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The Brandy Alexander, a chocolatey and sophisticated cocktail, has carved its own niche in the world of mixology. Also known as the Alexander #2, this delectable drink is a variation of its predecessor, the gin-based Alexander.
The Brandy Alexander cocktail traces its origins back to the early 20th century, finding its first printed mention in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” Ensslin, a German bartender based in New York, introduced the world to this cocktail, which was initially a gin-based drink. The original Alexander combined gin, brown crème de cacao, and sweet cream, creating a smooth and velvety texture. However, as tastes evolved and preferences shifted, a variation emerged, leading to the birth of this variation.
The Brandy Alexander, or Alexander #2, replaced gin with brandy, introducing a richer and warmer undertone to the cocktail. This shift in base spirit transformed the drink into a luxurious and indulgent treat, perfectly suited for those who sought a more opulent experience. The Brandy Alexander quickly gained popularity, becoming a staple in the cocktail repertoire and solidifying its status as a classic cocktail.
Beyond the world of mixology, this cocktail has made notable appearances in film and television, further embedding itself in popular culture. One of the most iconic portrayals of the cocktail is in the film “Days of Wine and Roses” This 1962 drama, directed by Blake Edwards, tells the story of a couple’s struggle with alcoholism. The film uses the cocktail to underscore the protagonists’ descent into the dark depths of addiction, highlighting the duality of pleasure and peril that alcohol can embody.
The cocktail’s cinematic journey does not end with “Days of Wine and Roses” In the 1981 film “Tattoo” the cocktail makes another notable appearance. Directed by Bob Brooks, “Tattoo” tells the story of a disturbed tattoo artist played by Bruce Dern. In a scene that unfolds in a swanky bar, Brandy Alexander is featured as a sophisticated and refined choice, reinforcing the character’s eccentricity and distinctive taste. This cinematic portrayal adds to the cocktail’s mystique, positioning it as a beverage of choice for characters with a taste for the extraordinary.
The cocktail’s recurring presence in film and television speaks to its cultural significance and enduring appeal. Beyond its role as a refreshing drink, the cocktail has become a symbol, embodying both the pleasures and pitfalls associated with indulgence. Its journey from the pages of recipe books to the silver screen is a testament to its timeless allure and its ability to captivate audiences across different mediums.
30 ml brandy
30 ml dark crème de cacao
30 ml cream
Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg
Add the brandy, dark crème de cacao, and cream into a cocktail shaker.
Add ice and shake for 10-20 seconds, until chilled.
Strain into a coupe glass.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg on top.