The Brandy Crusta. Perhaps one of the most important cocktails of the late 1800 to early 1900’s. This family of cocktails, a fancy version of the venerable cocktail formulation of sugar, spirits, bitters, and water, eventually faded into obscurity in favor of simpler drinks.  However, from the Brandy Crusta we were given the Sidecar, and from the Sidecar we were given the Margarita, one of the most popular cocktails worldwide.

The recipe as follows taken from Jerry Thomas’s Bartender’s Guide (1862)

Brandy Crusta
1 lemon
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 oz Cognac
1 tsp Orange Curacao
1 dash Boker’s Bitters

  • Cut the lemon in half
  • Pare the full peel off half and squeeze juice from lemon
  • Moisten glass rim with juice and rim with sugar
  • Insert the lemon peel into the glass
  • Mix the liquors in a cocktail shaker of ice.  Shake and strain into the prepared glass
  • Add 1 small lump of ice, and serve.

Since Boker’s Bitters has been unavailable for many years, Angostura or Orange bitters may be used.