Brandy Alexander

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brandy Alexander
Brandy alexander.jpg
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served Straight up; without ice
Standard garnish

Grated nutmeg

Standard drinkware
Cocktail Glass (Martini).svg
Cocktail glass
Commonly used ingredients
Preparation Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle with fresh ground nutmeg.

Brandy Alexander is a sweet, brandy-based cocktail consisting of cognac and crème de cacao that became popular during the early 20th century.[1] It is a variation of an earlier, gin-based cocktail called simply an Alexander.

There are many rumors about its origins. It was supposedly created at the time of the wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles, in London, in 1922.[2] However, the drama critic and Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott claimed that it was named after him. Other stories say it was named after the Russian tsar Alexander II. [3]

According to historian Barry Popik, the Brandy Alexander was likely born at Rector’s, New York’s premier pre-Prohibition lobster palace. The bartender there, a certain Troy Alexander, created his eponymous concoction in order to serve a white drink at a dinner celebrating Phoebe Snow.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

In film[edit]

In the movie Days of Wine and Roses, alcoholic Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) takes Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick) out on a date. When she explains that she dislikes liquor but likes chocolate, he orders her a Brandy Alexander, starting her on her path to self-destruction.

In No More Orchids, Carole Lombard drinks them.

Steve Martin orders one in Sgt. Bilko.

In the James Gray movie Two Lovers, Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow) tells Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) she drinks Brandy Alexanders with her boyfriend Ronald, a rich lawyer. Leonard orders one at a restaurant to impress her, but ruins the effect by mistaking the stirrer for a straw.

In music[edit]

Singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith and singer/songwriter Feist together wrote a song that compares a troublesome lover to the drink. The song appeared on Feist's 2007 album The Reminder as well as Sexsmith's 2008 album Exit Strategy of the Soul.

The drink is mentioned in the song "Fraternity Blues" by American singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt.

In print[edit]

The character Brandy Alexander in the novel Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk is named after the drink.[5]

Evelyn Waugh had Anthony Blanche order four Brandies Alexander in his novel Brideshead Revisited. The Granada Television adaptation for television helped repopularize the drink in the 1980s.[citation needed] Christian Kracht also uses the four Brandy Alexanders motif in his 1995 novel Faserland.[6]

In Kurt Vonnegut's book, "Mother Night," the protagonist suspects that an overly flattering article written in the Herald Tribune about his neighbor, the painter, was written by "...a pansy full of brandy Alexanders."

In television[edit]

The character Raj Koothrappali (who needs to be intoxicated in order to talk to women) orders a Brandy Alexander at a bar in "The Hofstadter Isotope" episode of The Big Bang Theory, after he attempts to order a Grasshopper and a Chocolate Martini and is scorned by his friend Howard Wolowitz for ordering those.

In season one episode nine of Cheers, while Carla is in charge of the bar, she is asked to make a Brandy Alexander.

In season one episode eleven of Mad Men, Peggy Olson expresses disappointment with her Brandy Alexander while on a blind date, commenting that when Joan orders them for her they are usually sweeter.

The drink was included as the Cocktail Moment on the 29 March 2013 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show.

Lance White's hypnotist friend in "Nice Guys Finish Dead", an episode of The Rockford Files, is named after the drink.[7]

In the pilot episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary Richards asks for a Brandy Alexander at her first job interview.

In season four episode twenty-three of Chuck, "Big Mike" orders a Brandy Alexander at Chuck and Sarah's rehearsal dinner.

In episode one of Brideshead Revisited, Anthony Blanche orders four Brandy Alexanders in a bar: two for himself and two for Charles Ryder.

In season one episode three of Dilbert, Lena Olsen asks Dilbert to make a "Triple Brandy Alexander with an Easter Island Sunset chaser" as a way of keeping him occupied while she searches his house.

In Season Three, Episode 16 of " Three's Company" , a woman orders a brandy Alexander from Mr Roper, who is the barman of the cocktail party that Jack is catering. Mr Roper says " You don't want to drink that junk , try some bourbon , Its fresh"

In season four, episode five of American Horror Story, the Strongman Del (Michael Chiklis) orders two Brandy Alexanders at a gay bar for his paramour Andy (played by Matt Bomer).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Imbibe Magazine, May/June 2010, p. 38
  2. ^ Classic Cocktail Club, Milan, Italy.
  3. ^ "National Brandy Alexander day". eatocracy. Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  4. ^ "Behind the Drink: The Brandy Alexander". Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Faserland (1995) chapter 7
  7. ^

External links[edit]