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The Brandy Alexander – Here’s to Toasting Dessert!

The Brandy Alexander – Here’s to Toasting Dessert!

It’s the weekend and I’m trying to decide whether to make dessert or a cocktail to toast the end of this wet, rainy week. Good news – this cocktail, this after dinner drink, this dessert – whatever you want to call it, is the perfect way to cap off the week.

Desserts served in the form of after dinner drinks were quite popular in my parents’ day. Like many classic cocktails and beverages, the Brandy Alexander dates back decades and the recipe for its predecessor the Alexander is over a century old. The Alexander, which is made with gin took a turn along its journey and brandy replaced the gin creating the Brandy Alexander.

The Brandy Alexander comes in two luscious forms. The original is made with a fine cognac or brandy, plus dark crème de cacao and rich, heavy cream. These wonderful ingredients are shaken with ice until well chilled and served with a fresh grating of nutmeg.

The second version, the Frozen Brandy Alexander is somewhat a grownup milkshake. This thick and luscious drink starts with the cognac and dark crème de cacao but the cream is replaced with thick, heavenly vanilla bean ice cream before a dusting across the top with fresh nutmeg.

If you like the bolder flavor of cognac, go with the cream version. Looking for a sweeter, more decadent drink then you can’t beat the Frozen Brandy Alexander.

Can’t decide which one to make? Heck, make both!

Brandy Alexander

4 ounces fine, aged cognac or brandy, 8 tablespoons

2 ounces dark crème de cacao, 4 tablespoons

2 ounces heavy cream, 4 tablespoons

Ice for shaking the cocktail

Fresh nutmeg

Pour the cognac, the dark crème de cacao and the heavy cream into a cocktail shaker.

Add enough ice to reach the top of the ingredients. Cover the shaker and shake until the cocktail is very, very cold.

Strain the cocktail into coupe glasses. Add a fresh grating of nutmeg across the top and serve immediately.

Makes 2 cocktails.

Frozen Brandy Alexander

4 ounces fine, aged cognac or brandy, 8 tablespoons

2 ounces dark crème de cacao, 4 tablespoons

1-1/2 cups vanilla bean gelato or ice cream

Fresh nutmeg

Add the gelato to a blender along with the cognac and the dark crème de cacao.

Process until smooth. Pour into a brandy snifter or other rimmed cocktail glass. Add a grating of fresh across the top and serve.

Makes 2 cocktails

Note: If you like a more “frozen” version – pour the cocktail into a freezer-proof container and freeze for 30 minutes to an hour. Before serving, stir to combine.


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