Learn how to make a Brandy Alexander 2 ways! This classic cocktail has a fun history and tastes even better now than when it was first created.
Prohibition and this cocktail
Between 1920 and 1933, consuming, selling, brewing, and importing alcohol was forbidden in the United States. However, Christian Protestants had been fighting for the prohibition of alcoholic beverages since the beginning of the 19th century.
When the law passed in 1920, a few exceptions were made. For instance, wine used for religious ceremonies were allowed. And while federal law did not prohibit private ownership and consumption, most town laws were stricter, banning possession as well as the rest of all the alcohol.
During this time, various criminal gangs took over the alcohol supply of American towns. People were looking for ways to be able to drink and smuggle alcoholic beverages, others turned to crime.
It’s during this time that the original brandy alexander was born, as a way to mask the taste of homemade brandy.
The Brandy Alexander
The Brandy Alexander is a brandy-version of the original ‘Alexander’ cocktail, which is made with gin. There are various theories on how this cocktail came to be. One of these theories claims that the cocktail was named after Troy Alexander, a bartender who wanted to serve a white drink at a dinner celebrating Phoebe Snow. Phoebe was a fictional character created to represent the railroad. However, this didn’t stop Troy Alexander from creating a deliciously sweet cocktail.
Another theory is that this brandy drink came to be as a result of prohibition.. Since close to all alcoholic beverages were banned, people started looking for ways to mask their alcoholic drinks. Since cocoa and nutmeg have quite a heavy taste, they could easily mask the taste of the brandy, rather than gin, which has an easily identifiable palate.
When to Drink this Dessert Cocktail
Due to the incredible creaminess of this drink, it’s ideal to consume after a satisfying dinner. However, there are more occasions during which you can drink this cocktail.
Cocoa and nutmeg are warm spices, meaning that they do well in fall and winter, where they seem to warm you up from the inside out. Imagine yourself sitting in your armchair, watching the snowfall, while you sip from your glass of Brandy Alexander with your partner. When thinking of a moment like this, using heavy cream is the best ingredient to add.
However, you can also create a refreshing “grown-up” ice cream drink by using a big scoop of vanilla ice cream rather than regular cream. When your kids are out playing with water, you can sit back and relax in the sun while you cool yourself with an alcoholic cocoa milkshake with just a dash of nutmeg.
All in all, this cocktail is ideal for any occasion that requires cocoa and cream!
- 1 oz brandy
- 1 oz creme de cocoa
- 1 oz heavy cream
Shake equal parts of each ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass. Dust with nutmeg and enjoy.
To make this drink with ice cream, add 2 scoops of ice cream to a blender in place of heavy cream. Add equal parts of creme de cocoa and brandy and blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg for a decadent dessert drink.
As mentioned above, you can easily substitute the cream for ice cream to create a dessert milkshake rather than a drink. Lucky for you, there are more variations to try.
If you are feeling the pumpkin mood during the late September, begin October months, you can create a pumpkin spice brandy Alexander. All you need to do is to create a mixture of equal parts grounded ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, stir it and sprinkle a small amount over your drink. While the taste will be light, you will instantly feel the spirit of October right in your cocktail!
You know what else cocoa goes well with? Caramel. Adding a dash of caramel syrup to your cocktail mixture in your cocktail shaker will add some extra sweetness to your drink. This is especially delicious when you’re making a milkshake rather than a drink.
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Have you made a Brandy Alexander before? If so, what’s your favorite occasion to drink it? Let us know in the comments!
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