A Brandy Alexander is a brandy-based dessert cocktail made of cognac, crème de cacao, and cream. It is a deviation from an earlier, gin-based cocktail called the Alexander. The cocktail known as Alexander today can contain gin or brandy. Ice cream can be added for a frozen Brandy Alexander. It's not too sweet, although it is indulgent, and the simple recipe finds a perfect balance between just three ingredients. The recipe is found in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks but was likely born at Hotel Rector, New York City’s premier pre-Prohibition lobster palace.
The Brandy Alexander was a famous drink during the '70s, and when carefully prepared, it can be a blast. Its origin came from the classic version, but mostly forgotten, of the Alexander cocktail and combines brandy instead of gin with creme de cacao and cream. The recipe appeared first in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 book called "Recipes for Mixed Drinks." But, the cocktail was likely born at Hotel Rector, New York City's premier pre-Prohibition lobster chateau. The authentic Alexander cocktail consisted of equal parts gin, crème de cacao liqueur, and cream. Over time, other spirits are used, as a replacement for the gin, brandy being most popular. The recipe has also slowly become boozier, with modern recipes usually calling for one-and-a-half times as much base spirit. Other liqueurs in place of crème de cacao are used in modern Alexander riffs. If the egg is used as a garnish, it's important to obtain an emulsion by shaking it hard. It then generates a smooth mouthfeel and frothy head. The Alexander (or Brandy Alexander) prepared below is a cocktail consisting of cognac, cocoa liqueur (crème de cacao), and cream.