With a sophisticated chocolate flavor and creamy goodness, A Brandy Alexander with ice cream is a fun cocktail or dessert for the holidays or any time of the year!
Is it a cocktail, is it a dessert? That depends on when you serve it up! I would say that after dinner, it’s dessert while before dinner it’s a cocktail. Well unless you are in the “eat dessert first” camp!
Either way, the thick, tasty blend of ice cream, brandy and creme de cacao is a creamy taste sensation. Not to mention a whole lot of fun!
What is a (Brandy) Alexander?
Did you know that there is an Alexander cocktail, sans brandy? Well, until researching this, neither did I! In that version gin is added to Crème de cacao and it’s all mixed with cream.
Per Wikipedia, “A Brandy Alexander is a brandy-based dessert cocktail consisting of cognac, crème de cacao, and cream, that became popular during the early 20th century. It is a variation of an earlier, gin-based cocktail called just an Alexander.”
Of course, it all sounds lovely, but in my mind, a Frozen Brandy Alexander the best! Yes, I’ll take a Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream any day!
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. This tastes of sweet cream and chocolate with undertones of sophisticated brandy. I think it’s my favorite ice cream drink!
Festive. Maybe it’s that dessert thing, but A Brandy Alexander always feels like I’m celebrating. And I hear it’s a holiday season favorite!
Refreshing. Cool and smooth, this can put the finish on a great night without making you feel overly full. There’s always room for ice cream!
What You’ll Need
- Brandy. This adds notes of sophistication to the drink.
- Dark crème de cacao. This provides a subtle chocolate flavor. You can also use the clear version, though your drink will be a little paler in color.
- Ice cream. This provides a creamy, rich sweetness and comprises the body of the drink.
- Chocolate shavings, whipped cream. Optional garnish.
- A good blender like a Vitamix is best for creating the thickest drink, though sometimes bartenders even blend by hand to achieve this!
Step by Step Directions
Optionally (for the thickest drink), put the alcohol and blender canister in the freezer for a couple hours.
Blend 1 cup of ice cream with the brandy and creme de cacao until smooth.
Add remaining ice cream and blend until smooth again.
Pour into martini or other cocktail glass.
Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate as desired.
Crème de Cacao Color
If you’re buying crème de cacao for the first time, you’ll notice that it comes either clear or chocolate colored. The dark crème de cacao is more traditional for a Brandy Alexander, but if you already own the light you may wonder if you can use it
Sources will differ on whether there are flavor differences or not. Some will list cocktails that require a specific one (for flavor, not just color) while others like Liquor and Drink say the color difference is simply added color and the flavor is effectively the same. And I should note that there will also be differences between brands.
In the end, considering how “ice cream forward” this drink is, my feeling is that any flavor differences shouldn’t be significant–barring a bad brand.
How to Serve
This cocktail can be a tasty way to cap off a fun evening! Lighter than most desserts, some restaurants make them extra big to share!
The skies the limit on glassware choices. For a single serving I’ll often use a standard martini glass while for multiple servings in one, a brandy snifter works well.
I like to top mine with whipped cream and then shave a little chocolate on that. I always serve with a spoon or sometimes two for sharing!
The most common variation on this will involve the use of cream instead of ice cream for a (not frozen) Brandy Alexander. In some parts of the country (not Wisconsin, ahem), this will be the most common version.
But for a different kind of variation you can change up the alcohol and keep the ice cream! Tasty options include the minty Frozen Grasshopper drink, the rich Banana Banshee and the festive Mudslide.
So much creamy goodness!
Tips & FAQs
For the thickest drink, I like to place the liquor and even the blender canister in the freezer for a couple hours ahead of time. But I admit I’m pretty obsessive about my thickness, sometimes turning the blender upside down like I’ve made a Dairy Queen Blizzard.
And for more #ChristmasSweetsRecipes, take a look below!
- Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream from Art of Natural Living
- Cranberry Christmas Cobbler from A Little Fish in the Kitchen
- Easy Eggnog Bread Recipe from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Grinch Christmas Kiss Cookies from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Holiday Rum Balls from Palatable Pastime
- Honey Apple Baked Brie from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Maple Glazed Pecans from Shockingly Delicious
- Peppermint Sandwich Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Santa Munch Christmas Popcorn from Blogghetti
- Snowman Truffles from Sweet Beginnings
- White Chocolate Candy Cane Kheer from Magical Ingredients
Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream
- 3/4 ounce brandy
- 3/4 ounce dark crème de cacao
- 2 cups ice cream – approximately 275 g if you want to weigh
- Optional: chocolate shavings whipped cream
- Optionally (for the thickest drink), put the alcohol and blender canister in the freezer for a couple hours.
- Blend 1 cup of ice cream with the brandy and creme de cacao until smooth.
- Add remaining ice cream and blend until smooth again.
- Pour into martini or other cocktail glass.
- Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate as desired.
- Holiday Embossed Gingerbread Cookies
- Mini Oreo Cheesecake Bites