Brandy Alexander is an easy dessert cocktail that is made with just 3 ingredients. Brandy (or cognac), cream, and creme de cacao (chocolate liqueur) create a creamy and delicious drink that you won´t have enough of!
Brandy Alexander Ingredients
Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.
Here’s what you need to make this easy cocktail:
Brandy – instead of brandy, you can use Cognac. Cognac is just brandy that is produced in the Cognac region of France.
What is the best cognac/brandy for Brandy Alexander? Good brands of brandy/cognac are Rémy Martin, Courvoisier, Hennessy, or Martell.
Creme de Cacao (chocolate liqueur)
Chocolate liqueurs vary depending on the brand, some are more sweet than others. I used Mozart chocolate liqueur which is moderately sweet.
There are two types of creme de cacao:
- non-dairy brown-colored / dark liqueur
- cream-based liqueur / light / clear.
The best for this recipe is dark Crème de Cacao, as it has a richer taste of chocolate. Don’t use cream-based liqueur because cream will be added as a separate ingredient. Good creme de cacao brands are Godiva, Mozart, Tempus Fugit, or Borgata.
Heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream)
For the creamiest drink, use heavy cream. For a lighter drink, use milk. I sometimes like to use something in between: half and half. If you can´t find it where you live, use 1 tablespoon milk (1/2 ounce) and 1 tablespoon heavy cream (1/2 ounce).
Nutmeg – adds a savory and sophisticated flavor to the drink. Alternatively, you could use cinnamon – it’s not traditional in this drink, but I love it here.
Ice cubes – are used to chill the drink, make it frothy (by shaking the ingredients with ice cubes), and they dilute the drink, making it less strong and more easy to drink.
Optional: Decorate your drink – you could coat the rim of the glass in chocolate syrup and/or wet the rim of the glass and dip it in cocoa powder.
If you’re not a brandy/cognac drinker and are wondering what to do with the rest of the bottle, here are a couple of great ideas:
- sidecar cocktail
- white mulled wine
- apple cider sangria / Christmas sangria / Halloween sangria
- French onion soup
The recipe calls for equal ratios of each ingredient which is my preferred option. If you’d like a more alkohol-forward drink, add 1 1/2 ounces of brandy/cognac.
How to make it step-by-step
STEP 1: Add ice cubes to a shaker.
STEP 2: Measure out 1 ounce (30ml) of brandy and add to the shaker.
STEP 3: Measure out 1 ounce (30ml) of creme de cacao and add to the shaker.
STEP 4: Measure out 1 ounce (30ml) of heavy cream and add to the shaker.
STEP 5: Close the shaker and shake well for 30 seconds. Strain and pour into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
STEP 6: Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg over the drink.
Variations of the recipe
Brandy Alexander with ice cream (frozen) – ice cream is added to create a delicious cocktail with a milkshake texture. Simply replace heavy cream with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Coffee Brandy Alexander – coffee liqueur Kahlua is used instead of creme de cacao.
Brandy Alexander with Bailyes – use Baileys cream liqueur instead of creme de cacao.
Alexander drink – gin is used instead of brandy.
All these variations of the Brandy Alexander are delicious (I’ve tried them) but I still prefer the recipe below, with brandy, creme de cacao, and heavy cream.
Brandy Alexander is made with just three ingredients: brandy or cognac, chocolate liqueur (creme de cacao), and heavy cream.
The Alexander cocktail is made with gin, cocoa liqueur (crème de cacao), and cream. A variation of this drink, the Brandy Alexander, uses brandy or cognac instead of gin. The version with brandy became more popular because it complements better cocktail’s chocolate flavor.
The drink was possibly named after Troy Alexander, a bartender at Rector’s, a New York City restaurant. According to other stories, the drink was named after Russian Tsar Alexander II.
For a creamy and rich cocktail, choose heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. For a lighter drink, you can use half and half, a mix of heavy cream and milk, or just milk (the cocktail with milk will not be thick and creamy but rather runny).
Brandy Alexander pairs well with desserts such as chocolate cake, cheesecake, custard, or fruit desserts. It will also go well with a cheese board.
Make sure to use a chilled glass to ensure that your drink remains cold and delicious. A coupe or martini glass is best suited for this drink. As an alternative, use a short glass, such as a whisky glass.
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- 1 ounce (30ml) brandy or cognac
- 1 ounce (30ml) brown/dark creme de cacao (chocolate liqueur)
- 1 ounce (30ml) heavy cream see notes for alternatives
- a handful of ice cubes
- a pinch of nutmeg
- Add ice cubes to a shaker.
- Measure out brandy, creme de cacao, and heavy cream and add to the shaker.
- Close the shaker and shake well for 30 seconds.
- Strain and pour into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
- Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg over the drink.
- For the creamiest drink, use heavy cream. For a lighter drink, use milk. I sometimes like to use something in between: half and half (if you can´t find it where you live, use 1 tablespoon milk (1/2 ounce) and 1 tablespoon heavy cream (1/2 ounce)).
- Instead of nutmeg, you can use cinnamon (not traditional, but I love it).
- Calories = 1 drink (the whole recipe). This is only an estimate!