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
  1. A Brandy Alexander Drink is Like Dessert in a Glass!
  2. Brandy Alexander Recipe Ingredients
  3. How to Make a Brandy Alexander
  4. How do you serve a Brandy Alexander?
  5. Storing Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream
  6. Brandy Alexander Recipe with Ice Cream FAQ
  7. More of Lee’s Favorite Recipes
  8. Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream

A Brandy Alexander Drink is Like Dessert in a Glass!

Brandy Alexander cocktails have been around for years. In fact, they were created in the early 1800s by a bartender named Alexander as a tribute to a successful advertising campaign. Originally made with gin, over the years gin was swapped out for brandy, creating a smoother, sweeter cocktail.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.

close up of a martini glass holding a portion of Frozen Brandy Alexander cocktail

Brandy Alexander Recipe Ingredients

You’ll only need 5 ingredients to make this divine dessert:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Brandy
  • 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 brandy 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

The only equipment you need to make these dessert cocktails is a blender, and here’s all you have to do:

  1. Process ingredients.
    Place ice cream, brandy and creme de cacao in a blender and process until mixed.
  2. Add ice (if desired).
    Add ice (if using) and process until smooth.
  3. 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).
close up of a martini glass holding a portion of Frozen Brandy Alexander cocktail

How do you serve a Brandy Alexander?

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 Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream

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.

Brandy Alexander Recipe with Ice Cream FAQ

What does a Brandy Alexander taste like?

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).

Is brandy a liquor or wine?

Brandy is a liquor (or distilled spirit) that can be made from wine or fermented fruit.

How many calories are in a Brandy Alexander?

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.

More of Lee’s Favorite Recipes

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close up of a martini glass holding a portion of Frozen Brandy Alexander cocktail

Brandy Alexander with Ice Cream

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 milkshake by swapping out the cream for ice cream.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Place ice cream, brandy and creme de cacao in a blender and process until mixed.
  2. Add ice (if using) and process until smooth.
  3. Pour into an individual martini or coupe glass. Sprinkle top with ground nutmeg and serve immediately.

Notes

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.

  • Author: Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: cocktails, dessert
  • Method: blender
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • 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
close up of a martini glass holding a portion of Frozen Brandy Alexander cocktail

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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    1. So sorry – I replied to this awhile ago and just noticed it never posted! Yes, you could use chocolate ice cream in this recipe – I’m sure it will be delicious!

  1. So delicious! A cocktail and dessert all in one, what could be better than that? Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.