Watch The Maestro make his riff on the original Alexander recipe

Alexander recipe
Salvatore Calabrese with his take on the classic Alexander recipe, Alexander’s Big Sister.

One of Salvatore Calabrese’s favourite drinks is the classic Alexander recipe. Most bartenders worth their gomme will know the Brandy Alexander: brandy, creme de cacao and cream, it isn’t a drink you see ordered often these days, but it still has its place in the repertoire.

But what a lot of bartenders don’t know is that the original Alexander recipe was made with gin, yielding a much lighter, after-dinner style of drink.

“The most important thing, especially in the 80s, was the culture of the after-dinner drink,” Calabrese says. “People would come and have the ultimate encounter: the nightcap. Before you go to bed.”

And though he laments that bartenders seem to have neglected after-dinner drinks in recent years, he thinks they’re ripe for a comeback.

“As a modern bartender, we pick up the twist of classics, our own interpretations, so one can have their own interpretation of after-dinner cocktails,” he says.

That’s precisely what he has done with his take on the Alexander recipe here, which he showcased a couple months back on his tour of Australia for De Kuyper The Works.

“I am very pleased I came out with the Alexander Big Sister, which is a twist on the classic Alexander. The Alexander was made with gin, so what I did, I used Rutte Celery gin, fresh cream obviously, and white chocolate liqueur, and then I put a little freshness with four or five leaves of mint, and shake, break the mint down, and strain it: it’s beautiful, it’s very seductive and fresh,” he says.

In the video above he steps you through the recipe — get a look at the specs below.

Alexander’s Big Sister

A riff on the original Alexander recipe, Calibre incorporates some fresh mint to give the drink a lift.

  • 30 ml Rutte Celery Gin
  • 30 ml De Kuyper Crème de cacao White
  • 30 ml fresh cream
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 mint leaf to garnish
  1. Shake and strain all ingredients into a chilled coupette, and allow a few mint fragments into the drink.
  2. Garnish with one mint leaf.

Recipe by Salvatore Calabrese