Brandy Alexander

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Cocktail History

The Brandy Alexander is a classic cocktail that was created in the 1900s. The recipe is considered a variation of the Alexander, another classic cocktail from the 1900s that is made with gin instead of brandy. Both call for a spirit, chocolate liqueur, heavy cream, and nutmeg, making them go-to drinks for after dinner.

This version made with brandy has multiple origin stories. One claims it was named for Russian tsar Alexander II of the House of Romanov. Another says it was invented at the wedding of Henry George Charles Lascelles and Princess Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary. A third claims it was named after Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott. And another states it was Troy Alexander, a bartender at the famed New York City restaurant Rector’s, who came up with it.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Cognac: This is a type of brandy made in Cognac, France with distilled white wine. The recipe calls for Cognac, but we used Driftless Glen Distillery 5 Year Reserve Brandy because it has a rich taste with notes of cherry, vanilla, and caramel. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy.

Dark Crème De Cacao: This is a liqueur made with dark chocolate, spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used DeKuyper Crème De Cacao Dark Liqueur because it’s flavorful and affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Dark Chocolate Syrup in place of the dark chocolate liqueur.

Heavy Cream: This is a thick, high-fat milk product. We used half & half instead of heavy cream because it’s lower in calories. For a dairy-free version of this drink, try Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative in place of the cream.

Grated Nutmeg: This is a spice made from the seed of a nutmeg tree. We used whole nutmeg from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Grater: This is used to grate spices or citrus peel. We used the OXO Good Grips Grater.

Tasting Notes

The Brandy Alexander begins with aromas of nutmeg and brandy and features the taste of cream mixed with spicy Cognac and a hint of chocolate on the swallow.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: This was our first time tasting this classic, and we both thought it was delicious, with its fragrant nutmeg aroma, creamy chocolate flavors, and hint of bitterness. The Brandy Alexander the perfect end to dinner or just a boozy soother when you’re craving something sweet.

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Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

The Art of Vintage Cocktails
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Rosenbaum, Stephanie (Author); English (Publication Language); 108 Pages – 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) – Egg & Dart (Publisher)
$21.56

AuthorThe Art of Vintage Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 oz Cognac
 1 oz Dark Crème De Cacao
 1 oz Heavy Cream
 Grated Nutmeg

Method
1

Add brandy, dark crème de cacao, heavy cream, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Cognac
 1 oz Dark Crème De Cacao
 1 oz Heavy Cream
 Grated Nutmeg

Directions

Method
1

Add brandy, dark crème de cacao, heavy cream, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Brandy Alexander

Make It a Mocktail: Use Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy and Monin Premium Dark Chocolate Syrup in place of the dark chocolate liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

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More Dessert Cocktails

If you like this dessert cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cocktail Recipe

Chocolate-Covered Cherry: A brandy cocktail made with dark crème de cacao, cherry liqueur, and a cherry

The Marriage of Maguey Cocktail Recipe

The Marriage of Maguey: A mezcal and tequila cocktail made with coffee chocolate liqueur, orange curaçao, and agave syrup

Falling Leaves Cocktail Recipe

Falling Leaves: A rye cocktail made with Amaro Montenegro, toasted fig syrup, chocolate bitters, and an orange slice

Grand Galliano Cocktail Recipe

Grand Galliano: A low-proof cocktail made with Liquore Galliano L’Autentico, Grand Marnier, heavy cream, an orange twist, and grated nutmeg

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