All we are saying is give today’s food holiday a chance: we celebrate the Brandy Alexander, which happened to be John Lennon’s favorite drink! (He referred to it as his “milkshake”).
Also, today marks the successful conclusion of our first month of food challenges! We still have a long way to go, and while the task seems daunting, taking it one day at a time is the key to success. While also planning ahead, of course. For January, our favorites were curried chicken and New England clam chowder. The ones we liked least? The hot toddy and the Irish coffee. I think we’ll do a brief recap like this every month.
The Brandy Alexander was supposedly created in honor of Princess Mary’s wedding to Viscount Lascelles in London in 1922, but there is some dispute over this because Lascelles’ name is Henry, not Alexander. SOME dispute? How exactly do you get Alexander from Henry?? (And for that matter, how do you get Dick from Richard? I’ve always wondered). Others say it was named after Russian czar Alexander II. Regardless of who it was really named after (I vote for Alexander Graham Bell, even though he’s not in the running), it replaced another cocktail called the Alexander, which was made with gin. It became quite popular after numerous pop culture references, and is featured prominently movies (Days of Wine and Roses, Too Much Too Soon), television shows (Cheers, Mad Men, The Rockford Files, The Big Bang Theory), books (Brideshead Revisited, Invisible Monsters), and music (Feist released a song called “Brandy Alexander”). As ubiquitous as this drink is, I’m surprised I’d never had one before!
It’s really quite simple to make.
1.5 oz. brandy
1 oz. creme de cacao
1 oz. half-and-half (or cream)
Dash of nutmeg
Combine the first three ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice, strain into a glass, and sprinkle with nutmeg. It’s a very dessert-like drink – and really good!
I don’t know that I’d call it “really good”, but definitely better than the hot toddy, buttered rum, and Irish coffee. Funny that we started this challenge with a cocktail and ended our first month with one as well. Too bad all the cocktail holidays can’t be as good as my beloved Bloody Mary!
Tara’s exact words were “still quite stout.” Which sums up the Brandy Alexander well!
Now, on to February…
- Shaken not Stirred – The ‘Brandy Alexander’ at The Fairmont San Francisco (magellanstraits.com)