Alexander

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (56 ratings)

Serve in

Coupe glass

Garnish:

Dust with grated nutmeg

How to make:

DRY SHAKE all ingredients (without ice) to emulsify. SHAKE again with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

1 1/2 fl oz Hayman's London Dry Gin
3/4 fl oz Dutch Cacao white crème de cacao
3/4 fl oz Single cream / half-and-half
1/3 fl oz Pasteurised egg white or Aquafaba (chickpea water) or 3 dashes Fee Brothers Fee Foam cocktail foamer
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Hazardous ingredients

Pasteurised egg white is potentially hazardous to those with allergy or intolerance.

AKA:

Alexander No. 1, Gin Alexander, Princess Mary

Review:

This gin-laced creamy Alexander has sadly slipped from popularity, partly knocked by its successors, particularly the Brandy Alexander.

Variant:

Without egg white this becomes a Princess Mary, but as Stanley Clisby Arthur explains in his 1937 Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'em, it's a lesser cocktail. "Smooth as cream, delicate as dew, and easily prepared is the Alexander. Some who mix this particular cocktail do not use the white of egg. A mistake, for the albumen gives a froth and an added smoothness which makes this cocktail different. Like all drinks in which egg white is used vigorous shaking is required. Give the Alexander all you've got in elbow grease to make it live up to its reputation - for it is truly Alexander the Great among drinks in its class."

History:

The Alexander, comprising gin, crème de cacao and cream, is thought to have originated early in the 20th century, certainly before 1915, evidenced by an equal parts recipe appearing in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks.

Historian, Barry Popik's website lists several plausible origins for this drink. The first is a cutting from page 11 of the news section of the 3rd October 1915 Philadelphia Inquirer. "The head bartender has even gone so far as to invent an Alexander cocktail, which he is reserving to be served during the World Series." This referred to The Racquet Club and the 1915 World Series, won by Boston beating Philadelphia. The bartender created the drink honouring Philadelphia pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887-1950).

Alternatively, a 21st March 1929 newspaper column by New York columnist Walter Winchell links the origin of the Alexander cocktail to Troy Alexander, a bartender at a New York pre-Prohibition lobster restaurant called Rector's. It claims that Troy created his eponymously named cocktail for a dinner celebrating a successful advertising campaign.

The advertisement depicted Phoebe Snow, a fictitious railway traveller, wearing a snow-white dress featured in an advertising campaign for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W) to promote the company's use of clean-burning anthracite to fuel its locomotives.

Coal-fuelled trains frequently covered travellers with black soot, but DL&W owned vast anthracite mines in Pennsylvania, so they could legitimately claim that their passengers would arrive clean after a long journey. The first advertisement depicted an image of Phoebe Snow, supposedly a young New York socialite who frequently travelled to Buffalo, New York, wearing a white dress and featured a short poem:

Says Phoebe Snow
about to go
upon a trip to Buffalo
"My gown stays white
from morn till night
Upon the Road of Anthracite"

The popular advertisements first appeared at the turn of the 20th century and ran for nearly 70 years. Phoebe became one of America's most recognized advertising mascots. The Alexander became a Prohibition favourite as the cream and nutmeg garnish helped disguise the rough taste of homemade 'bathtub' gin.

ALEXANDER COCKTAIL
⅓ El Bart Gin
⅓ Crème de Cocoa
⅓ Sweet Cream
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

Hugo Ensslin, Recipes for Mixed Drinks, 1916

Nutrition:

210 calories

Alcohol content:

  • 1.4 standard drinks
  • 19.31% alc./vol. (38.62° proof)
  • 19.3 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from Difford’s Guide
Difford's Easy Jigger
£8.72 £8.72 exc VAT
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