The Alexander is essentially a fortified dessert drink made chocolaty with dark crème de cacao (pronounced “ko-ko,” not “ka-cow”). The Alexander is favored by those who want the “buzz without the bite.” Because of its silken, refreshing creaminess, the Alexander is also known as a Milk Shake. Most people immediately associate brandy with the Alexander, but the earliest versions were made with gin. Despite its wide popularity, its origin is unknown.
The Alexander is usually served in a cocktail glass, but larger cordial glasses also work nicely. It becomes a Frappé if you serve it over crushed ice in an old-fashioned or frappé glass. You may also skip the cream and ice and blend the alcohol with vanilla ice cream.
Alexander’s Sister: Substitute crème de menthe for the crème de cacao.
Gin Alexander: Blend equal parts gin, white crème de cacao, and heavy cream.
Parisian Blond: Blend equal parts rum, Curaçao, and heavy cream.
Velvet Hammer: Substitute triple sec for the brandy.