The Alexander consists of Gin, Creme de Cacao, and Cream.
According to David Herpin, this story was originally purported in 1914, furthermore he claims This drink is widely reported to be first printed in "Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo Ensslin in 1914". This is completely inaccurate for several reasons. First, it was not even listed by name or ingredients and second, The book was not in stores until 1917 as seen here:
Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. [A] Group 1. Books. New Series - Page 427 by Library of Congress. Copyright Office in 1917
"(17-15057) 2618 Ensslin, Hugo R. Recipes for mixed drinks, by Hugo R. Ensslin. [2d ed.] [New York, Fox printing house, ... HR Ensslin"
This doesn't mean the drink itself was not in circulation as the time, it very likely was. This story behind this drink probably was originally purported by someone who had done research on the drink, but could not determine an answer so they took an educated guess. This drink actually appears as early as:
Anthony Trent, master criminal - Page 245 by Wyndham Martyn in 1918
"Monmouth was a careful soul for all his gentle languors and sauntered into the tap room and demanded an Alexander cocktail. As became a son of Wisconsin, Oscar was free and friendly."
Herpin goes on to claim
It is undetermined where this drink originated, however, there is overwhelming evidence it was named after the popular song "Alexander's Ragtime Band" which was covered literally hundreds of times from 1910 - today and was even followed by a 1938 film by the same name.
From "Recipes for Mixed Drinks," by Hugo Ensslin, 1915
- 1/3 El Bart gin
- 1/3 Creme de Cocoa
- 1/3 Sweet Cream
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.
From "Ultra Lounge: Cocktail Capers" CD
- 3 parts Gin
- 1 part Creme de Cacao
- 1 part Sweet cream