John Lennon’s Favorite 3-Ingredient Cocktail Is a Retro Classic

And a popular order from the Prohibition era.

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Few artists have managed to make music as enchantingly ageless as John Lennon and his fellow Beatles. (Fun fact: the song “Yesterday” still remains the most-covered song in music history.) So, it’s no surprise that the singer’s timeless style translated to his drink preferences as well.

What is surprising, however, is that the cocktail that is now regarded as Lennon’s signature wasn’t even discovered by the musical genius until well into (or, arguably, after) his Beatles career. It’s simple yet sophisticated, and layered with depth and flavor from just three ingredients. And, as is true with every legendary rock and roll icon, it has a great story to go behind it.

The Story of John Lennon’s Favorite Cocktail

It all unfolded during a period known as the “Lost Weekend,” marked by Lennon’s split from both the Beatles and Yoko Ono. This time was filled with personal upheavals and plenty of public incidents—one of which sparked the grand upheaval of a beloved cocktail from the past.

One night in Hollywood, at the Smothers Brothers concert at the Troubadour nightclub, Lennon’s taste for cocktails was changed forever. His friend and fellow musician Harry Nilsson, introduced him to the Brandy Alexander, which he thought tasted like “milkshakes.

According to legend, Lennon didn’t realize how strong these “milkshakes” were and had maybe a few too many, resulting in him getting kicked out of the show. On an episode of "The Old Grey Whistle Test", Lennon described the notorious night at the Troubadour, admitting, “I got drunk and shouted.” He went on to explain himself, saying, "It was the first night I had drank Brandy Alexanders, which is brandy and milk, folks.”

Regardless of his overindulgence in the decadent dessert drink (and his unflattering antics afterwards), Lennon’s affinity for Brandy Alexanders never faded after that night, etching the drink into rock and roll history forever.

What Is a Brandy Alexander?

While Lennon was on the right track with his description, “brandy and milk” isn’t exactly what his easy-to-drink “milkshakes” were probably made of.

Instead, a classic Brandy Alexander is a little more complex, made with brandy or cognac, heavy cream, and crème de cacao. The ingredients are shaken until smooth and silky and served in a stylish martini glass. The drink’s creamy texture and chocolatey undertone make it a sophisticated after-dinner treat—think of it as the espresso martini of its day.

Some versions add ice cream or even whipped cream on top to make the sweet drink extra indulgent. However, we think the simple 3-ingredient drink is perfectly decadent as is—and certainly needs to be added to the list of cocktails you should know how to make at home.

<p> / Tim Nusog</p> / Tim Nusog

The Popularity of the Brandy Alexander

Believe it or not, the Brandy Alexander was cool long before the Beatles singer said so. The creamy cocktail first gained popularity during the 1920s when, along with general lifestyle trends, dining became notably more extravagant and sophisticated.

The earlier version was known as the Alexander and used gin instead of brandy, but the brandy version found a broader audience (even supposedly becoming a favorite of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Roaring Twenties). It was a fashionable drink at upscale bars and remained a staple in the speakeasies of the Prohibition era.

Lennon’s celebrity endorsement may have brought it back to the public eye, but the Brandy Alexander’s charm and simple elegance will never go out of style—just like the brilliant musical works of Lennon’s lifetime.

How to Make John Lennon’s Favorite Cocktail

Finally, let’s try out this legendary drink. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

  2. Add 1/2 ounce crème de cacao, 1/2 ounce brandy or cognac, and 1/2 ounce heavy cream per serving.

  3. Cover and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Optional: sprinkle with nutmeg to garnish.

Read the original article on All Recipes.