And who’s the father of this successful concoction? In Jack's Manual on The Vintage & Production, Care & Handling of Wines, Liquors &c. (1910) by Jacob Abraham Grohusko, the 'Alexander Cocktail' was based on whiskey and Bénédictine, but in 1915 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” by Hugo Heslin we fin something similar to nowadays’ Alexander: it was made with equal parts of gin, white crème de cacao and sweet cream; shaken with ice and strained. In 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book we find three recipes: Alexander n. 1, with the aforesaid proportions of gin, crème de cacao and cream, then Alexander n. 2, where Brandy comes alongside cocoa and fresh cream, and then Alexander’s Sister, made with gin, cream and crème de menthe, very similar to the modern Grasshopper.
The drink was possibly named after Troy Alexander, a bartender at Rector's, a New York City restaurant, who claimed to have created the drink in order to serve a white drink at a dinner celebrating Phoebe Snow, a character in a popular advertising campaign in the early 20th century. But many other paternity claims were advanced by popular personality whose name was Alexander or wanted to dedicate to a famous Alexander, for example the Russia Tzar Alexander II. Loved by women and men, it never went out of fashion, and is considered a perfect after dinner, and a classic winter holyday drink. Even John Lennon was a huge fan…
Listed as “Unforgettable” in the IBA cocktail list, can be made either wit Cognac or with Brandy, but you have to quote it in the name.
The ingredients are:
3 cl. Brandy
3 cl. Dark crème de Cacao
3 cl. fresh cream.
Simply shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with some grated nutmeg on top.
These are the most common variations:
Grasshopper: here you have crème de menthe vèrte and white cocoa crème
Alexandra: substitute grated nutmeg with cocoa powder, and white cocoa crème for the dark.
Alejandro (or Panamà): substitute brandy with rum.
Alexandre (or Velvet Hammer): substitute brandy with triple sec
Oleksandr: substitute brandy with vodka