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Brandy Alexander

There are certain cocktails that simply demand to be sipped and savored, with their rich flavors rolling over the tongue like a decadent dessert, and the Brandy Alexander is one of the finest examples of this kind of cocktail. Creamy, chocolaty, sweet, and rich, it’s one of the most delicious drinks of them all.


History of the Brandy Alexander

There are a lot of different stories concerning the origin of this creamy cocktail, and we’ll probably never know the exact who, where, and how of its creation. One story says it was made for a royal wedding in London back in the 1920s, while another story claims it was named after Alexander II, Emperor of Russia in the 1800s.


Another story says that the drink was named after New York bartender Troy Alexander, who claims to have created the drink to celebrate the fictional advertising character of Phoebe Snow. While we can’t be sure which story is true, we do know that the drink is an alteration of an earlier cocktail, known simply as the Alexander, which uses gin as its primary alcohol, as opposed to brandy.


How to Make it – Recipe

You’ll need three key ingredients to prepare this indulgent cocktail, with a little nutmeg garnish to finish off if you’re feeling fancy. It’s traditionally served in a standard cocktail glass, and the ingredients listed below should fill one glass.



  • 1 oz (30ml) of cognac
  • 1 oz (30ml) of creme de cacao
  • 1 oz (30ml) of cream
  • Grated nutmeg to garnish (optional)



  1. Pour the cognac, creme de cacao, and cream into a shaker glass with ice
  2. Shake the glass until the ingredients have blended and chilled
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass
  4. Grate some nutmeg over the top to finish


How to Drink it

This is most certainly a dessert cocktail. It’s one which can be enjoyed after a meal, in the evenings, and is best sipped slowly, as the combination of flavors can be quite rich and intense when drunk too quickly. Savoring the drink over the course of an extended period really lets you enjoy the sweet and creamy concoction without it becoming overbearing.



There are quite a few different ways you can alter this cocktail recipe to get different effects. You can opt for a traditional Alexander, for example, by switching the brandy for gin, which adds a little bitterness to the final flavor. You can also mix in some ice cream to really enhance the dessert-like appeal of this drink, or you can blend it with some Baileys for even more creaminess.


Switching the creme de cacao for other liqueurs is another way to experiment with this cocktail. The Coffee Alexander, for example, involves Kahlua or other coffee liqueurs instead of the creme de cacao. Switching the creme for blue Curacao, meanwhile, will give you a Blue Alexander instead. Another cocktail, known as Alexander’s Big Brother, is made with gin, blue Curacao, triple sec, cream, cane sugar syrup, and egg white.


The perfect sweet treat at the end of a long day, this cocktail is quite simply a dessert in a glass.

Written by My Bartender

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