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Brandy Crusta

The Brandy Crusta, a timeless classic in the world of cocktails, exudes elegance and flavor sophistication. Crafted with exquisite brandy, this iconic libation tantalizes the taste buds with its rich, nuanced profile and perfectly balanced sweetness. With a legacy that spans generations, the Brandy Crusta stands as a testament to the artistry of mixology, appealing to enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. 

Boozy Brandy Crusta Cocktail with Sugar and Lemon

Its harmonious blend of premium brandy and meticulously curated ingredients creates a sensory experience that is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether enjoyed at upscale soirées or intimate gatherings, this refined cocktail elevates any occasion. Discover the allure of Brandy Crusta, where tradition meets innovation, offering an indulgent escape for discerning palates.


The Brandy Crusta is a classic cocktail that was invented in New Orleans in the mid-1800s. The drink is named for the crust of sugar on the rim of the glass, which is created by rubbing a lemon slice around the edge and then dipping it in sugar.

The cocktail was first created by Joseph Santini, an Italian bartender who worked at the City Exchange in New Orleans. Santini was known for his innovative cocktails, and the Brandy Crusta was one of his most popular creations.

The recipe for the Brandy Crusta was first published in Jerry Thomas’s 1862 cocktail manual, which helped to popularize the drink outside of New Orleans. Thomas was a well-known bartender and author who is often referred to as the “father of American mixology.”

Despite its popularity in the 19th century, the Brandy Crusta fell out of favor in the early 20th century. However, the cocktail has experienced a resurgence in recent years, thanks in part to the efforts of bartenders like Chris Hannah, who has helped to reintroduce the drink to a new generation of cocktail enthusiasts.

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How to Make It

Boozy Brandy Crusta Cocktail with Sugar and Lemon

Brandy Crusta

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

To make a Brandy Crusta, you will need sugar, lemon, brandy, lemon juice, bitters, liqueur, and Angostura bitters.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make this classic cocktail:


  • Brandy - 2 ounces (60ml)
  • Curacao - ¼ ounce (7.5ml)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice - ½ ounce (15ml)
  • Simple Syrup (demerara preferably) - ½ ounce (15ml)
  • Maraschino Liqueur - 1 teaspoon
  • Angostura Bitters - 1 dash
  • Lemon twist - Garnish
  • Sugar rim - Garnish


  1. Fill a coupe glass with water and ice and set it aside. 
  2. Once chilled, dump the ice from your glass, use a lemon to line the rim, and then crust with sugar. 
  3. Add all of your ingredients (except for the garnishes) and shake vigorously until well-chilled. 
  4. Double strain into your coupe glass
  5. Express your lemon twist over the top and then garnish. 
  6. Enjoy!


Note that you can also use whiskey or gin instead of brandy to make a Whiskey Crusta or Gin Crusta, respectively. Additionally, you can experiment with different types of liqueurs and bitters to customize the flavor of your cocktail.

When making a Brandy Crusta, it's important to use quality ingredients and to follow the recipe closely to ensure a perfectly balanced cocktail. Keep in mind that this cocktail is on the sweeter side, so adjust the amount of sugar syrup used to your preference.

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If you’re looking to mix things up with your Brandy Crusta, there are plenty of variations to try. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Swap Brandy for Cognac

If you want to add a touch of elegance to your Brandy Crusta, try swapping out the brandy for cognac. Cognac is a type of brandy that is made specifically in the Cognac region of France. It is typically aged longer than other types of brandy, which gives it a richer, more complex flavor.

Try a Sugar Rim with Dry Curaçao

While a traditional Brandy Crusta is made with orange curaçao, you can switch things up by using dry curaçao instead. Dry curaçao has a less sweet flavor than orange curaçao, which makes it a great choice if you prefer a drier cocktail. To really make the flavors pop, try rimming your glass with a mixture of sugar and orange zest.

Add Some Cointreau or Luxardo

If you want to add a little extra sweetness to your Brandy Crusta, try adding a splash of Cointreau or Luxardo. Cointreau is a type of triple sec that has a sweet, citrusy flavor, while Luxardo is a cherry liqueur that has a rich, fruity taste. Both of these liqueurs pair well with brandy and can add an extra layer of complexity to your cocktail.

Swap Brandy for Eau de Vie or Aged Brandy

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try swapping out the brandy for eau de vie or aged brandy. Eau de vie is a clear, colorless fruit brandy that is made by distilling fruit mash. It has a strong, fruity flavor that can add a unique twist to your Brandy Crusta. Aged brandy, on the other hand, is brandy that has been aged in oak barrels for a longer period of time. This gives it a smoother, more mellow flavor that can be a great addition to your cocktail.

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Try a Whiskey Crusta

If you’re not a fan of brandy, you can try making a Whiskey Crusta instead. This variation uses whiskey instead of brandy and typically includes lemon juice, sugar, and bitters. To make a Whiskey Crusta, simply swap out the brandy in the traditional recipe for your favorite whiskey and adjust the other ingredients to taste.

Almond Crusta

An Almond Crusta is made by adding a small amount of orgeat syrup (almond-flavored syrup) to a Brandy Crusta.

Brandy Crusta
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