Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Today we're drinking the Alexander.  According to The Ultimate Bar Book, the recipe we're using - with gin - is the traditional form of the drink.  A newer twist on the old Alexander, with brandy (aptly named the Brandy Alexander, duh) has since become more popular. 

I'm all for the classics so we're starting with the gin-based version of the Alexander.  At some point we'll compare the two drinks to see which is better, but I have a feeling that the heavy cream may drown out much of the distinction between the gin and brandy tastes.

The Ultimate Bar Book, page 174


1 ounce gin
3/4 ounce white crème de cacao
3/4 ounce heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and sprinkle with nutmeg. 

For this receipe, I'm using Bombay Sapphire Gin, DeKuyper crème de cacao, heavy cream from the nearby Kroger, and ground nutmeg from Trader Joe's.  I looked for some nutmeg that I could freshly grate, but had trouble finding any.  I'll keep looking though, as this is the second drink that's called for the ingredient, and there's likely a vast difference between freshly grated, and already ground.

Immediately after throwing everything together in the mixing glass, the drink looks like any other cocktail with heavy cream.

I would describe this drink as a more refreshing version of a white russian.  You'll taste the chocolate from the white crème de cacao, and the cream adds the frothy milk component that makes it a really smooth combination. 

The above recipe is quite small though, and while at first thought, one might think that doubling the recipe is in order, I would caution you.  Drinking heavy cream is not enjoyable in large quantities.  It's like anything else that's incredibly rich (and not particularly good for you), consume it sparingly if you want to enjoy it.  In other words, don't run off drinking heavy cream en masse.

I finished the drink off quickly because it's quite tasty, and not particularly alcohol-heavy.  As posited above, the heavy cream masks much of the gin flavor, which, if you're like me and you like gin, is a shame.  Other recipes I've seen call for light cream, or sweet cream, and not heavy cream.  I don't pretend to know the distinctions between each of these versions of cream, but I would say that you're probably OK using half and half, or something similar, as opposed to the big boy, heavy cream.

One other note: I continually referred to the recipe appearing similar to the Toreador, because of the crème de cacao and the nutmeg.  No way.  Not even close.  I was dead wrong.  The heavy cream, and probably more importantly, the lack of tequila, make these two drinks entirely different from one another.

Tomorrow, we're drinking the Kamikaze Cocktail.  Barca, the Official Mascot of the Amateur Mixologist, has been on a keen look out for kamikaze pilots since I first mentioned the drink on Monday.  Here's a photo of her in action (notice the "keen look out death stare" - she's ruthless, this one!):

Until tomorrow my friends!

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