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January 31st: National Brandy Alexander Day

Brandy Alexander. Shot by Nicole Marriner
Brandy Alexander Cocktail

The Brandy Alexander Cocktail is a classic drink that many have enjoyed for decades. It is a rich and creamy cocktail that is perfect for sipping on a cold winter evening or celebrating a special occasion. But where did this delicious drink come from? In this post, we will take a deep dive into the history and origins of the Brandy Alexander Cocktail.

The History

The origins of the Brandy Alexander Cocktail are somewhat shrouded in mystery. Some say it was first created in the early 1900s, while others claim it dates back to the 1920s. The most widely accepted story is that it was first created in the 1920s by a bartender at the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. According to this story, the bartender, a man named George M. C. Alexander, created the cocktail as a way to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Alexander.

The original recipe for the Brandy Alexander Cocktail was simple, consisting of only three ingredients: brandy, crème de cacao, and cream. These ingredients were shaken together with ice and served in a chilled glass. The result was a rich and creamy sweet and smooth drink. However, considering the ingredients and recipe, it might be similar to Cato Alexander's South Carolina Milk Punch. It is said that when Cato owned and operated his Tavern in 1820's Manhattan. There is a recipe closer to the Brandy Alexander featured in Tom Bullock's 1911 Ideal Bartender cocktail book. It's not hard to believe that Cato's and Tom's cocktails were the blueprints for The Brandy Alexander.

As the Brandy Alexander Cocktail gained popularity, it began to evolve. To create new and unique drink variations, bartenders started experimenting with different ingredients, such as different types of brandy and liqueurs. One popular variation was crème de cacao, which gave the drink a richer, more chocolatey flavor.

In the 1940s, the Brandy Alexander Cocktail became even more popular when featured in "The Thin Man." The main character, Nick Charles, orders a Brandy Alexander at a bar, and the drink quickly becomes a favorite among moviegoers. This helped cement Brandy Alexander's place in popular culture, and it continues to be a popular drink today.

Today, the Brandy Alexander Cocktail is still enjoyed by many people all over the world. It is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time and continues to be a favorite among enthusiasts. Whether you're looking to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy a delicious drink on a cold winter evening, the Brandy Alexander Cocktail is sure to please. So, next time you're at a bar or restaurant, consider ordering a Brandy Alexander and experience this timeless classic's rich and creamy taste.


The Recipe

Now, on to the most important part - the cocktails! Here is a classic Brandy Alexander cocktail recipe.

Brandy alexander


  • 1-ounce cognac

  • 1-ounce rye

  • 1-ounce creme de cacao

  • 1-ounce fresh creme

  • Garnish: grated nutmeg

  • Garnish: grated cinnamon


  1. In a shaker filled with ice, combine the whisky, honey syrup, lemon juice, port, and bitters.

  2. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  3. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

Optional additions:

  • A splash of ginger liqueur for added spice.

  • A pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for added flavor.


Don't miss out on February's cocktail and spirit holidays! Grab your calendar today!


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