Home Cocktails 20 Brandy Cocktails for a Fancy Happy Hour

20 Brandy Cocktails for a Fancy Happy Hour

From the classic Sidecar to a few modern twists, the stunning brandy cocktails are incredible.

And they’re a terrific choice for those seeking a sophisticated and complex drink.

Boozy Manhattan Cocktail with Cherry - Easy Brandy Cocktails & Drink Recipes
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Brandy Cocktails & Drink Recipes

If you like strong cocktails but aren’t a big fan of whiskey, gin, or vodka, these brandy cocktails might be the best thing for you!

Brandy is somewhat sweeter, more floral, and fruitier than a lot of spirits. 

And it’s way more versatile than you think!

1. Brandy Alexander

This three-ingredient brandy cocktail is sweet, creamy, and perfect for the holidays.

It pairs the smooth sweetness of brandy with coffee-infused Kahlua. Add a dash of cinnamon for warmth, and everyone will want seconds!

I like it with a dusting of cacao too, but that’s optional.

Ingredients: brandy, Kahlua, cream, ice, cinnamon or nutmeg (for garnish)

2. Eggnog Brandy 

If you think the Brandy Alexander sounds a lot like eggnog without the nog, you’re not alone.

It was my first thought, too. And to be honest, the flavors are pretty similar – especially with the cinnamon on top.

Luckily, it’s easy to make a nog-infused version!

Make the eggnog yourself or buy it from the store. Then add some brandy and spiced rum. How easy is that?

Ingredients: eggnog, spice rum, brandy

3. The Woodsman

If you’re heading to the cabin or cottage this weekend, why not do it in style and make the Woodsman cocktail?

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It may only have five ingredients, but it manages to work in all of your favorite fall flavors. 

And it’s ideal for a night in the woods with a roaring fire.

Ingredients: applejack or apple brandy, ginger liqueur, maple syrup, Angostura bitters, orange twist (for garnish)

4. Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned

The Cheese State put a fun spin on the classic Old Fashioned in this delightfully sweet-but-not-too-sweet brandy cocktail. 

It’s got the usual suspects – sugar, bitters, and an orange slice. But you’ll also add cherry juice and brandy, making it sweeter and smoother.

That said, it also calls for citrus soda, which makes it sweeter still. So if you want it more balanced, try grapefruit soda instead (or grapefruit juice and club soda).

Ingredients: cherry juice, sugar, Angostura bitters, brandy, ice, lemon-lime soda or grapefruit soda, orange slice & maraschino cherry (for garnish)

5. Peruvian Pisco Sour Recipe

If you’ve never tried Pisco before, let me introduce you. It’s a delicious type of brandy from Peru that kind of tastes like wine.

And you’ll most often see it in a Pisco sour with that signature egg white foam.

It’s got such a lovely flavor that’s not too sweet and not too sour. Though you can add extra simple syrup if you like.

Ingredients: ice, Pisco liquor, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, Angostura bitters, lime wheel (for garnish)

6. Whiskey Apple Brandy Cocktail

It would be challenging to find a more unique-looking drink than this whiskey and apple brandy cocktail.

And as far as brandy drinks go, it’s one of my faves!

The top is thick and luscious whipped cream dusted with chocolate shavings. In contrast, the drink itself is a zippy blend of sweet and sour.

It’s certainly a drink that’ll catch people’s attention, and once they try a sip, it’ll catch even more than that because it’s scrumptious. 

Ingredients: sugar, water, heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, whiskey, calvados, ginger beer, lemon juice, Pellegrino crushed ice, dark chocolate for shavings (for garnish)

7. Brandy Daisy

If you’re looking for a brighter, zestier option, try the Brandy Daisy instead.

It has a lot in common with the classic Sidecar (which we’ll get to below), but it’s a bit more on the tart side. 

Even so, it’s tasty, ice-cold, and super simple to make!

Ingredients: brandy, rum, lemon juice, Triple Sec, simple syrup, lemon-lime soda, ice

8. The Brandy Smash Cocktail

My family and I are obsessed with “smash” cocktails.

They’re essentially drinks with fruit or herbs smashed in the glass, often with sugar, then topped up with liquor and a mixer.

And this one is a super simple recipe for those who are unfamiliar. Plus, it’s easy to modify when you get the hang of it.

So keep it sweet and minty, or add some berries to the glass.

Ingredients: mint leaves, sugar, club soda, brandy, orange slice, cherry & mint sprig (for garnish)

9. El Presidente Variation: Walter Mondale

The original El Presidente cocktail features white rum, dry vermouth, orange Curaçao, and Grenadine.

But this version is sweeter, thanks to a pour of apple brandy and a good glug of pear liqueur.

The flavor is out of this world. Though it’s pretty strong, so sip slowly!

Ingredients: apple brandy, sherry, Curaçao, pear liqueur, simple syrup, ice, lemon twist (for garnish)

10. Vieux Carre

The Vieux Carre (old square) is a two-minute, booze-forward cocktail that’s good for any occasion. 

While there’s a hint of sugary flavor from the sweet Vermouth, there’s plenty of earthy-woodsy notes from the Benedictine.

If you’re the kind of person who likes stiff drinks without a lot of extra sweetness, this one is an excellent choice. 

Ingredients: Benedictine, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura bitters, rye whiskey, Cognac, sweet Vermouth

11. Between the Sheets Cocktail

This tartly sweet, citrusy drink is an ideal after-dinner drink for when you want something strong and sweet.

It contains an ounce each of white rum, Cognac, and Triple Sec, so it’s very grown-up. 

And there’s also a dash of lemon juice and a lemon peel garnish for a pleasant citrus aroma.

Ingredients: white rum, Cognac, Cointreau or Triple Sec, lemon juice, lemon peel (for garnish)

12. Vintage Champagne Cocktail

The next time you’re at the bar and don’t know what to order, try the Vintage Champagne cocktail.

It only has three, and they all contain varying levels of booze. So it’s something to drink when you want a light buzz.

Plus, it’s a bubbly, robust cocktail that’s simple but elegant enough for any party or formal occasion. 

Ingredients: brandy, Triple Sec or Cointreau, Champagne or Prosecco

13. Brandy Cobbler

This drink is for anyone who can’t choose between after-dinner drinks and dessert.

With two ounces of brandy and soda water, it has a nice, bubbly, zesty kick. 

But thanks to the fresh fruit and simple syrup, it’s also sweet enough to enjoy for dessert. 

Ingredients: brandy, simple syrup, soda water, fresh fruit (for garnish)

14. Chrysanthemum

I’m really not sure how the Chrysanthemum got its name. I mean, it doesn’t look or taste floral.

In fact, between the brandy, vermouth, and absinthe, there’s nothing delicate or slower-like about it.

But if you enjoy the anise burn of absinthe, I think you’ll like this one.

Ingredients: brandy, dry Vermouth, absinthe, orange peel (for garnish)

15. Classic New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch

Need a fun brunch cocktail? Try this New Orleans brandy milk punch. It’s sweet and creamy, but it isn’t too rich or overwhelming.

And there’s a light vanilla flavor that makes it super delectable.

This isn’t one to order on a busy night at the club, but for relaxed, lazy Saturdays at home, it’s pretty perfect. 

Ingredients: brandy, whole milk, powdered sugar, vanilla, crushed ice, nutmeg

16. Sidecar Cocktail

If you’re looking for a classic cocktail with a light sweetness, give the Sidecar a try.

The sugared rim adds an extra hint of sugary sweetness to every sip, while the Triple Sec adds a bit of citrusy tang. 

If you enjoy drinks that are a little on the lighter side, you’ll probably be perfectly content with the Sidecar. 

Ingredients: Cognac, Cointreau or Triple Sec, lemon or lime juice, sugar (for the rim)

17. Mulled Wine

Not a fan of eggnog during the holidays? Then maybe this mulled wine recipe is more your style?

It’s fruity, spiced, and loaded with booze and citrus.

And sure, you can make it without the brandy, but where’s the fun in that?

Ingredients: dry red wine, brandy, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, sugar or honey

18. Cold Brew and Brandy Cocktail

Have I proved to you that brandy is versatile? No? Then try this coffee cocktail!

I mean, how many other spirits pair well with wine, soda, milk, and coffee?

This sweet, spiced cold brew is perfect for brunch or for any other time you need a bit of a pick-me-up with your alcohol. 

It’s easy to make and tastes better than anything from Starbucks.

Ingredients: cold brew coffee, brandy, whole milk, simple syrup, cocoa powder & cinnamon (for garnish)

19. Champagne Bowler

I love everything about this drink. I love the way it looks, the way it smells, and especially the way it tastes. 

It combines several of my favorite things: strawberries, brandy, white wine, and simple syrup.

And as you can probably guess from that ingredients list, it’s a sweet drink. 

Even so, there’s a freshness to it that makes it sweet without being candy-like or sickeningly sugary.

Ingredients: fresh strawberries, simple syrup, Cognac, white wine, sparkling wine

20. Brandy Manhattan

The Brandy Manhattan is – you guessed it – a brandy-filled twist on the traditional Manhattan.

It’s sweet and sour and super boozy. And it’s ideal for anyone who tried a Manhattan and wished it was sweeter.

Ingredients: brandy, sweet red Vermouth, Angostura bitters, cherry & orange peel (for garnish)

20 Brandy Cocktails for a Fancy Happy Hour

Make happy hour a sophisticated affair with these brandy cocktails. From an old-fashioned to a brandy smash to a metropolitan, you’ll feel fancy with these drinks.


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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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