Brandy Alexander

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Well, about six years later, I finally got around to making a video about my Brandy Alexander story. Click below to watch the Small Screen Network video about my dad and his first experience with Brandy Alexanders. Then come back to read the post and grab the recipe.

All this talk of Chocolate Martinis is giving me diabetes. Sure, you can pour a bunch of sweet, creamy liqueurs into a glass and call it the Fine Art of Mixology, but you’d be missing the whole point. Why not try something that’s going to reward you from start to finish, a drink that packs the Bacchanalian punch of brandy with the delicate flavors of chocolate and cream?

The Brandy Alexander, popular during the first part of the 20th Century, was likely a derivative of the Alexander Cocktail, which uses gin in place of brandy. Both are wonderful concoctions, but the brandy version achieved greater fame in the pantheon of cocktail culture, possibly because of brandy being revered as a rare and sophisticated spirit and gin having a more pedestrian image pre- and during Prohibition.

Okay. On to the drink. It’s so worth it to find whole nutmeg in your grocery store and grate it yourself, rather than using the stale, pre-grated crap you’ll find.

Brandy Alexander Print Me

  • 1 oz brandy or Cognac
  • 1 oz dark (or light, if you prefer) crème de cacao
  • 1 oz cream
  1. Shake well over cracked ice and strain into a chilled nine ounce cocktail glass. Grate fresh nutmeg on top of the resulting foam and serve immediately.

Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com

12 Replies to “Brandy Alexander”

  • Gaz says:

    One of the earliest references to the “Alexander Cocktail” was a rye & Benedictine concoction sans crème de cacao. I refer you to the 1910 publication of “Jack’s Manual on the Vintage and Production, Care and Handling of Wines, Liquors, etc.” (archive.org/details/jacksmanualonvin00groh).

    I’ve recently enjoyed your video on the topic and was prompted to comment.

  • Kris says:

    Honestly unless you are making something that calls for an actual ton of ground nutmeg (or thereabouts) there is no reason to have the pre-ground stuff in the house for bartending OR cooking.

    (I might give someone a pass if they are trying to recreate a family recipe, as then the duller flavor of pre-ground spices might be necessary to taste right. Like I have a recipe which only tastes the way I think it should – the way my grandmother made it – if I use cheap, pre-ground, probably old pepper from the supermarket. Freshly ground has too much kick and the wrong flavor profile.)

    But for most things calling for nutmeg, the flavor of freshly ground stuff is so much better and it’s so easy to do – I use nutmeg a lot in eggs (just a touch brings out the flavor without tasting of nutmeg at all) so I actually have a little contraption from Microplane that has a grater and also a little dark plastic storage box so you can keep a couple pieces of nutmeg right in the box ready to go. (That might be a nice little traveling bar/home bar gift actually, although a larger microplane looks cooler to use.)

    Ok, the one I have is a Microplane grate and shake. http://us.microplane.com/microplanenutmeggrater.aspx Like I said, not as attractive as a nicer normal microplane, but the dark compartment helps protect the nutmeg from degrading due to light exposure.

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