The Alejandro is a cocktail that just shouldn’t be as good as it is. It just shouldn’t. There are various recipes for this somewhat rare cocktail, all with differing base spirits, but why not? The Alejandro is somewhat of a sidestep from an Alexander, and that’s pretty flexible with what you make of it. Also, they both have cream.
Gin and cream cocktails are rare. It’s not the first thing you think of when thinking of dessert cocktails, but you put vodka in a Mudslide, so why not gin in an Alejandro? A cocktail with gin, cream, and the star of the show, Licor 43, an Autumn spiced liqueur from Spain that tastes like banana bread, or carrot cake, but with citrus. Not only is there a unique spice profile in the Licor 43, there’s plenty of vanilla, and that’s what really makes this drink seem like a caramel latte. It’s creamy and luscious, and the gin serves to lighten everything up, because if you wanted a Mudslide, you would have had a Mudslide.
OK, we can admit the Alejandro is surprisingly delectable given the amount of cream, and the hint of Winter, which, upon reflection, also makes it a sidestep from a Grasshopper, that minty green cocktail with cream and a theater pedigree because intermissions are made for drinks that taste like an Andes mint. So what if you swap out the mint for something that suggests caramel? Bingo. Alejandro. It’s a cocktail you share on special occasions, a cocktail you make for special people, and something that should be a nightcap for nights when you’re not alone.
What are the characteristics of a cream cocktail, and what’s unique here? There’s no creme de cacao, no coffee liqueur, no brandy, no Irish creme. None of the usual suspects are in the Alejandro, and that’s a refreshing change. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have those things, or an approximation of them. Start with Trillium Gin from Trail Distilling. It’s a nicely dry gin, with an equally dry finish that’s really like nothing else. We love Trillium with sweet ingredients, and the Licor 43 certainly qualifies, as does the cream. Cream is sweet all by itself, and the gin dries this cocktail out to acceptable proportions. But is there a secret? Yes.
The Alejandro is a superb drink that becomes great with caramelized aromatic bitters. Seriously, you know how you can flame a citrus peel? Take a strip or round of citrus rind, and squeeze it between your fingers sending the oils from the peel through a flame? Do the same thing. Take a match (a long kitchen match if you have one...trust us) and dash some Angostura through the flame. You need good aim, so practice first, or, put the bitters in an atomizer, and spritz it through the flame. It’s easier that way, and the atomized spray will get more of the bitters in contact with the fire. Then, remember those things that aren’t in this cocktail? The chocolate, and coffee, and brandy, and the other things? Ad them back with candy, in this case, a garnish of one big Moonstruck Red Toffee Truffle on a pick. A heart shaped one, because, in a cocktail meant for those moments you share with only one other, what else would you use?
2 oz Trillium Gin
1 1/2 oz Heavy cream, or half & half
3/4 oz Licor 43
1 dash Caramelized Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and serve up. Garnish with a chocolate truffle, or sprinkle with nutmeg
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