Happiest Hour 

Brandy Alexander

What we're drinking: A sweet, brandy-based alcoholic cocktail.

Why we're drinking it: White Russians get all the attention. While there's nothing wrong with The Dude's beverage of choice, we wanted to try something seasonally festive and a little different.

How to make it: Like a White Russian, it's super easy to make a Brandy Alexander. In a shaker, pour one part cream (or about 3/4 of an ounce), one part brandy and one part dark crème de cacao. Shake and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg, if you desire.

What it tastes like: Chocolate cake.

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Where you've heard of it: The Brandy Alexander has appeared in many scripts and lyrics. Peggy Olson ordered one during the first season of "Mad Men" to try and impress her date. Jack Lemmon orders one for Lee Remick in the 1962 film Days of Wine and Roses, making it something of a gateway drink to the couple's dark spiral into alcoholism. On a lighter note, Townes Van Zandt mentioned it in "Fraternity Blues," and Ron Sexsmith and Feist co-wrote a song called "Brandy Alexander." The latter ends with the refrain, "It goes down easy, it goes down easy ..."

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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