

    Thanks for the delicious idea!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Sure, cold brew would work! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it. Cheers! xTieghan

  8. Merry Christmas! I just made the syrup for the cocktail to have this afternoon. I was actually surprised it made only 2 oz of syrup.