A decadent, sweet, and timeless dessert cocktail known as Brandy Alexander has delighted drinkers for over 100 years, and it seems it hasn't lost its allure.
The creamy, frothy texture from the heavy cream mixed with cognac and creme de cacao is something every cocktail lover should at least have tried once. Don't let yourself get tricked by the sweet chocolate taste. This cocktail definitely has some booze.
Quick Facts Brandy Alexander
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: sweet, chocolaty
- How to serve it: straight up
- Glassware: coupe glass or martini glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 19% ABV, 20 grams of alcohol per serving
Now, let's find out more about this popular brandy cocktail - first and foremost, how to mix it to perfection.
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 Jigger
- 1.5 oz Cognac
- 1 oz Dark Creme de Cacao
- 1 oz Heavy cream
- grated nutmeg
- Prepare a coupe or martini glass by chilling it with some ice cubes.
- Add Cognac, Creme de Cacao, and the heavy cream into a shaker with ice and start shaking.1.5 oz Cognac, 1 oz Dark Creme de Cacao, 1 oz Heavy cream
- Shake until the drink is well chilled.
- Remove the ice cubes from the glass and strain the drink into the glass.
- Put freshly grated nutmeg on top of the drink.grated nutmeg
Ingredients with Recommendations
For the perfect Brandy Alexander Cocktail, you need as little as three ingredients and some grated nutmeg for garnish. If you're unsure what to buy, here are our recommendations:
- Brandy: To me, it has to be cognac for a Brandy Alexander. The premium brandy from France is generally known for its high quality, but also for its high price point. However, you don't have to break the bank to make a great drink. See if you can get a decent offer for Hennessy or Remy Martin, and also D'USSÉ works fine.
- Creme de Cacao: Often mistaken for a cream liqueur, creme de cacao does not actually contain creme. Instead, it has a high sugar content typical for creme liqueurs. It's available in white and dark, while it's the dark version we need for our Brandy Alexander recipe. For instance, DeKuyper offers great value for money.
- Cream: That's where the actual cream comes in. For the best version of this drink, use heavy cream, not the fat-reduced half-n-half.
Also, remember to cool your glass in the freezer or with some ice cubes before mixing and pouring the drink. Since you serve it straight up, all elements should be chilled, including the glass.
How does the Brandy Alexander taste
A great Brandy Alexander has an intense and distinct taste of chocolate from the creme de cacao. The cream enhances the flavor and also emphasizes the sweetness of the drink.
When accompanied by just the right amount of brandy, you can also taste subtle notes of fruits. So, mixing it is all about balancing the ingredients to get the right taste. You definitely don't want your cocktail to be overly sweet.
Adding grated nutmeg to the drink will make it look prettier and add some spice to your cocktail. Nutmeg really is a perfect match for the mix of Cognac and dark Creme de Cacao.
Overall, the Brandy Alexander cocktail is not exactly what we can call light, neither in calories nor alcohol. What it is, is a beautiful drink and one of the most popular brandy cocktails.
When to serve it
Inherently, you can drink a Brandy Alexander anytime you want. However, it makes a perfect alternative to a classic chocolaty dessert.
The sweet and chocolatey taste works particularly well after dinner. The sweetness is well-balanced and not too heavy.
If you want to take the approach as a dessert one step further, consider serving it with some fruits, nuts, or light pastries.
The original Alexander cocktail
Who invented the Brandy Alexander is unclear. What is known is that this Brandy cocktail is a riff on the Alexander cocktail made with gin.
This gin-based Alexander version was first mentioned in Hugo Ensslin's cocktail book Recipes for Mixed Drinks, published in 1917. Already back then, it was a great drink, but replacing gin with brandy lifted this concoction to new heights.
Especially in the 70s and 80s, the cocktail was all over the place. -A sweet, delicious, easy-to-make cocktail and a total crowd-pleaser.
The Brandy Alexander is not the only dessert drink worth trying. If you want to try some other sweet drinks, how about these: