brandy cocktail in a glass with lemons

25 Classic Brandy Cocktails to Keep You Warm During Fall and Winter

Brandy cocktails mix the smooth taste of brandy with other ingredients to create drinks that feel cozy and fancy at the same time. Whether it’s a quiet night alone or a big summer party, these drinks fit right in.

Cocktails with brandy are classic, easy to make, and perfect for any season. With the rich taste of fruits like apple, pear, and apricot, these drinks bring a warm and cozy feeling, ideal for a quiet fall evening. On the other hand, when mixed with refreshing peach and blackberry, they turn into the best summer refreshments. And the best part? You can make these fantastic drinks easily at home.

Our top 5 brandy-based drinks: When we think about our top drinks, a few favorites come to mind. First, we always think of the Sidecar, with its mix of strong brandy, bright lemon, and sweet Cointreau. Next up is the Stinger, which has a cool, minty flavor paired with the boldness of the main spirit. The Brandy Alexander is like a smooth, sweet dessert in a glass, mixing brandy with chocolatey crème de cacao and cream. Then, we have the Brandy Daisy, a fun, fizzy drink with lemon juice and soda. Lastly, we love the Pisco Sour, a bubbly and tangy drink that combines Pisco, egg white, and citrus.

25 Best Brandy Drinks and Recipes

Get ready for a treat if you like quality brandy’s fine flavor. Drinks World has put together 25 great brandy cocktails that you can easily make at home.

Sidecar

A side shot of a Sidecar cocktail in a cocktail glass on a wooden board placed on a white marmol table with a red cloth, four sugar cubes, two lemons, a jigger, and a shaker around.

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail with a robust and refreshing balance of sweet and sour flavors. Originating during World War I, it’s often associated with an American army captain who enjoyed being chauffeured in a sidecar. This drink was perfect to warm him up on chilly rides, merging warmth from the main spirit with the refreshing zest of lemon.

Brandy Alexander

A Brandy Alexander cocktail, shot from above, in a cocktail glass on a wooden board placed on a orange cloth on a white table surrounded by a jigger, chocolate squares, five nutmegs, a bar spoon, and a muddler

The Brandy Alexander is renowned for its creamy, dessert-like qualities, offering a luscious blend of brandy, cream, and crème de cacao. It became notably popular after its supposed debut at the wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in London in 1922. Famed for its luxurious and velvety texture, this cocktail has also gained a reputation as a nice after-dinner drink.

French Connection

A side shot of a French Connection cocktail in an Old Fashioned glass on a plate placed on a white cloth on a wooden table.

 

The French Connection is a minimalist cocktail that eloquently brings together the rich flavors of brandy and amaretto. The name pays homage to the 1971 film “The French Connection,” showcasing a touch of cinematic culture and the smooth nature of the cocktail itself, much like the demeanor of the film’s lead, Gene Hackman.

Stinger

A side shot of a Stinger cocktail in a coupe glass on a coaster placed on a green cloth, in front of a light green wall and plant leaves.

The Stinger is a straightforward cocktail with an energetic minty kick from crème de menthe. With its roots deeply embedded in the early 20th century, it was a favorite among the high-society elite, offering a classy and refreshing end to feasts.

Ingredients: Brandy and White crème de menthe.

Brandy Daisy

A side shot of a Brandy Daisy cocktail in a cocktail glass on a transparent plate placedd on a white table surrounded by a jigger, a soda water bottle, and a mixing glass.

The Brandy Daisy, once a popular 19th-century refresher, has encountered various recipe adaptations through time. Yet, it always sustains its bright and spritely essence with a charming mix of brandy, lemon, and soda. While the exact origins are somewhat elusive, this cocktail showcases a timeless appeal with its lively citrusy notes and a slightly fizzy finish that adds an extra layer of vivacity.

Between the Sheets

A side shot of a Between the Sheets cocktail in a cocktail glass on a wooden tray placed on a white cloth with a jigger, 3 lemon pieces, a knife, and a lemon twist around,on a black background.

The provocatively named Between the Sheets is a potent blend of brandy and rum with a citrusy punch. Its creation, often credited to Harry MacElhone of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the 1920s, exemplifies the bold and experimental spirit of cocktail creation during the prohibition era, offering a flirtatious combination of spirits and citrus.

Brandy Crusta

A side shot of a Brandy Crusta cocktail in a coupe glass on a red cloth placed on a grey table surrounded by sugar cubes, two lemons, a jigger, a bar spoon, and a white cloth.

Pioneering in its use of the sugar rim, this cocktail was developed in the mid-19th century by Joseph Santini in New Orleans. It is delightful in its harmony, lemon, and maraschino and significant in cocktail history for influencing the presentation and garnish style of future drinks.

Corpse Reviver No.1

Despite its morbid name, the Corpse Reviver is an elegant concoction, often recognized for its supposed “hangover cure” properties. Created in the late 19th century, it was believed to be so invigorating that it could revive the dead, uniting brandy, Calvados, and sweet vermouth in a miraculously harmonious blend.

Pisco Sour

A side shot of a Pisco Sour cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a coaster placed on a white marmol table with a lemon and a straw on the side

Originating from South America and deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of Peru and Chile, the Pisco Sour celebrates Pisco in a refreshing, sour, and frothy concoction. Its incorporation of egg white, unusual in some cocktail circles, creates a creamy froth.

Brandy Flip

The Brandy Flip is a creamy and enriched cocktail dating back to the 1860s when it was enjoyed as a warming winter drink. The combination with a whole egg might seem peculiar to modern palates, but this classic drink offers a surprisingly smooth and dessert-like quality.

B&B

A side shot of a B&B cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a tray placed on a wooden table surrounded by a beige coth, two lemons, and a ciger.

B&B, which stands for Brandy and Benedictine, is a straightforward yet sophisticated cocktail often enjoyed as a digestive. The blend of herbal Benedictine liqueur creates a simple yet refined drink, historically appreciated after a hearty meal.

Metropolitan

A side shot of a Metropolitan cocktail in a martini glass on a wooden tray placed on a grey table surrounded by a strainer, and a bar spoon

The Metropolitan is often perceived as the variation of the classic Manhattan. Its smooth blend of sweet vermouth and simple syrup has been a subtle yet steadfast presence in the cocktail world, offering a sweeter and somewhat lighter alternative to its whisky relative.

Vieux Carré

A Vieux Carre cocktail on a platform surrounded by two lemons and a jigger

The Vieux Carré, named after the French term for New Orleans’ French Quarter, is a tribute to the city’s vibrant cocktail culture. Devised in the 1930s at the famous Hotel Monteleone, it incorporates Cognac, whisky, and vermouth in a rich, complex mixture that oozes southern charm.

Horse’s Neck

A side shot of an Horse's Neck cocktail in highball glass on a black stone coaster placed on a orange cloth on a white table surrounded by ginger pieces, orange pieces, a jigger, and a bar spoon.

Notably, one of the few cocktails to utilize a long spiral lemon peel as an integral part of its presentation, the Horse’s Neck entwines brandy, ginger ale, and bitters. Originating in the late 19th century as a non-alcoholic beverage, the addition of brandy in the 20th century gave it a spirited kick and a place in the classic cocktail repertoire.

Champs-Élysées

A side shot of a Champs-Elysees cocktail in a cocktail glass on a white coaster placed on a light blue table surrounded by a shaker, a white cloth and a white bowl with lemon pieces.

The Champs-Élysées, named after the famous boulevard in Paris, combines Cognac with herbal Chartreuse, creating a refined drink. Though not as renowned as other cocktails, it’s a hidden gem that offers a sophisticated blend of sweetness, herbal notes, and citrus vitality.

Harvard

A side shot of a Harvard cocktail in a cocktail glass on a white coaster placed on a brown placemat surrounded by a bowl, a jiggerand a grey cloth.

The Harvard is a well-read cocktail, so to speak, with an intellectual name perhaps intended to impart a sense of Ivy League sophistication to the drink. Boasting a charming balance of brandy, sweet vermouth, and a dash of soda, it offers a smooth and accessible concoction with a hint of academia in its branding.

Prescription Julep

The Prescription Julep doesn’t require a doctor’s note but does offer a delightful dose of brandy and rye whiskey paired with refreshing mint. Its roots trace back to the 1857 edition of  Harper’s Monthly, where blending two potent spirits created a remedy for whatever might ail you.

Brandy Smash

The Brandy Smash is a venerable cocktail that emerged in the mid-19th century and quickly became a refreshing favorite among the cocktail drinkers of its time. Its simple yet refreshing blend of mint, sugar, and brandy is often considered a lighter, more refreshing take on the classic Mint Julep.

Jack Rose

While the Jack Rose prominently features applejack, its history is somewhat murky, with various tales of its naming and creation. Some believe it was named after the infamous gambler, Bald Jack Rose, whereas others tie it to the pinkish hue it adopts from the grenadine.

Brandy Milk Punch

A staple in the New Orleans cocktail scene, the Brandy Milk Punch blends the richness of brandy with the creamy texture of milk. Often enjoyed during brunch or as a festive holiday treat, it’s a creamy delight that offers a soothing, smooth sip every time.

Brandy Sling

This timeless classic combines brandy, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a straightforward and satisfying concoction. As one of the earliest defined cocktails, a “sling” historically denotes a spirit, sugar, and water, providing a simplistic yet satisfying reprieve.

Ingredients: Brandy, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Soda water and Dash of bitters (optional).

Fish House Punch

A side shot of a Fish House Punch cocktail in a low ball glass on a wooden board placed on a white cloth on a grey surface surrounded by three lemons, sugar cubes and a jigger.

With roots tracing back to a Philadelphia gentlemen’s fishing club in the 18th century, Fish House Punch is noted for its potent and palatable mixture of peach brandy, Jamaican rum, and Cognac. Often associated with elaborate parties and gatherings, it’s a punch that packs a, well, punch!

Saratoga

A side shot of a Saratoga cocktail in a martini glass on a white coaster placed on a dark table surrounded by a placemat, a bar spoon, a jigger and a red cloth.

The Saratoga is often viewed as the answer to the Manhattan, presenting an elegant blend of brandy, whiskey, and sweet vermouth. Not to be confused with various other Saratoga-named drinks, this cocktail ensures that both the brandy and whiskey shine, neither overshadowing the other.

East India Cocktail

The East India Cocktail merges brandy with rum, triple sec, and pineapple juice, producing a tropical-infused delight that speaks of exotic locales and seafaring adventures. Though its origins remain uncertain, it’s often romantically linked to British officers sailing to colonial India.

Brandy Blazer

The Brandy Blazer is a fun and warm drink known for its cool flaming trick. It started in the 1800s and was loved because of the fire show bartenders would put on when making it. They’d light the brandy on fire and then add other stuff to stop the flame. It’s an excellent drink for cold nights because it’s served warm.

Brandy Old Fashioned

A side shot of a Brandy Wisconsin Old Fashioned cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a wooden board placed on a wooden table surrounded by a brown bowl, a cigar, a red cloth, and a cigar cutter.

The Brandy Old Fashioned is a twist on the traditional Old Fashioned, substituting whiskey with brandy. This cocktail has deep roots in the American Midwest, especially in Wisconsin, where brandy became the spirit of choice. 

Brandy Eggnog

Brandy Eggnog is a festive favorite, perfect for holiday celebrations. This creamy concoction has been warming souls for centuries, with brandy adding depth and warmth to eggnog’s rich, velvety texture. 

Brandy Manhattan

This Manhattan offers a sophisticated take on the classic Manhattan cocktail by replacing whiskey with brandy. This variant became popular in regions where the liquor was more accessible or preferred. 

Brandy Cobbler

The Brandy Cobbler is a refreshing cocktail that dates back to the 19th century. Celebrated for its fruity and effervescent qualities, it was a favorite during the summer months. The cocktail combines fresh fruit and a touch of sugar, served over crushed ice, making it a cooling beverage.

Top 5 brandy brands to use in cocktails

The flexibility of brandy is one of its many strong points; it’s frequently used to boost the flavor of other ingredients and achieve a well-balanced taste in cocktails. We made an overview of the best brandies:

1. Hennessy

Let’s start with Hennessy, a superstar in Cognac that’s been around since 1765! This French brand is celebrated for its remarkable taste and the care that goes into aging its spirits. Hennessy isn’t just smooth to sip and plays well with other ingredients, making it a top choice for mixing into various cocktails. 

2. Rémy Martin

Next up is Rémy Martin, another heavy hitter from Cognac, France, with roots back to 1724. Known for using grapes from some of the most respected vineyards (Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne, to be exact), this brand brings a full, velvety flavor. Mixing a cocktail with Rémy Martin guarantees that it will have a warm and deep flavor.

3. Martell

Meet Martell, one of the oldest names in the Cognac game since 1715, and it brings a smooth elegance to any glass. Famous for its delicate and classy flavors, Martell takes time and care to create an incredibly smooth spirit. It can be mixed into various cocktails.

4. Courvoisier

Courvoisier is not only a fan favorite due to pop culture but also a symbol of quality and tradition. With a rich history, including being a favorite of Napoleon Bonaparte, this brand offers a bit of luxury and historical coolness to any mixed drink. Courvoisier blends old and new-world techniques.

5. Torres

Venturing to Spain, Torres brandy brings something a bit different to the cocktail shaker. Recognized for its super smooth nature and sweet hints, Torres uses traditional Spanish methods to create a friendly and warm spirit. It’s a versatile choice for many cocktails, imparting a gentle touch of Spanish charm.

Types of Brandy

Brandy is an alcoholic drink made by distilling wine or fermented fruit juice. There are various types, each with its own flavors and production methods. We’ve made a brief overview for you:

Drawings of five bottles labeled Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, Grappa, and Brandy showing different shapes and styles of brandy.

  • Cognac comes from the Cognac region of France. It’s a top-tier brandy made from white wine grapes.
  • Armagnac hails from the Gascony region of France. It’s older than Cognac and has a richer, more robust flavor due to its distillation process.
  • Pisco is a South American brandy, popular in Peru and Chile. It’s made from distilled grape wine and is often used in cocktails.
  • Calvados is an apple brandy from the Normandy region in France. It’s made by distilling apple cider.
  • Grappa originates from Italy. It’s made by distilling the skins, seeds, and stems left over from winemaking.
  • Eau-de-Vie is a French term meaning “water of life.” It refers to a clear fruit brandy distilled from fermented fruit juice.
  • Brandy de Jerez comes from Spain. It’s aged using the solera system, giving it a unique and complex flavor.
  • American Brandy is made in the U.S., primarily in California. It can be made from various fruits, but grapes are the most common.

More Liquor-based Cocktails and Recipes

Try our delicious cocktails and mixed drinks with other liquors:

FAQs

  1. What is a brandy cocktail? A drink made by mixing brandy with other ingredients like juices, syrups, or other spirits.
  2. What pairs well with brandy in a mix? It pairs well with various mixers like lemon juice, soda, ginger ale, and Coke.
  3. How should one ideally consume brandy? Ideally, it is sipped neat at room temperature from a snifter glass, allowing one to appreciate its full flavor and aroma.
  4. Is ginger ale a good match for brandy? Ginger ale complements flavors, making for a refreshing mixed drink.
  5. What do you call a mix of brandy and Coke? It’s called a “Brandy and Coke.”
  6. Is the taste profile more on the sweet or dry side? Brandy typically has a sweet flavor profile due to its fruit-based origins, though the sweetness can vary based on the type and aging process.
  7. Can you mix brandy with Sprite? Yes, brandy can be mixed with Sprite for a bubbly and slightly sweet drink.
  8. What’s the traditional method of serving brandy? Traditionally, brandy is served neat in a snifter glass, allowing its aromas to be concentrated and fully enjoyed.

Simple Brandy Cocktails: Brandy Daisy (and 24 More!)

Brandy Daisy Cocktail Drink

Brandy Daisy Recipe

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This straightforward Brandy Daisy recipe is perfect for spring! The brandy, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda make a revitalizing drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 172

Ingredients
 

  • oz Brandy
  • ½ oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ oz simple syrup
  • 1 splash soda water
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist and cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Chill your coupe glass with ice cubes.
  • Add ¼ oz simple syrup to the cocktail shaker.
  • Follow with ½ oz fresh lemon juice.
  • Measure and pour ½ oz Yellow Chartreuse.
  • Finish with 1½ oz Brandy.
  • Fill your cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake it up until well mixed.
  • Fine strain the mixture into your chilled coupe glass.
  • Add a splash of soda water.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist and cherry.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Brandy: Bourbon or whiskey can be used as a substitute if you don't have brandy. They both have a rich, warm flavor that works well in this cocktail.
  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice can be used instead of lemon juice for a slightly different citrus kick.
  • Simple Syrup: Honey or agave nectar can replace simple syrup if needed. They both add sweetness but also bring their unique flavors to the drink.
  • Yellow chartreuse: If you are out of chartreuse, use another herbal liqueur such as Drambuie, or go for an orange liqueur for a more citrusy mixture.

Making a Pitcher of Brandy Daisy:

  • To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of brandy, 4 oz of lemon juice, 4 oz of Yellow Chartreuse, and 2 oz of simple syrup.
  • Combine all these ingredients in a large pitcher with ice and stir well.
  • When ready to serve, pour the mixture into individual chilled coupe glasses, add to each one of them a splash of soda water, garnish with a lemon twist and cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Brandy Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic brandy substitute; these are available and do an excellent job mimicking brandy's rich flavor.
  • Yellow Chartreuse: Use a non-alcoholic option available on the marker or an honey-anise syrup. 
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of the regular brandy, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

  • Simple Syrup: Ensure your syrup is made with white sugar or another vegan-friendly sweetener. Brown sugar, for example, is often not vegan as it can be processed with bone char.
  • Yellow chartreuse: Yellow chartreuse includes honey, you can opt for green chartreuse or another herbal liqueur. Make sure to check the labels to ensure no animal-derived ingredients are used.
  • Proceed As Usual: Once you've ensured all your ingredients are vegan-friendly, follow the original steps to make a delicious Brandy Daisy.

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