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Old Fashioned Cocktails

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When was the Alexander Invented

The Alexander is a classic cocktail that is believed to have been invented in the early 20th century, around the 1910s or 1920s. The exact origin of the cocktail is unclear, but it is thought to have been named after Alexander the Great.

The original Alexander recipe consisted of gin, crème de cacao, and sweet cream, shaken with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. Over time, the recipe evolved to include other spirits, such as brandy and whiskey, and other variations, such as the Brandy Alexander and the Coffee Alexander, were created.

Today, the Alexander remains a popular classic cocktail and is often served as a dessert or after-dinner drink. It can be made with gin, brandy, or whiskey, and can be adapted to include other flavors, such as coffee or peppermint.

What You Need

  • gin, brandy, or whiskey (depending on your preference)
  • crème de cacao
  • heavy cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • Ice

How to Make a Alexander

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add the gin (or brandy or whiskey), crème de cacao, and heavy cream to the shaker.
  • Shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to thoroughly combine the ingredients and create a frothy texture.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass using a cocktail strainer to catch the ice and any small particles.
  • If desired, garnish the drink with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg on top.


  • For a Brandy Alexander, use brandy instead of gin and prepare as directed.
  • For a Frozen Alexander, blend the cocktail with ice until smooth and serve in a chilled glass.
  • For a Coffee Alexander, add a shot of espresso or strong coffee to the cocktail shaker along with the other ingredients.

Enjoy your classic Alexander cocktail, and feel free to experiment with different variations to find your perfect combination!

Tip For Making a Alexander

  • Use quality ingredients: Since the Alexander cocktail has only a few ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients. Choose a good-quality gin, brandy, or whiskey, and use fresh, high-fat heavy cream or half-and-half for a creamy, silky texture.
  • Chill the glass: Chilling the glass before serving will keep the cocktail cold and enhance the drinking experience. You can put the glass in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes or fill it with ice and water for a few minutes before straining out the ice.
  • Shake thoroughly: Vigorously shaking the cocktail in a shaker is essential to properly combine the ingredients and create a frothy, velvety texture. You want to shake for about 10-15 seconds or until the cocktail shaker is frosted.
  • Strain carefully: Use a strainer to remove any ice or small particles when pouring the cocktail into the glass. This will give your drink a smooth and elegant appearance.
  • Garnish with nutmeg: Grating fresh nutmeg on top of your Alexander cocktail gives it a delightful aroma and flavor that perfectly complements the creamy, sweet taste of the drink. If you don’t have fresh nutmeg, you can use a pinch of ground nutmeg instead.

Enjoy your delicious Alexander cocktail and experiment with different variations and garnishes to find your perfect combination!

Frequently asked questions

Can I make an Alexander cocktail without heavy cream or half-and-half?

Yes, you can make a lighter version of the Alexander cocktail by using whole milk, almond milk, or coconut milk instead of heavy cream or half-and-half. However, this will change the texture and flavor of the drink.

Can I make an Alexander cocktail with vodka instead of gin or brandy?

While gin and brandy are the traditional spirits used in the Alexander cocktail, you can experiment with different types of spirits, including vodka. However, this will change the flavor profile of the drink.

What is the difference between a Brandy Alexander and a regular Alexander?

The Brandy Alexander is a variation of the Alexander cocktail that is made with brandy instead of gin. The Brandy Alexander is usually sweeter and creamier than the regular Alexander.

Can I make an Alexander cocktail in advance?

The Alexander cocktail is best served fresh and should be prepared just before serving. However, you can prepare the ingredients in advance and keep them chilled until ready to use. If you must prepare the cocktail in advance, be sure to keep it chilled and do not add ice until just before serving.

Are there any variations of the Alexander cocktail?

There are many variations of the Alexander cocktail, including the Brandy Alexander (made with brandy instead of gin), the Coffee Alexander (made with coffee liqueur), and the Peppermint Alexander (made with peppermint schnapps). Additionally, you can experiment with different types of spirits, such as bourbon or Irish whiskey, to create your own unique variation of the classic Alexander.

Old Fashioned Cocktails


Yield: 1 cocktail
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes

Alexander, this cocktail originated in the mid-19th century to commemorate the wedding of King Edward VII of England to Queen Alexander, so it was made as a tribute to the Queen.
The taste is sweet and silky, suitable for ladies, the content is medium!


  • ¾ oz brandy
  • ¾ oz Crème De Cacao Liqueur
  • ¾ oz Whipped cream


Put the ice cubes in the shaker, pour in all the above ingredients, shake well and serve in a cocktail glass.


If you prefer a lighter version of the Alexander, you can substitute the heavy cream with half-and-half or whole milk. You can also adjust the ratios of ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Robin Lee

Robin is author, photographer, and cocktail enthusiast. He has a passion for life, love of mixology, and enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Robin’s cocktails are both visually stunning and bursting with flavor. He’s always pushing the boundaries of mixology and loves to experiment with unique ingredients and techniques. With Robin’s guidance, you can learn the art of mixology and create cocktails that are sure to impress.

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