THE BRANDY ALEXANDER

Do you want the buzz without the bite? Do you like milkshakes? Here’s the thing: I like chocolate milkshakes, so I simply love a milkshake-esque drink that has booze in it!

And trust me: your inner child will thank you!

This cocktail is delicately sweet and creamy, beyond simple, my new nightcap.

The geek-chic comedy The Big Bang Theory, has been a great friend to the Alexander. Remember how Raj Koothrappali becomes the loud, uncontrollable blabbermouth? Well, that was thanks to the effect of a brandy Alexander!

There’s something special about recipes that have stood the test of time. Well, here’s another vintage one which, for some reason, never receives the love that it truly deserves.


The roots

This rich and creamy brandy-based cocktail may have actually come to us through the evolution of a much harsher gin-based drink. A mixture of gin, crème de cacao and sweet cream, the Gin Alexander, dates back as early as 1915.

The first Alexander is thought to have been made by Troy Alexander at Rectors in New York. They were celebrating the creation of the fictional character, Phoebe Snow. She was a beautiful cartoon woman used to promote the use of clean-burning coal on the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. She wore a white dress, white hat and white gloves, and so Alexander wanted to create a white cocktail to commemorate her. He named it after himself.

Around 1922, Princess Mary married Viscount Lascelles in London. Most believe that this was the time when the gin was replaced with brandy in honor of this event. Thus, the Brandy Alexander was born. This is now the most popular version of this drink, with the cocktail cropping up in more lists than the original Alexander. It is slightly smoother and sweeter, and many think, tastier.

The marriage story is widely disputed, however, and there are many other theories as to how it was created. Some think that the Brandy Alexander was not a variation of the original, but a new drink created without any knowledge of its predecessor. The Russian Tsar, Alexander II, believes the drink was named after him, while opera critic, Alexander Dragon, believes it was made with him in mind. Either way, the drink has become extremely popular, Ringo Starr and John Lennon were also said to be huge fans of the Alexander.


Alexander6The makin’s
1 ½ parts Brandy or Cognac
1 part crème de cacao
1 part light cream

The drill
Add all ingredients to a shaker, along with a few ice cubes
Shake vigorously, until the cream begins to form a healthy richness
Strain directly into a cocktail glass
Do not add ice—this drink should be enjoyed straight up

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