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Cover: Shaken and stirred

16Jul 12

Brandy Alexander

Brandy AlexanderTraveling by train is, without a doubt, my favourite way of getting around, especially in foreign countries. One very cold January I went from New York to Los Angeles using Amtrak, the sole intercity passenger railroad in the continental United States. After leaving Denver in the evening, I headed for the bar in the second coach, looking for a drink that would warm me up. That was when the bartender offered me a variation of the gin-based Alexander cocktail: a Brandy Alexander.

The Brandy Alexander has a long history. According to various cocktail books, it was first concocted for the wedding celebration of Princess Mary and Lord Lascelles in 1922 by a bartender at the Savoy Hotel Bar in London. By the middle of the century, it had become a widely known cocktail, and it is said that Mary Richards asked for one during her audition in the pilot episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”.

The most important ingredient in a Brandy Alexander is creme de cacao, which is a chocolate flavoured liqueur with hints of vanilla, and what gives the cocktail the sweet edge on a rather strong punch. For this particular cocktail, the dark version of the liqueur is recomended. According to the bartender on the train, it is also a luscious after dinner drink that goes hand in hand with a chocolate lava cake.

The Brandy Alexander has a creamy, warm taste and is perfect for winter evenings, especially if you are looking out the window of a train racing across the rural United States. Although I am not a brandy drinker, this cocktail is the exception to that rule and made that evening a memory I will always cherish.


  • 3cl cognac
  • 3cl dark creme de cacao
  • 3cl brandy
  • Ground nutmeg for garnish

How to make it:
1.Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
2.Shake well.
3.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
4.Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Time: 4 minutes
Makes:1 cocktail

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  1. By far my favourite.. but not always that easy to find.

  2. It´s too sweet to have more than one, so I wouldn´t recommend this for heavy partying – but it´s perfect as an after-dinner drink!


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