Brandy Alexander

posted by Tim Carmody   Jul 08, 2021


This is a somewhat sentimental post for me: years ago, I had dinner with Jason at a restaurant in Manhattan (I forget which one) and ordered a brandy alexander. It turned out that the bartender didn’t know how to make one, so I tried my best to explain — in the end, I wound up with a white Russian instead.

But! A brandy alexander is a dang nice drink, and everyone should know how to make one. Even the internet turns up some pretty bizarre recipes that morph into that white Russian I had back in 2016. My favorite (of the ones that I remember) was probably twenty-one years ago, when I was a college student on vacation in Paris, ordered at a piano bar where tourists and locals alike belted out American showtunes. I’ll never be that young again.

But! It’s Thursday and it’s 5:30 on the east coast, so there’s no reason (except, like me, not having creme de cacao on hand) you can’t make yourself one of these so you can feel that young yourself.

This recipe largely follows the one at liquor.com, which offers a solid history for the cocktail (it used to be made with gin? okay, weird; most cocktails used to be made with brandy, not the other way around) and also feels the least objectionable:





Brandy Alexander” is a fun song by Feist (and songwriter Ron Sexsmith). It also (somewhat on the sly) references a famous 1974 incident where John Lennon, drunk on the cocktail with Harry Nilsson, got thrown out of the Troubadour during Lennon’s “lost weekend” in Los Angeles. You don’t have to like any of the music to like the drink, or vice versa.