The decadent Brandy Alexander cocktail is a delicious wintry pick-me-up. Featuring brandy, crème de cacao, a splash of cream, and a sprinkling of freshly-grated nutmeg, this boozy dessert drink is perfect for a holiday party!
Classic Brandy Alexander Cocktail
The Brandy Alexander is a simple, classic wintertime cocktail that’ll warm you up from the inside out. Made with brandy, crème de cacao, cream, and freshly-grated nutmeg, this drink is especially lovely during the holidays – it reminds me of the indulgent eggnog cocktail, but lighter. Perfect for a holiday party or a quiet evening at home in front of the fire.
Why You’ll Love This Brandy Alexander Recipe
This is a simple yet sophisticated drink that’s easy to love!
- It’s great with dessert – or as dessert! If you want an alcoholic sip to go with a slice of dark chocolate cake or a cookie plate, a Brandy Alexander is the perfect complement. You can also just call this drink “dessert”, all on its own.
- Easy to make. Just shake 3 ingredients together with ice, strain into a glass, and sprinkle with nutmeg. I know you can make this in just 5 minutes!
- Timeless. A Brandy Alexander is a classic cocktail for a reason. Its origins date back to the 1920s and its simple preparation and flavorful results make it an enduring favorite.
What is a Brandy Alexander Cocktail?
A Brandy Alexander cocktail is, as its name suggests, a brandy-based cocktail. It’s a riff on a drink called the Alexander, originally made with gin.
In this drink, brandy is shaken with dark crème de cacao and a touch of cream to create a cocktail that’s boozy, creamy, and lightly sweet. A dusting of freshly grated nutmeg adds not only a pretty effect, but also a warmly spiced flavor and aroma.
The Brandy Alexander is typically served as a dessert cocktail because of the richness of the cream, the sweet brandy liquor, and the chocolatey crème de cacao. Similar to a sweet, creamy salted nut roll shot, a Brandy Alexander can stand in perfectly as a sippable dessert.
You’ll only need 4 ingredients to make this cocktail. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Brandy – This is a sweeter liquor produced by distilling wine. You can also use Cognac (which is just brandy that’s produced in the Cognac region of France), for an extra special cocktail.
- Dark crème de cacao – Be sure to use dark crème de cacao (not white crème de cacao), for its richer, dark chocolate flavor.
- Heavy cream – Substitute half-and-half for a lighter drink.
- Nutmeg – Use freshly grated nutmeg if possible.
How to Make a Brandy Alexander Cocktail
If you have 5 minutes to spare, you can make this drink! Check the recipe card lower down for the specific instructions.
- Prepare. Add the brandy, crème de cacao, cream, and ice to a cocktail shaker and shake.
- Serve. Strain the cocktail into into a coupe glass and dust it with nutmeg.
Tips & Variations
- Chill your glass. To make the drink super cold, chill your glass in the freezer beforehand.
- Try gin. This cocktail was first made in the 1920s as a gin-based drink, so go ahead and try that original cocktail!
- Use Kahlua. Swap the crème de cacao for Kahlua, a coffee-flavored liqueur. A beautiful twist!
- Make it boozier. If you prefer a more spirit-forward drink, and especially if you have particularly nice brandy, add a bit more brandy.
- Make it frozen. Add vanilla ice cream to the cocktail shaker instead of the heavy cream to make this a frozen, milkshake-like drink! Or try caramel ice cream.
- No nutmeg? If you don’t have nutmeg or don’t like nutmeg, sprinkle a bit of ground cinnamon over your drink instead.
- Strain the ice. If you are picky about having bits of ice in your cocktail, use a very fine cocktail strainer when straining the shaken drink into your glass.
Can This Be Made In Advance?
Yes, you can make this Brandy Alexander cocktail in advance. This will also ensure that the drink is extra cold, which I love!
For a single drink, combine the brandy, crème de cacao, and cream in a jar. Cover tightly and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then shake with ice, pour into a glass, and garnish with nutmeg.
For a pitcher of Brandy Alexander, scale up the ingredients and stir them together in a pitcher without ice. Store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then shake individual portions with ice, pour into glasses, and garnish with nutmeg.
More Wintry Cocktail Recipes To Try
- Old Fashioned
- Hot Buttered Rum Coffee
- Rosemary Greyhound
- Eggnog White Russian
- Pomegranate Gin & Tonic
- Hot Toddy
- Cranberry Margarita
- 1½ ounces brandy or cognac
- 1 ounce dark crème de cacao (not white crème de cacao)
- 1 ounce heavy cream
- grated nutmeg - use freshly grated nutmeg if possible
- To a cocktail shaker, add the brandy, crème de cacao, and cream. Add ice, cover the shaker tightly, and shake vigorously for a full 30 seconds.
- Strain drink into a coupe glass or other stemmed cocktail glass and finish with a small grating of fresh nutmeg. Enjoy immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.