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6 Brandy-Based Cocktails for Christmas

by Liquor Wine Time
“Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.” Samuel Johnson


With the above sage advice from Englishman, essayist and writer, Mr. Johnson, we open our agendum on brandy. Traditionally, people prefer to drink a few drops of brandy after dinner to top off the meal, but brandy goes so much beyond a plain old aperitif.  

The discovery of brandy was a bit of an accident

When wine began to be distilled in the 16th century, traders wanted to add the water component back to the wine to lessen the tax upon sale. But they found that the distilled spirit had aged beautifully in wooden casks producing aromatic compounds, and thus, by sheer coincidence, the first brandy was born. 

Brandy is a beautiful primer for a variety of cocktails. There are classics like the Metropolitan and the Sidecar, as well as the newer varieties like the Betsy Ross to seduce brandy virgins. 

Here we have compiled six classic brandy cocktails that every drinker should have in his or her repertoire. They are lovely for Christmas parties as well as solitary sipping. Let’s dive straight in.





A lovely auburn colored drink that reflects the golden rays of the setting sun, the Metropolitan is a delectable libation created to showcase the flavors of good brandy. Enjoy it alone on a December day when the mood doesn’t permit wine but craves mixing up something in a cocktail shaker. This recipe makes one. 


  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • ½ teaspoon simple syrup



  • Assemble the ingredients.
  • To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the brandy, sweet vermouth, bitters and simple syrup.
  • Mix well.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass that is chilled. Serve and enjoy.


Brandy Alexander



John Lennon loved the Brandy Alexander, and he isn’t the drink’s sole proponent. 

It has its roots in the Alexander cocktail which was quite popular during the turn of the century. A soothing beige color, Brandy Alexander tastes like something a teenager getting the hang of drinking would try out pre-Christmas. But when one grows older, he/she wouldn’t entirely forget the taste. 


  • 1 ½ oz cognac (brandy from the French region of Cognac)
  • 1 oz crème de cacao
  • 1 oz cream
  • Grated nutmeg to garnish



  • To a cocktail shaker add all the ingredients with some ice.
  • Shake until mixed well.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with grated nutmeg.




The Sidecar, named after a motorcycle’s sidecar, is a classic brandy cocktail with origins of yore. It’s quite a sour cocktail and if you would like it sweet, simply rim the glass with sugar. Bright sunshine yellow, the Sidecar is the drink of choice for anyone attempting to get over the setbacks that have come their way this year. 


  • 2 oz brandy
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz orange liqueur
  • Lemon twist (optional) to garnish


  • Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. 
  • Strain the drink into a cocktail glass that is chilled.
  • Garnish with the lemon twist.


Brandy Sour



Ask a Cypriot what his favorite drink is, and the answer will most likely be a Brandy Sour. The drink was made for a certain Muslim Egyptian King, while he enjoyed lounging on the Mediterranean island. Interestingly, Brandy sour recipe does not include the addition of egg white unlike other Sours and it’s almost similar visage to iced tea. 


  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz sugar syrup
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 wedge of orange for garnish
  • Ice cubes



  • In a cocktail strainer, mix all the ingredients with ice.
  • Strain into a serving glass.
  • Garnish with the orange wedge.

Add a couple of cherries to give your cocktail the dash of color!

Corpse Reviver No. 1



With such an amusing name, it is hard to take the Corpse Reviver No. 1 seriously, but one sip and you’ll be baptized into the cult of brandy. This cocktail was apparently recommended to be taken before 11 am to be quaffed as a quick pick-me-up. Here’s a recipe for one.


  • 1 oz cognac
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1/3 oz sweet vermouth


  • To a mixing glass, add all the ingredients along with ice.
  • Mix until it is chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass.


Brandy Daisy


A drink that dates back to the 1800s, this brandy expression is a taste revelation. Perfect for a winter’s day spent indoors. Its smooth fruit flavor and aromatics enhance the rich notes of Brandy Daisy.


  • 2 oz brandy
  • 2 dashes rum
  • 2 dashes curacao liqueur
  • 4 dashes simple syrup
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz soda water


  • Add all the ingredients except the soda water to a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Top off with soda water.


Rim your cocktail glass with salt for the added kick!

With that, we conclude our list of brandy cocktails you need to try mixing before Christmas. We hope you enjoyed our selection!



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