Classic: Brandy Crusta

Like many of today’s most noteworthy classic cocktails, the Brandy Crusta has its origins in New Orleans’ famous French Quarter. This classic was first created by Joseph Santini in the mid-19th century and predates many other New Orleans staples, like the Vieux Carré, by nearly a century.  

Photos by ADV Photography

With the Crusta’s novel use of sour and sweet flavours, many consider it one of the first iterations of the sour family of cocktails and a direct ancestor to the more famous Sidecar.


Due to its long history, there are several recipes for this famous cocktail. The one we present here is taken from the Savoy Cocktail book, with a couple minor tweaks.

Moisten the edge of a small wine glass with lemon and dip it into some sugar, frosting the rim of the glass. Peel the rind of half a lemon in a spiral fashion and place it in the glass. Fill glass with cracked ice.

2 oz Brandy
½ oz Curaçao
1 tsp Maraschino liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 ½ tsp lemon juice

Add ingredients to mixing glass with ice, stir well, and strain into the prepared glass.


The Brandy Crusta is a very strong, but tasty drink. It’s quite similar to the Sidecar but heavier on the Brandy, with the added hint of Maraschino. In my opinion, the Sidecar is in fact a better drink, and much easier to put together, which is probably why finding a Crusta on a menu is very rare… But hey, look at that great picture!


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  • Jesse McCree June 16, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Wow the sugar on the rim looks delicious!