Brandy Alexander: Best Cocktail Recipe + 4 Delicious Variations
Are you ready to enjoy a classic cocktail and explore its rich, creamy taste? In this guide, you will learn the best recipe for Brandy Alexander, along with four exciting variations. You can also make your evenings exciting by trying out other cocktails similar to Brandy Alexander’s.
Brandy Alexander is a classic drink, perfect for celebrations and special occasions. This rich and sweet cocktail dates back to the 20th century.
This creamy drink uses brandy, dark crème de cacao, and heavy cream. Over time- people have come up with different variations of this drink, which you will learn about in this article.
What Brandy Alexander Is
Brandy Alexander is a cocktail perfect for serving when you’re hosting a party. This rich, creamy cocktail is also comforting when you want to spend a quiet evening at home. This tantalizing drink is best enjoyed after dinner as a digestif.
You can even pair it with desserts like fruit tarts, chocolate cake, etc. Undeniably, Brandy Alexander is a luxurious cocktail, and you can sip it slowly to savor its rich and creamy flavors.
The Brandy Alexander is a classic cocktail from the early 20th century. This cocktail has quite an interesting history, as it is said to be named after Russian Tsar Alexander II. However, other stories claim it was created in honor of a famous American socialite, Phoebe Snow.
Some people also believe it was created to celebrate the wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in 1922.
Meanwhile, others attribute its origin to New York City bartender Troy Alexander. Regardless of its history, Brandy Alexander has become a popular choice for those seeking a velvety and indulgent cocktail experience.
The Brandy Alexander is a simple yet luxurious concoction. You can make it using three ingredients, which are as follows:
- Cognac or brandy: This will act as the base spirit of your drink. You can choose either a brandy or a cognac for your Brandy Alexander, depending on your personal preference. However, you must keep in mind- that good quality brandy will make a big difference in the taste of your cocktail.
- Dark Crème de Cacao: This is a sweet, chocolate-flavored liqueur with a subtle undertone of vanilla. To make Brandy Alexander, you should use dark Crème de Cacao, as it has a richer taste of chocolate than the clear version. This ingredient adds a delightful touch of chocolate and sweetness to your drink.
- Heavy Cream: To ensure that your Brandy Alexander has a smooth, velvety texture, you must use heavy cream (also called whipping cream). Correspondingly, use cold, fresh heavy cream to achieve perfect consistency and richness in your cocktail.
These core ingredients keep things simple but work together to create a tantalizing drink that is rich and heartwarming. Furthermore, you can add freshly grated nutmeg to garnish your drink. This will add a subtle, warm spice to the cocktail. Not to mention, it enhances the overall flavor and aroma as well.
Best Cognac Brands for Brandy Alexander
To make perfect Brandy Alexander, selecting the right cognac or brandy is essential. Here are some top choices for you to consider.
Rémy Martin is a respected brand with a wide range of high-quality cognacs. Among them, their VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) is a popular choice for crafting a Brandy Alexander, as it has a rich flavor and a smooth finish.
Courvoisier is a well-reputed brand that has a variety of fine cognacs to offer that is perfect for mixing in cocktails. In particular, its VSOP or XO cognacs bring smooth and refined flavor to a Brandy Alexander.
These cognacs have a complex flavor profile with hints of fruit and spice that complement the richness of Brandy Alexander and elevate its taste to new heights.
Hennessy is another esteemed cognac brand. Its VS (Very Special) or VSOP is a suitable option to mix in your Brandy Alexander. These cognacs provide a balance of fruity and spicy notes, adding more depth to your drink.
Martell is one of the oldest cognac houses and has a history of producing excellent cognacs. You can choose between their VS or VSOP options to add to the Brandy Alexander for a smooth and balanced taste.
Although it is one of the lesser-known brands, it produces high-quality cognac. You can choose their VSOP or XO (Extra Old) cognac for your cocktail. The rich and robust flavor of these cognacs- is sure to help elevate the taste of the Brandy Alexander.
The taste and quality of the cognac significantly impact the taste of Brandy Alexander. Therefore, while choosing a cognac brand for your cocktail, you must keep in mind that you need to choose a top-quality cognac.
Recipe – How to Make a Brandy Alexander
When you want to prepare a glass of Brandy Alexander, ensure that you have the following ingredients:
- 1 oz (30ml) brandy or cognac
- 1 oz (30ml) dark crème de cacao
- 1 oz (30ml) heavy cream
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
Once you ensure that all your required ingredients are present, you can proceed to make Brandy Alexander by following these easy-to-follow instructions:
- Prepare a cocktail shaker: Take a cocktail shaker, and fill it with ice to ensure your drink is properly chilled.
- Add brandy/cognac: Next, pour 1 oz (30ml) of cognac or brandy of your chosen brand into a shaker.
- Add crème de cacao: Measure 1 oz (30ml) of dark crème de cacao and pour it into the shaker. This will add a sweet, chocolaty flavor to your cocktail.
- Add the heavy cream: Also add 1 oz (30ml) of fresh, heavy cream into the shaker to create a smooth, velvety consistency.
- Shake it up: Close the shaker and shake vigorously- for 15-20 seconds- to ensure a frothy and creamy consistency.
- Strain and serve: Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. Also, leave the ice behind in the shaker.
- Garnish with nutmeg: Finally, add a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg on top of your Brandy Alexander- for a subtle touch of warm spice and a beautiful presentation.
How to Serve and Drink a Brandy Alexander
Presentation plays a key role when you are serving Brandy Alexander. After carefully preparing the cocktail with a simple recipe, strain it into a chilled glass.
Also, sprinkle some grated nutmeg on top to add to the elegance of your drink. Not to mention, it will also enhance the cocktail’s flavor by adding more depth to it.
Take slow sips- to fully savor the rich and creamy flavors of the cocktail. It will also help you taste and appreciate the harmonious blend of flavors.
Time and Occasion for Drinking a Brandy Alexander
The Brandy Alexander is a versatile cocktail. You may enjoy it on various occasions. However, it is perfect as an after-dinner drink, as it is a delightful way to end an eventful evening.
Its creamy richness also makes it the perfect drink to serve at celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries, or holiday parties.
Brandy Alexander is also perfect for a nightcap, or you may even enjoy it while cozying in front of a fireplace on a cold winter evening.
It also works well in intimate gatherings with friends and adds a subtle touch of sophistication- to your evening.
When you are considering foods to pair with the Brandy Alexander- it is best to keep in mind its sweetness and creamy texture. Brandy Alexander- works best with desserts like chocolate cake, mousse, cheesecake, tiramisu, or fruit tarts.
Furthermore, if you want to try something different, you can pair it with different kinds of mild cheeses. These may include Brie or Camembert. The mild cheeses help highlight the subtle fruity tones of cognac.
On the other hand, if you prefer savory options, you can offer bites. For this, you may consider things like gourmet sliders or spinach and artichoke dip.
Best Glass to Serve a Brandy Alexander
Ideally, Brandy Alexander is served in a chilled cocktail or martini glass. Using a chilled glass will help you ensure that the drink remains cold and refreshing for longer. Correspondingly, it gives you and your guests more time to savor every sip of cocktail.
Meanwhile, a cocktail or martini glass makes elegant glassware for an impressive presentation. It also showcases the rich, smooth texture of the cocktail and highlights the tempting garnish of the nutmeg.
Variations of Brandy Alexander
By adding an exciting twist to the classic recipe- you can create different, delicious variations of the Brandy Alexander. Although these variations retain the core richness and classic essence of the original cocktail, they offer a new flavor profile.
Here are some delectable variations.
This variation is best suited for those of you who love coffee. All you have to do is follow the same recipe- but replace the dark crème de cacao with coffee liqueur. This adds a touch of coffee to the creamy cocktail and helps you create a cafe-inspired experience within the comfort of your home.
If you are a fan of all things sweet, this variation is for you. You can turn your Brandy Alexander into Cherry Alexander- simply by replacing dark crème de cacao with cherry liqueur (like Cherry Heering). You can top it off with a cherry and enjoy your refreshing, fruity drink.
Brandy Alexander Royale
Are you looking to make your evening more special? You can also make your cocktail truly luxurious and fit the mood by adding a touch of champagne.
To create this variation, prepare your drink as you usually would. After straining it into a glass, pour 1 ounce (30 milliliters) of champagne or sparkling wine before garnishing it with nutmeg.
Brandy Alexander with Icecream
Do you want to try out the dessert version of Brandy Alexander? Try the Brandy Alexander Ice Cream Cocktail. This scrumptious variation is a drink and a dessert, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
To create this dessert drink, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 oz (30ml) brandy or cognac
- 1 oz (30ml) dark crème de cacao
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
- Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
To create this variation, you will also need a blender. Correspondingly, you can add this frozen twist to your classic cocktail by following this simple recipe:
- Start by pouring 1 oz (30 milliliters) brandy or cognac of your chosen brand into the blender.
- Next, measure and add 1 oz (30ml) dark crème de cacao.
- Then, add two generous scoops of vanilla ice cream. You can either use store-bought ice cream or even make your own at home.
- Blend all the ingredients on the low settings for a few seconds. Then, mix on a higher setting for 20 to 30 seconds to create a smooth, creamy texture.
- Serve your dessert drink in an already chilled glass. You may use a dessert glass or a tall parfait glass.
- For an extra oomph, you can top it with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Finally, you may sprinkle some grated nutmeg to add a hint of warm spice and elevate the presentation of your drink.
Similar Cocktails You Will Enjoy
To keep things interesting, you can also give some other delightful cocktails a try. If the rich flavors of the Brandy Alexander amaze you, you may find these cocktails indulgent. Want to know the best part? They even share some of the ingredients in Brandy Alexander.
The Grasshopper is also a rich, creamy drink with an exciting minty twist. You can make this sweet, vibrant green drink using crème de cacao, green crème de menthe, and heavy cream. Additionally, you may serve it in a chilled martini glass as a refreshing after-dinner treat.
If you want a more luxurious alternative to the Brandy Alexander, you can try out the Golden Cadillac. This is an enticing cocktail that mixes white crème de cacao, Galliano (a sweet herbal liqueur), and heavy cream. Although it doesn’t need garnishing, you may top it with grated chocolate.
If you’re looking for yet another digestif that is equally sophisticated yet easy to make as Brandy Alexander’s, try preparing a Stinger. All you need- is brandy and white crème de menthe. This two-ingredient drink is an excellent nightcap; garnish it with a fresh mint leaf or a lemon twist.
Between the Sheets
For a refreshing, citrusy twist, you can make Between the Sheets by combining brandy, white rum, Cointreau (or any other orange liqueur), and lemon juice. This cocktail offers a tantalizing blend of flavors, and you may garnish it with a lemon twist or a slice of orange.
Brandy Alexander is a classic cocktail that has managed to captivate people’s taste buds for generations. It has a sophisticated balance with its smooth blend of cognac’ dark crème de cacao and heavy cream.
It is no wonder that it remains a favorite of cocktail enthusiasts, with the depth of its flavors and its hearty richness.
Not to mention, you can cleanse your taste buds by channeling the mixologist within you and trying out its different variations or other similar cocktails.