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Brandy Alexander Day

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

January 31st is Brandy Alexander Day and to celebrate I made 3 drinks; the original Alexander and 2 brandy variations.

Brandy is the distilled alcohol extracted from any fruit-based mash. A brandy alexander uses a dry grape brandy mixed with dark crème de cacao, a chocolate flavored liquor and cream. Shake it up and strain into a cocktail glass. Put a little nutmeg on top and you got a Brandy Alexander.

Just like a vodka martini is a variation of the original martini that was made with gin. The Brandy Alexander is a variation of the Alexander also originally made with gin. The Brandy Alexander uses dark crème de cacao and the Alexander uses clear crème de cacao.

If you don’t want to buy two types of crème de cacao. Get the clear one, because it won’t change the color of any other drink you might make in the future. Not that anyone drinks a pink squirrel or a Grasshopper anymore,both of them are made with crème de cacao and cream.

The only brandy I have in the house is Cognac. And I used the Remy Martin 1738. The lovely woman who sold me on the bottle said the quality was between the VSOP and the XO. The price reflected that as well.

While all cognac is brandy not all brandy is cognac. Watch the video I made for National Cognac Day to get more information and another great recipe. 

The simplest way to make this drink is using equal parts brandy, crème de cacao and cream, then adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Don’t let other people, including me, tell you how you should make the drink. There are a lot of variations on the taste, texture and strength of this drink.  Some people want to add more brandy and cut back on the sweet liquor. Look if I want to drink brandy I’ll sip a nice cognac and leave the other stuff out all together.

How do YOU like it?  That’s all that matters. Too sweet? Use less crème de cacao or add more brandy. Too rich use less cream or use ½ and ½ – which I always have in the house. But don’t think you can get away with 2% milk. and nothing beats heavy cream. Shake it up really good and you’re beginning to whip the cream creating extra froth to this luscious libation.

First the original, the Alexander.

So equal parts. Gin, clear crème de cacao, and ½ and ½. I used 2 ounces of each. Pour everything into the the glass portion of a Boston shaker. I like to see all the ingredients and add the ice to the metal side of the shaker and shake it up!!! Strain into a glass and garnish with nutmeg.


Since both the gin and crème de cacao are bother clear the drink is white, colored by the ½ and ½ .  Serve it with dark chocolates for a delightful desert.

Now for the Brandy Alexander.
We’re going to use brandy instead of gin and we’re gonna use dark crème de cacao to get our desired color for this cocktail. Again I used 2 ounces of each ingredient. Shake, strain and garnish with nutmeg.

The third Alexander is not so much something you have with desert, this IS desert

When I was living in the West Village on Jane St. Janice, one of our roommates, use to make a Brandy Alexander with ice cream.  This Potent potion was pleasing to the pallet and pate and was our late night indulgence when we were out of Entenmann’s.

In a blender we’re going to put 1 cup softened, but not melted, vanilla ice cream. Then add 2 ounces of brandy and 2 ounces of créme de cacao. Blend only until everything is incorporated as you don’t want to thin the drink down. Pour into a  glass. I like to add an additional spoonful of ice cream and garnish with the nutmeg.  You can use more ice cream if you want to make the consistency more like a milkshake.

And there you have it 3 Alexanders.  Salute

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