Frozen Brandy Alexanders with Ice Cream are a memorable, fun and elegant dessert that I’ve been making for years. Traditional brandy Alexander ingredients of brandy and creme de cacao are turned into into a frosty cocktail by swapping out the cream for ice cream. My friends and family love my version of this creamy, sophisticated dessert drink so much that Robert and I served them at our wedding reception!
Table of Contents
- A Brandy Alexander Drink is Like Dessert in a Glass!
- Frozen Brandy Alexander Ingredients
- How to Make a Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream
- How to Serve this Brandy Alexander Recipe with Ice Cream
- Storing this Brandy Alexander Recipe
- More of Lee’s Favorite Recipes
- Brandy Alexander Recipe Ice Cream FAQs
- Frozen Brandy Alexander Drink
A Brandy Alexander Drink is Like Dessert in a Glass!
Brandy Alexander cocktails have been around for years.
Why is it called a Brandy Alexander?
In fact, they were created in the early 1800s by a bartender named Alexander as a tribute to a successful advertising campaign.
What is a Brandy Alexander?
Originally made with gin, over the years gin was swapped out for brandy, creating a smoother, sweeter cocktail. Their creamy, slightly chocolate-y flavor made this cocktail a favorite for enjoying with – or as – dessert.
In addition to the tradition version, in the 1980s our country club started serving brandy alexanders as a frozen drink – back when boozy frozen drinks became all the rage. My friends and loved these refreshing, creamy boozy milkshakes. So, I decided I had to create my own version. I started with the basic club recipe, then tweaked it a bit to balance the flavors more to my palate. Specifically, I increased the amount of brandy vs. the creme de cacao in order to reduce the added sweetness from the ice cream.
Frozen Brandy Alexander Ingredients
You’ll only need 5 ingredients to make this divine dessert:
- Vanilla ice cream
- Creme de cacao (white or regular)
- Ice chips (optional)
- Ground nutmeg, for garnish
Type of Ice Cream to Use
Use the best quality vanilla ice cream you can find -it’s a key ingredient. I like Graeter’s Vanilla Bean (I find it in my Kroger grocery store), Haagen-Dazs and Breyers Natural Vanilla brands. Note that Breyers is a softer ice cream and will result in a smoother drink. For a milkshake texture, use a denser ice cream like Graeter’s or Haagan-Dazs.
Best Brandy to Use
Given the limited number of ingredients in this recipe, I think it’s important to use good quality ingredients. However, don’t go buy a top drawer brandy! I like the flavor of cognac (a type of brandy) in brandy alexanders. Select a nice, mid-priced cognac. A widely available, affordable French brand that works well in this recipe is St Remy. It technically isn’t a cognac because it’s from a different region in France, but it’s made by the same process, so it tastes similar.
“Yum yum! Made a batch last night for my husband’s birthday and they were a huge hit.”Carol f.
How to Make a Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream
The only equipment you need to make these dessert cocktails is a blender, and here’s all you have to do:
- Process ingredients.
Place ice cream, brandy and creme de cacao in a blender and process until mixed.
- Add ice (if desired).
Add ice (if using) and process until smooth.
- Garnish and serve (or freeze).
Sprinkle top with ground nutmeg and serve immediately, or place in an airtight container and freeze (won’t freeze hard due to the alcohol).
How to Serve this Brandy Alexander Recipe with Ice Cream
Frozen Brandy Alexanders require the right presentation to take them from boozy milkshake to sophisticated dessert in a glass. Using martini or coupe glasses is a must for that retro, elegant look and feel.
What kind of glass do you serve a Brandy Alexander in?
As mentioned above, I think the glass used is key. Definitely use a stemmed martini or coupe glass.
Storing this Brandy Alexander Recipe
Frozen Brandy Alexanders can be prepared up to 1 month ahead, packed into an airtight container and frozen. The mixture won’t freeze super hard due to the alcohol content. Let soften for a few minutes, then whirl in a blender until it reaches the desired consistency.
More of Lee’s Favorite Recipes
- 1/2 cup good quality vanilla ice cream
- 1 1/2 ounces brandy
- 3/4 ounce creme de cacao – white or regular (see Note below)
- 1/4 cup crushed ice (optional)
- Ground nutmeg, for garnish
- Place ice cream, brandy and creme de cacao in a blender and process until mixed.
- Add ice (if using) and process until smooth.
- Pour into an individual martini or coupe glass. Sprinkle top with ground nutmeg and serve immediately.
Note on Crème de Cacao: white crème de cacao will provide milk chocolate flavor, while regular will provide a richer, dark chocolate flavor.
Make ahead: Brandy Alexanders can be prepared up to 1 month ahead, packed into an airtight container and frozen. The mixture won’t freeze super hard due to the alcohol content. Let soften for a few minutes, then whirl in a blender until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Category: cocktails, dessert
- Method: blender
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cocktail
- Calories: 414
- Sugar: 22.1 g
- Sodium: 68.4 mg
- Fat: 17.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 11.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.1 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Protein: 3.8 g
- Cholesterol: 98.4 mg
Brandy Alexander Recipe Ice Cream FAQs
A good frozen brandy Alexander will taste creamy, with hints of vanilla (from the ice cream), chocolate (from the creme de cacao) and subtle fruity undertones (from the brandy).
Brandy is a liquor (or distilled spirit) that can be made from wine or fermented fruit.
A traditional Brandy Alexander made with heavy whipping cream has around 270 calories per serving. This frozen version, that calls for ice cream instead of heavy cream, has 414 calories per serving.
Good substitutes for crème de cacao are a chocolate liqueur, Kahlua or Baileys. They will change the flavor profile of the drink a bit, but it will still be delicious.
Cognac is a type (or style) of brandy. Any spirit that’s made from distilled fruit is considered a brandy. Cognac is made specifically from white grapes and must be made in the Cognac region of France.