The brandy Alexander is a luscious cocktail that charmed drinkers for most of the 20th century and it has not lost any appeal. It's not overly sweet, though it is indulgent, and the simple recipe finds a perfect balance between the three ingredients.
This is one of the great retro brandy cocktails and the recipe could not be easier. It was not necessarily designed to be a chocolate cocktail in the modern sense. Instead, it should have a hint of chocolate flavor accenting the cream and brandy. Simply keep everything equal and enjoy the smooth, rich flavor. It's worked for countless years and there's no need to mess with perfection.
While this cocktail is a dessert on its own, it can be paired with food. Berry desserts, custards, and lightly sweetened citrus or vanilla cream treats would be an excellent complement. It's almost too much for chocolate desserts.
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour the brandy, crème de cacao, and cream.
Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.
Serve and enjoy!
- Most brandies will do a great job in the brandy Alexander and there's no need to spend a fortune on this drink. Instead, choose a decent, moderately priced brandy. Don't overlook small distilleries as they make some of the best brandies on the market.
- Crème de cacao is not a creamy liquor and it has a subtle cocoa flavor, though it is rather sweet. Bols, Marie Brizard, and Tempus Fugit all make a great crème de cacao and you will find that they're surprisingly affordable.
- Choose your preferred heaviness when it comes to the cream. Heavy cream and half and half are the top recommendations. Milk can be too light, but if you want to use it, go with 2 percent or whole milk.
- The Alexander was originally a gin cocktail. To make it, simply replace the brandy with gin in this recipe. It's interesting to compare the two and gin's botanical flavor adds an interesting background to the drink's flavor. However, there's a reason the brandy version has outlasted the original, so most people will find it a better choice.
- If you prefer, a dairy cream alternative can work in this cocktail. The flavor profile will not be the same, but it's certainly worth trying with almond, soy, rice, or other non-dairy "milks."
How Strong Is a Brandy Alexander?
The brandy Alexander may look and taste innocent—in comparison to other brandy cocktails like the metropolitan, it is. With an 80-proof brandy and the average crème de cacao, this drink's alcohol content is around 19 percent ABV (38 proof). It is not a light cocktail, so don't let its sweet taste trick you into drinking more than you intend to.