The Alexander is a true classic. Originated in the very early 20th century, this drink was especially popular during the Prohibition era in the United States. The average quality of the old Alexander cocktails of that time must, however, be questioned, because one of the main reasons for the growing popularity of the drink during this period can be found in the fact that a Cream Cocktail like the Alexander is an excellent mixture to hide low quality moonshine spirits behind a cargo of cream.
The New York Bartender Hugo Ensslin suggests in his “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” (an absolutely recommendable classic!) a variant with gin. Over the years, however, especially brandy has established itself as the base spirit of the drink, as it works even better with the rest of the ingredients: it gives the cocktail more harmonious and “warm” notes rather than fresh gin could. That’s why today it is also commonly known as “Brandy Alexander”. You can find versions with cognac, too.
The drink is made very quickly and simple, so I do not want to lose more words than necessary. I have prepared the Brandy version of the Alexander, because I especially like the combination of brandy, cream and nutmeg, which is supported by subtle cacao notes. The drink will not become too sweet and the brandy stays in the foreground. Freshly grated nutmeg goes along very well with the brandy and highlights the spicy flavors of the barrel matured spirit. Although the cream can still catch the strength of the alcohol, making the drink a seductive temptation for lovers of mellow drinks without any hints of alcoholic flavors, but you should pay attention to the choice of a good brandy. Whether you use Spanish ones or other brands remains a matter of personal taste. I’ve chosen Carlos I, because I really like this brandy.
5 cl Brandy
2.5 oz Crème de Cacao (brown)
2.5 oz single cream
Simply shake all ingredients in a shaker on ice for approximately 20 seconds and strain into chilled glass. Last nutmeg over the drink rub.
Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg