Brandy Alexander Day

Brandy Alexander day takes place annually on 31 January. A Brandy Alexander is a brandy-based cocktail consisting of cognac, crème de cacao, and cream that became popular during the early 20th century. It is a variation of an earlier, gin-based cocktail called simply an Alexander. The cocktail known as Alexander today may contain gin or brandy.

There are many rumors about its origins. Some sources say it was created at the time of the London wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in 1922. Drama critic and Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott claimed that it was named after him. Other sources say it was named after the Russian tsar Alexander II. The drink may have been named after Troy Alexander, a bartender at Rector’s, a New York City restaurant, who 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. The cocktail is known to have been John Lennon’s favorite drink. He was introduced to the drink on March 12, 1974 by Harry Nilsson, in the midst of Lennon’s so-called “lost weekend.” The pair began heckling the Smothers Brothers, and whilst being ejected Lennon allegedly assaulted a waitress. Lennon later said the drinks “tasted like milkshakes.”

Brandy Alexander has also been mentioned in many Films and Television series including Days of Wine and Roses, which features alcoholic Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) taking Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick) out on a date. When she explains that she dislikes liquor but likes chocolate, he orders her a Brandy Alexander. This begins Kirsten’s descent into alcoholism. In the 1981 film Tattoo, Bruce Dern takes Maude Adams out for dinner and orders a Brandy Alexander. When she comments that he does not look the Brandy Alexander type, he replies, “I like the foam…it reminds me of the ocean.” In the James Gray movie Two Lovers, Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow) tells Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) she drinks Brandy Alexanders with her boyfriend Ronald, a rich lawyer. Leonard orders one at a restaurant to impress her, but ruins the effect by mistaking the stirrer for a straw. In the tv series “Greenleaf” the bishop’s wife Lady Mae drinks it on a daily base.

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