Russian Qualude Vodka Shooter and Highball

Russian Qualude Layered Shot Drink

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 drink
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
423 Calories
18g Fat
29g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 423
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 4g
Calcium 35mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Russian qualude is a popular drink that can be made as a layered shot or a tasty highball. There are a few recipes for making it, with vodka as the common ingredient. However you take your Russian qualude, it's a pretty good drink.

This recipe for a Frangelico Russian qualude creates a layered shooter of equal parts hazelnut liqueur, Irish cream, and vodka. Frangelico is the most popular hazelnut liqueur and Baileys might be your top pick for Irish cream. There are other options for both liqueurs, so feel free to explore the liquor store shelves. When it comes to the vodka, the choice is yours. However, there really is no need to spend a lot of money on it because this is, after all, a shot and it will go down quickly. Look for a bargain vodka, there are some great ones out there that might surprise you.


Steps to Make It

  1. Pour the hazelnut liqueur into a  1 1/2-ounce shot glass.

  2. Float the Irish cream on top of the first layer.

  3. Float the vodka on top of the second layer.


Recipe Variations

  • The Russian qualude on the rocks is not meant to be a shot, but a slow sipping drink you can enjoy anytime. It is creamier than the rest and builds on that hazelnut-vodka base. The other difference is that coffee liqueur and milk are added to the mix. Kahlua might be your liqueur of choice here, but there are many other coffee options available. To make it, pour 1 ounce each of vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and Frangelico over ice in a chilled highball glass. Top with milk or cream and stir well. Alternatively, shake the ingredients then strain over fresh ice.
  • A Galliano and Chartreuse Russian qualude is made with two herbal liqueurs and vodka. Galliano has the flavor of vanilla and anise and Chartreuse is much more complex because it is made from 130 different herbs, and the two are surprisingly good complements. To make it, fill a shot glass a third of the way with Galliano L'Autentico. Float an equal amount of Green Chartreuse on top, then the third layer of vodka on top of that. Chilling these liquors is advisable for the best layers as well.

How Strong Are These Russian Qualude Drinks?

You have to remember that layered shots are often very strong because they aren't diluted with ice that turns into water when shaken. This makes the two Russian qualude shooters close to the combined bottling strength of the liqueurs used. However, notice that adding Kahlua to the highball mix makes that a pretty strong drink as well.

  • Russian qualude shooter with Frangelico: 23 percent ABV (46 proof)
  • Russian qualude shooter with Galliano: 38 percent ABV (76 proof)
  • Russian qualude on the rocks: 23 percent ABV (46 proof)