12 Classic Brandy Cocktails

If you’re wondering what to mix with brandy to make classic brandy cocktails, you’re in luck because we’ve scoured our cocktail recipe files to find our favorite brandy recipes.

Traditionally, brandy is best enjoyed sipped slowly in a brandy snifter. However, there are also some excellent brandy cocktails you can make for your friends and families. Brandy cocktails are perfect for the holiday season because you can make delicous spiked eggnog, milk punch, or brandy Alexander for your guests.

But first, what is brandy? Brandy is a liquor that’s made by distilling wine or fruit such as apricot or apples (for apricot brandy).

There are several different types of brandy, including Armagnac, cognac, Brandy de Jerez, Pisco, Calvados, and American brandy. At the end of this article, we will explain what all of these brandy drinks are.

As a connoisseur of fine spirits, you might be well aware of the diverse world of brandy cocktails. For centuries, brandy has been an essential ingredient in classic cocktails, elevating their flavors and lending them a velvety smoothness. It’s time to explore the fascinating history and versatility of this rich, vibrant spirit in your cocktail creations.

You’ll discover that brandy’s complexity and depth of flavor can transform even the simplest of cocktails into an exquisite experience. With origins dating back to the 16th century, brandy has stood the test of time, offering endless possibilities for experimentation and enjoyment. By understanding the foundations of brandy-based cocktails, you can confidently expand your mixology repertoire and wow your guests with unique twists on timeless classics.

Brandy cocktails can range from a drink such as the classic Brandy Alexander to a more modern mixed drink such as the Between the Sheets cocktail.

We’ve got something for everyone on this list of brandy cocktails.

Are you ready to start enjoying brandy? Let’s go!

Source: aprlijharris.com

1. Vintage Champagne Cocktail

Anytime we can make a brandy cocktail recipe using champagne, we know we’re in for a good time.

This classic vintage champagne cocktail recipe is perfect when you have leftover champagne and want to put it to good use.

To make the vintage champagne and brandy cocktail, you need either prosecco or champagne, a good-quality brandy, and an orange liqueur.

This champagne cocktail recipe makes four cocktails, so have four champagne glasses ready.

Note that this brandy cocktail isn’t stirred. Pour your brandy into the bottom of the glass, then add the Cointreau or Triple Sec. Last, you will top it all off with cold champagne.

Serve your vintage champagne cocktail in a coupe glass or champagne flute.

Source: thespruceeats.com

2. The Japanese Cocktail

The Japanese Cocktail was created by a legendary bartender who is known as the bartending world’s grandfather: “Professor” Jerry Thomas.

The Japanese Cocktail made with lime juice first appeared in print in a cocktail recipe book by Thomas in 1862.

Lemon peels were originally stirred together with the other ingredients for this cocktail in a rocks glass or highball glass, and the Japanese Cocktail was served over ice cubes.

However, as time went by, the cocktail recipe was changed to include fresh lime juice.

To make the Japanese Cocktail, you need fresh lime juice, orgeat syrup, cognac, and aromatic bitters.

Garnish the Japanese Cocktail with a lemon peel or lime wheel.

Source: creative-culinary.com

3. French Connection

For a brandy cocktail that has just two ingredients, the French Connection packs a powerful flavor punch.

To make the French Connection, all you need is Amaretto and Cognac, but this brandy mixed drink is not short on intrigue.

There’s nothing simple about the taste of this easy cocktail. Basically, it’s a way to sip brandy if you’re just introducing yourself to brandy or cognac cocktails.

Source: breadboozebacon.com

4. Milk Punch

If you’re wondering about how to drink brandy in a historical way, you’ve got to try the classic milk punch drink, one of the world’s oldest cocktails.

Milk punch dates back to 1688 in Scotland, but milk punch first appeared in a recipe book in 1711.

To make your own milk punch drink, you need whole milk, brandy, bourbon whiskey, vanilla extract, and simple syrup.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, or star anise.

Source: copykat.com

5. Brandy Alexander

One of the more well-known brandy cocktail recipes is the Brandy Alexander.

When you want a brandy cocktail drink that is sweet, creamy, and boozy, you can’t go wrong with the Brandy Alexander.

The origins of the Brandy Alexander are largely unknown. Traditionally, a Brandy Alexander is made with white creme de cacao, cognac or another type of brandy, and heavy cream. However, this Brandy Alexander recipe is delightfully different.

For this unique Brandy Alexander recipe, you need Kahlua, vanilla ice cream, cocoa powder, brandy, and dark creme de cacao.

Source: seriouseats.com

6. Pisco Sour

There’s no cocktail quite like the Pisco Sour, and to make this cocktail, you need the unique Pisco brandy.

In fact, the only cocktail that we’ve seen that calls for Pisco brandy is this Pisco Sour mixed drink that’s made with lime juice.

Most mixologists believe that the Pisco Sour was created in the 1920s by an American bartender named Victor Morris.

The Pisco Sour draws inspiration from the Whiskey Sour but uses Pisco instead of whiskey and lime instead of lemon.

To make this classic brandy cocktail, use Pisco brandy, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, an egg white, and Armago bitters (or Angostura bitters).

Source: neworleans.com

7. Sazerac Cocktail

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

Well, you can visit The Big Easy anytime in your imagination. All you have to do is mix up a Sazerac cocktail and you can drift away to the French Quarter in your mind.

The official cocktail of New Orleans, the Sazerac is made with sugar (or a sugar cube) and whiskey with the addition of a surprise ingredient: absinthe, which is a black licorice liqueur.

This legendary whiskey and brandy cocktail was probably invented by a New Orleans apothecary (pharmacist) by the name of Antoine Peychaud.

To create your own Sazerac, you need a good cognac (consider Herbsaint), rye whiskey, absinthe, a sugar cube, and Peychaud’s bitters.

Source: liquor.com

8. Between the Sheets

When it comes to the best brandy cocktails, the Between the Sheets is one of the most well-known, most likely because of its fun and interesting name.

The precise origins of the classic Between the Sheets lemon juice cocktail are unclear, but this cocktail is a spinoff of the classic Sidecar, which was invented in Paris, France at the beloved Harry’s New York Bar.

The Between the Sheets mixed drink is made with Cognac, fresh lemon juice, rum, and orange liqueur. You can use Triple Sec or Cointreau.

Cointreau has a delicious orange perfume flavor, which does a great job of balancing the sweetness of the orange liqueur and the bitterness of the lemon juice, so if you’ve been wanting an excuse to buy a bottle, here’s your chance.

You can also add a splash of orange juice to this brandy cocktail for an even more fruity flavor.

Source: simplywhisked.com

9. Brandy Old Fashioned

What do you mix with brandy? One of our favorite brandy drink recipes comes out of the state of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Old Fashioned became so popular that the state made it the official cocktail of Wisconsin.

When you order the Brandy Old Fashioned in a bar, it comes with several different variations, including sour, sweet, press, and soda.

We love the garnishing options for the Brandy Old Fashioned from Wisconsin. You can use pickled Brussels sprouts, green olives with pimentos, an orange slice, maraschino cherries, and more.

The Brandy Old Fashioned has a sugar cube, Angostura bitters, and a soda such as lemon-lime soda, club soda, or grapefruit soda.

Source: chowhound.com

10. Vieux Carre

Another New Orleans cocktail, the classic Vieux Carre is a spirit-forward cocktail that features rye whiskey, cognac, and sweet vermouth.

Some people compare the Vieux Carre drink to the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, but the Vieux Carre comes from the 1930s French Quarter in New Orleans.

The bartender who first made the Vieux Carre was a man named Walter Bergeron. Bergeron named his signature cocktail after the French Quarter. In 1937, this cocktail first appeared in a published cocktail recipe book.

To create your own Vieux Carre, use cognac, Benedictine, rye whiskey, Angostura bitters, sweet red vermouth, and Peychaud bitters. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish your Vieux Carre with a ripe Luxardo cherry or maraschino cherry.

Source: recipefiction.com

11. Brandy Manhattan

Can you still call this classic cocktail a Manhattan when it doesn’t have bourbon in it? We say yes!

A Brandy Manhattan drink is a spin on the classic Manhattan cocktail. All you need to do is use cognac or brandy.

To make the Brandy Manhattan, you swap out the rye whiskey in a Manhattan for brandy.

The Brandy Manhattan drink has orange bitters (or cardamom) and sweet vermouth.

Garnish your Brandy Manhattan with a blood orange slice or a maraschino cherry.

Source: thetasteedit.com

12. Classic Sidecar

To make the classic Sidecar drink, you need fresh lemon juice, cognac, and Cointreau.

The Sidecar cocktail made with lemon juice was first created at the iconic Paris bar known as Harry’s New York Bar.

The classic Sidecar needs to be shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, then strained into a martini glass or a cocktail glass.

Serve your classic Sidecar with a lemon twist or orange peel and a maraschino cherry.

Different Brandy Types

Below we offer a brief explanation of the different types of brandy you can buy to make brandy cocktails.

Armagnac: Armagnac is a richer, more full-flavored French brandy that has notes of chocolate, dark caramel, and burnt orange.

Cognac: When you buy cognac, you get a French brandy that has flavors that are fruity, spicy, and bitter. Expect notes of oak and vanilla.

Brandy de Jerez: This brandy is from Spain and it has a smooth and dry taste. Flavor notes are caramel, vanilla, and almond.

Calvados: Calvados is made in France from pears or apples (apple brandy).

Pisco: A brandy that’s made in Peru from fermented grapes (grape brandy), Pisco has an earthy and funky flavor. We recommend only using Pisco in the classic Pisco Sour.

American Brandy: American brandy is any brandy made in the United States.

What do you mix with brandy? How would you like to see a world-class bartender make some of the best brandy mixed drinks? Check out the video below.

classic brandy cocktails

Classic Brandy Cocktails (+ Brandy Alexander)

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 6 votes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 275 kcal


  • 2 Tbsp. good brandy
  • 2 tsp. coffee liqueur
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cream vanilla
  • 2 tsp. creme de cacao dark
  • Powdered cocoa for garnish


  • Blend the ice cream in a blender for 1 minute.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until completely smooth.
  • Pour into glasses and garnish with the powdered cocoa.


Select your favorite recipe.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.


Calories: 275kcal
Keyword brandy alexander, brandy cocktails
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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