Cocktail Kingdom Library (home)


brandy (or less commonly genever or rye whiskey), sugar, curaçao, lemon juice and bitters

A drink with an unprecedentedly fussy presentation, created by Joe Santini, c. 1850-1855, in New Orleans, but even more important for judiciously introducing citrus juice to the cocktail. Santini’s approach would result in new drinks for which a little acid from citrus plays a nuanced role, but also an eventual “merger” of sorts with the sour that leads to the cocktail [sour] and the “new school” daisy.

The most famous published recipe for the Crusta is the one from Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, accompanied by an illustration. It’s not really possible to achieve the nested lemon peel without the perfectly-sized and -shaped glass, but you can see historian David Wondrich execute one on this YouTube video.

Otherwise, the recipe translates as follows:

Brandy Crusta

Prepare a chilled serving glass with a sugared rim.

Combine in a mixing glass:

  • 2 oz brandy (Ferrand 1840 Cognac is a good place to start)
  • 1 tsp maraschino liqueur
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp rich simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of aromatic bitters

Stir with ice and and strain into the prepared glass

Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, p. 209; barware icons courtesy of Haus Alpenz