If you love creamy, indulgent cocktails, you’re going to love my festive take on a classic – Christmas Alexander! But don’t let its easy going manner fool you; this cocktail takes no prisoners! Three spirits in one glass – it will knock your socks off. In more ways than one!
The original Alexander is a dessert cocktail that is believed to have been created by Troy Alexander in Rectors in New York, in the early 20th century. Apparently, it was made to celebrate a fictional character, Phoebe Snow, who was always dressed in white. Hence the original Alexander was a white drink, containing clear Crème de Cacao, gin and cream. Concoctions made with dark Crème de Cacao will, inevitably, be darker, like mine here.
Crème de Cacao is a chocolate or cocoa liqueur that comes in either a clear or caramel-brown shade. Despite the word “crème” in it, it doesn’t have any dairy, the term is meant to reflect the smoothness of the drink.
The Alexander has spawned many variations over the years: most notably, the Brandy Alexander, in which brandy replaces the gin, and which has proven to be more popular than the original. You also have Coffee Alexander and Blue Alexander, in the latter, Curaçao replaces the chocolate liqueur.
Today’s recipe: I fancied making a Christmas cocktail. I went about it back to front though; I thought of the name, then created the cocktail! Christmas Alexander seemed like a cool name that just stuck and refused to be left alone. It even chased me in my dreams! Seriously. I had a dream about adding Baileys to the mix, and that, I guess, was it.
To primp it up some, I zapped a very gingery biscuit in the chopper and stuck the crumbs to the rim of the glass. A tiny, tiny amount of cinnamon sprinkle (or use the more traditional nutmeg) sealed the deal.
The result? The Christmas Alexander is a delicious blend of creamy chocolate devil in disguise. It goes down so smoothly and tastes so perfectly innocent, that you’ll finish the glass before you know it, then realise maybe you should have sipped the damn thing! So impress your guests this holiday season with this very merry festive drink!
One quick note: in taking the pictures for this post, I sprinkled some of the cookie crumbs on the drink, purely for presentation purposes. I wouldn’t really recommend it, as the crumbs sink straight down within seconds and just form a dense layer at the bottom of the glass.
Let’s get mixing, shall we?
- 2 Tbsp crème de cacao (of your choice, clear or dark)
- 2 Tbsp brandy
- 4 Tbsp Baileys
- a handful ice cubes
- 1 very gingery ginger cookie, in fine crumbs
- ground cinnamon or nutmeg for sprinkle
- Place the cookie crumbs in a saucer.
- Wet the rim of your glass with a little water or a little of the drink. If I'm making for myself, I dip my very clean thumb and forefinger in the drink and just run my fingers around the rim. Making for guests, just wet a kitchen paper with water and do run it around.
- Immediately, while the rim is still wet, place the glass upside down into the cookie crumbs to coat the rim, turning and tilting to make sure you get a complete circle of crumbs. Just like a margarita .
- Place the crème de cacao, brandy, Baileys and ice cubes in a mixer and shake it up to mix and chill the drink.
- Strain into the prepared glass.
- Sprinkle either cinnamon or some freshly ground nutmeg and enjoy immediately.