Brandy Crusta

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Cocktail History

The Brandy Crusta is a classic cocktail that was created in the 1850s by Joseph Santini in New Orleans, Louisiana. Named for the crusted sugar around the rim, the recipe, which is considered a precursor to the Sidecar and Margarita, is made with a simple mixture of brandy, citrus juice, both orange and cherry liqueurs, and bitters.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Cognac: This is a type of brandy made in Cognac, France with distilled white wine. We used J.P. Chenet XO Brandy. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Orange Curaçao: This is a liqueur made with oranges, sugar, and brandy or rum. We used Naranja Orange Liqueur because it has a rich, sweet citrus taste. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Triple Sec Syrup in place of the orange liqueur.

Maraschino Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with Maraschino cherries, honey, herbs, spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used Luxardo Maraschino Orginale Liqueur because it has a distinct earthy aroma and sweet cherry flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Trader Vic’s Premium Maraschino Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur.

Aromatic Bitters: This is a food product made with botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Angostura Aromatic Bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with white sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Lemon Twist: This is the peel of a lemon that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus, fruits, and vegetables. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The Brandy Crusta has the dry aroma of brandy, and it starts with immediate sweetness from the sugared rim followed by a sharp citrus flavor that has slight orange and cherry notes with the prominent taste of brandy on the finish.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Like the Sidecar we’ve made before, we both agreed that the simple syrup is almost a necessary addition to this template, and with it, the Brandy Crusta is a well-balanced and flavorful but fairly simple essential cocktail.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“As originally written, the traditional Brandy Crusta is a flavorful and tasty cocktail, but it’s a bit too dry and citrusy for my palate. It’s sharply lemon-forward without enough sugar to balance out the maraschino liqueur and orange curaçao. That’s where the sugar rim comes in, but in my opinion, that itself isn’t enough to provide the necessary balance, so a dash or two of simple syrup is a good addition. Once that’s added, the Brandy Crusta is a straightforward and tasty cocktail, not one that will necessarily elicit head turns but one that anybody could enjoy.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“I’m with Alex on this one. This vintage drink is obviously from the early 1900s given how dry it is, and I agreed that it needed a dash of simple syrup for more balance. I still don’t think I’d make this one again because it’s so booze-forward and sour, but I’m glad I got to try the original before delving into variations. I imagine I’d like a spruced up version of this one quite a bit more, just like I do with Manhattans.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Steve The Bartender’s Cocktail Guide by Steve Roennfeldt.

Sale
Steve the Bartender's Cocktail Guide: Tools - Techniques - Recipes
Steve the Bartender’s Cocktail Guide: Tools – Techniques – Recipes
Hardcover Book; Roennfeldt, Steven (Author); English (Publication Language); 304 Pages – 11/15/2022 (Publication Date) – DK (Publisher)
$16.49 Amazon Prime

AuthorSteve The Bartender's Cocktail Guide

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Cognac
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Orange Curaçao
 ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
 1 Lemon Twist

Method
1

Pour sugar onto a plate, rub outer rim of glass with lemon slice, and roll glass in sugar until coated.

2

Add brandy, lemon juice, orange curaçao, maraschino liqueur, aromatic bitters, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

3

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

4

Strain into a cocktail glass.

5

Garnish with lemon twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Cognac
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Orange Curaçao
 ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
 1 Lemon Twist

Directions

Method
1

Pour sugar onto a plate, rub outer rim of glass with lemon slice, and roll glass in sugar until coated.

2

Add brandy, lemon juice, orange curaçao, maraschino liqueur, aromatic bitters, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

3

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

4

Strain into a cocktail glass.

5

Garnish with lemon twist.

Brandy Crusta

Make It a Mocktail: Use Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy, Monin Premium Triple Sec Syrup in place of the orange liqueur, Trader Vic’s Premium Maraschino Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur, and All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

More Brandy Cocktails

If you like this brandy-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Cold Brew Brandy Alexander Cocktail Recipe

Cold Brew Brandy Alexander: A brandy cocktail made with cold-brew coffee liqueur, dark crème de cacao, heavy cream, and coffee beans

Elephants Sometimes Forget Cocktail Recipe

Elephants Sometimes Forget: A cherry brandy and gin cocktail made with lemon juice, dry vermouth, orange bitters, amaretto liqueur, and a lemon twist

Enchantress Cocktail Recipe

Enchantress: A brandy cocktail made with ruby port wine, orange curaçao, lemon juice, and a lemon peel

French Toast Flip Cocktail Recipe

French Toast Flip: An Oloroso sherry, Scotch, and apple brandy cocktail made with maple syrup, allspice syrup, egg white, egg yolk, orange and fig bitters, and ground cinnamon

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