Use Half-And-Half In White Russians For Lighter Sipping

"Sex & the City" character Carrie Bradshaw may have made the cosmopolitan the "it" martini for loyal viewers, but The Dude of "The Big Lebowski" transformed the White Russian into an iconic alcoholic beverage for generations. In the opening scene, of this 1998 film, Jeff Bridges' character is seen in Ralph's grocery store buying some heavy cream to make his version of this alcoholic beverage, which typically features vodka, Kahlua, and cream. But if you want to lighten up this heavy and indulgent drink, you can swap that cream for half-and-half.

Cream and half-and-half are somewhat similar in taste, but heavy cream contains a little over 50% more milk fat than half-and-half. Heavy cream is thick, velvety smooth, and has a rich taste when added to a White Russian. That said, half-and-half, which is comprised of both cream and milk, is going to have that same smooth taste but provide more flavor, albeit with a thinner consistency than that of heavy cream.

Dairy matters

Half-and-half will also have fewer calories than heavy cream. Half-and-half has about 20 calories per tablespoon while heavy cream has over twice that many with more than 50 calories per tablespoon. A White Russian tastes a little like an iced mocha but richer and with booze. What you will like about this swap is that while half-and-half may lighten your caloric intake, the taste remains fairly the same. 

 While half-and-half can be substituted for heavy cream in this drink, milk is not a good option. Unfortunately, it is simply too thin and it won't give your White Russian the same feel on your tongue. Not to mention, milk will not sit on top of the Kahlua and vodka the way heavy cream or half-and-half does and will instead separate. If you are going to have this drink, half-and-half is the way to go. 

Regardless if you are a heavy cream fan or a half-and-half follower, be sure to use a one-to-one ratio for the ingredients of your next White Russian. Your mouth will thank you.