Brandy Crusta Cocktail Drink

Brandy Crusta

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Are you craving a distinctive drink? The Brandy Crusta Cocktail recipe has all the ingredients you need. Follow along and make your cocktail with ease.

Brandy Crusta Cocktail Recipe

Savor the elegance with our Brandy Crusta Cocktail recipe! A blend of brandy, citrus, and a sugary rim makes this a drink to catch.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

2 minutes

Servings:

1

Calories:

216 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Brandy
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Lemon twist, for garnish, long and thin
  • Sugar, for rimming the glass
  • Ice cubes

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass preferably with a wide rim
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Place your cocktail glass in the freezer a few hours before to ensure it is chilled.
  • Rim the Glass: Wet the rim of your cocktail glass with a lemon slice and dip it into sugar to create a sugary rim, place the glass in the freezer again to kepp it chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: In the shaker, combine 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters, 1 tsp sugar, ½ oz lemon juice, ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur, ½ oz Triple Sec, and 2 oz Brandy.
  • Shake: Add ice cubes to the shaker and shake the ingredients until chilled.
  • Strain: Fine strain the mixture into your rimmed cocktail glass.
  • Garnish: Artfully drape the long, thin lemon twist inside the glass, ensuring it touches the sugary rim and cascades into the drink.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Brandy: I sometimes use cognac or dark rum if I ever run out of brandy. They offer unique flavor profiles but can still give you that rich warmth.
  • Triple Sec: If you don't have a triple sec, replace it with another orange liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Cointreau is a bit sweeter, so adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • Maraschino: Try another cherry liqueur, you can opt for cherry brandy even if it will alter the taste and the aspect of your creation.
  • Angostura Bitters: if you’re short of Angostura try with any aromatic bitters.
  • Lemon juice: try out the recipe with lime juice, the drink will be more tart but will still taste amazing  

Making a Pitcher of Brandy Crusta Cocktail:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all ingredients by 8. That's 16 oz of brandy, 4 oz of lemon juice, 2 oz of Maraschino, 8 tsp of sugar, 8 dashes of Angostura Bitters,  and 4 oz of triple sec.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients with ice in a large pitcher. Stir well.
  • Serve: Rim each cocktail glass with sugar, pour the mixture into individual glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Brandy Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic brandy substitute or apple juice for a fruity touch.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic orange liqueur or orange juice with a hint of zest.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: opt for a cherry-almond infused sugar syrup.
  • Angostura Bitters: check for a non-alcoholic aromatic bitter available in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the alcoholic ingredients with these non-alcoholic options, follow the original steps, and enjoy a refreshing non-alcoholic Brandy Crusta.

Making it Vegan:

This Brandy Crusta Cocktail is inherently vegan. Ensure that any sugar or other ingredients you use, especially when experimenting with substitutes, come from vegan sources. Some sugars undergo a refining process using bone char, so opt for organic or beet sugar. Cheers to cruelty-free sipping!

Nutrition Facts

Calories
216
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.03
g
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.04
g
0
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Potassium
 
20
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
1
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
5
mg
6
%
Calcium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.04
mg
0
%

 

Brandy Crusta Cocktail Drink

Brandy Crusta Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Savor the elegance with our Brandy Crusta Cocktail recipe! A blend of brandy, citrus, and a sugary rim makes this a drink to catch.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 216

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Brandy
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Lemon twist - for garnish, long and thin
  • Sugar - for rimming the glass
  • Ice cubes

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass preferably with a wide rim
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Place your cocktail glass in the freezer a few hours before to ensure it is chilled.
  • Rim the Glass: Wet the rim of your cocktail glass with a lemon slice and dip it into sugar to create a sugary rim, place the glass in the freezer again to kepp it chill.
  • Mix Ingredients: In the shaker, combine 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters, 1 tsp sugar, ½ oz lemon juice, ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur, ½ oz Triple Sec, and 2 oz Brandy.
  • Shake: Add ice cubes to the shaker and shake the ingredients until chilled.
  • Strain: Fine strain the mixture into your rimmed cocktail glass.
  • Garnish: Artfully drape the long, thin lemon twist inside the glass, ensuring it touches the sugary rim and cascades into the drink.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Brandy: I sometimes use cognac or dark rum if I ever run out of brandy. They offer unique flavor profiles but can still give you that rich warmth.
  • Triple Sec: If you don't have a triple sec, replace it with another orange liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Cointreau is a bit sweeter, so adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • Maraschino: Try another cherry liqueur, you can opt for cherry brandy even if it will alter the taste and the aspect of your creation.
  • Angostura Bitters: if you’re short of Angostura try with any aromatic bitters.
  • Lemon juice: try out the recipe with lime juice, the drink will be more tart but will still taste amazing  

Making a Pitcher of Brandy Crusta Cocktail:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all ingredients by 8. That's 16 oz of brandy, 4 oz of lemon juice, 2 oz of Maraschino, 8 tsp of sugar, 8 dashes of Angostura Bitters,  and 4 oz of triple sec.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients with ice in a large pitcher. Stir well.
  • Serve: Rim each cocktail glass with sugar, pour the mixture into individual glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Brandy Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic brandy substitute or apple juice for a fruity touch.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic orange liqueur or orange juice with a hint of zest.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: opt for a cherry-almond infused sugar syrup.
  • Angostura Bitters: check for a non-alcoholic aromatic bitter available in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the alcoholic ingredients with these non-alcoholic options, follow the original steps, and enjoy a refreshing non-alcoholic Brandy Crusta.

Making it Vegan:

This Brandy Crusta Cocktail is inherently vegan. Ensure that any sugar or other ingredients you use, especially when experimenting with substitutes, come from vegan sources. Some sugars undergo a refining process using bone char, so opt for organic or beet sugar. Cheers to cruelty-free sipping!

What is a Brandy Crusta Cocktail?

A Brandy Crusta Cocktail is a drink that combines brandy, Maraschino, citrus, bitters, and a sugary rim for a balanced flavor. Historians trace its origins back to the 19th century, making it one of the earlier cocktails to gain popularity. “Crusta” highlights the drink’s signature sugared rim, setting it apart from other brandy-based cocktails. The cocktail is placed among “The Unforgettables” by the International Bartender Association(IBA).

A side shot of a Brandy Crusta cocktail in a coupe glass on a red cloth placed on a grey table surrounded by sugar cubes, two lemons, a jigger, a bar spoon, and a white cloth.

What is a Brandy Crusta made of – The ingredients

To make your own Brandy Crusta, get these ingredients ready:

  • Brandy: The primary spirit of the drink is that it provides warmth and depth to the cocktail.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a tartness that balances the sweetness of other ingredients.
  • Triple Sec: An orange-flavored liqueur that introduces a citrusy sweetness.
  • Maraschino Liqueurs: Lends a noble hint of cherries 
  • Angostura Bitters: add a touch of bitterness and overall complexity to the drink. 
  • Sugar: Enhances the drink’s sweetness and is also used to rim the glass, giving a sweet start to each sip.
  • Lemon Twist: Serves as a garnish and adds a burst of lemon aroma with every drink.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the cocktail, ensuring it’s served at an optimal refreshing temperature.

Brandy, Triple Sec, Maraschino Liqueur, Angostura Bitters, sugar cubes, and lemon juice laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Brandy Crusta?

We will help making your Brandy Crusta drink with our easy guide:

1
<p>First, make sure your cocktail glass is chilled. After that wet the rim of it using a lemon slice.</p>

First, make sure your cocktail glass is chilled. After that wet the rim of it using a lemon slice.

2
<p>Then dip it into sugar to create a sugary rim.</p>

Then dip it into sugar to create a sugary rim.

3
<p>In the cocktail shaker, add Angostura aromatic bitters.</p>

In the cocktail shaker, add Angostura aromatic bitters.

4
<p>Continue with the sugar.</p>

Continue with the sugar.

5
<p>Pour the lemon juice into the shaker.</p>

Pour the lemon juice into the shaker.

6
<p>Add Maraschino Liqueur to the mix.</p>

Add Maraschino Liqueur to the mix.

7
<p>Add Triple Sec to the mix.</p>

Add Triple Sec to the mix.

8
<p>Pour Brandy into the shaker.</p>

Pour Brandy into the shaker.

9
<p>Add ice cubes to the shaker.</p>

Add ice cubes to the shaker.

10
<p>Shake vigorously the mixture until everything is well-chilled.</p>

Shake vigorously the mixture until everything is well-chilled.

11
<p>Fine strain the mixture into your sugared-rim cocktail glass.</p>

Fine strain the mixture into your sugared-rim cocktail glass.

12
<p>Drape a long, thin lemon twist inside the glass to enhance the presentation and aroma. Make sure the twist touches the sugary rim and partially submerges in the drink.</p>

Drape a long, thin lemon twist inside the glass to enhance the presentation and aroma. Make sure the twist touches the sugary rim and partially submerges in the drink.

13
<p>Enjoy your Brandy Crusta cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Brandy Crusta cocktail!

What is the difference between a Sidecar and a Brandy Crusta?

First, the ingredients in a Sidecar include cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, creating a balance between the strong, sweet, and sour elements. In contrast, a Brandy Crusta contains brandy, orange liqueur, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and a dash of Angostura bitters, offering a more complex flavor profile due to the bitters and the maraschino’s subtle sweetness.

A Brandy Crusta cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a red cloth placed on a grey table surrounded by sugar cubes, three lemons, a jigger, a bar spoon, and a white cloth.

Second, the presentation of these drinks is distinct. Both are typically served in a cocktail glass and can often feature a sugared rim for an elegant touch, but the Brandy Crusta is notable for its wide lemon peel garnish hanging over the rim of the glass, which not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the drink’s aromatic properties.

A side shot of a Brandy Crusta cocktail in a coupe glass on a red cloth placed on a grey table surrounded by sugar cubes, two lemons, a jigger, a bar spoon, and a white cloth.

History and Origins of Brandy Crusta Cocktail – A New Orleans favorite

The Brandy Crusta traces its roots back to the mid-19th century in New Orleans, a city known for its vibrant cocktail culture. Joseph Santini, a bartender at the Jewel of the South bar, gets credit for its invention. Santini wanted to create a drink showcasing brandy’s fine qualities while adding complementary flavors.

The distinct element of this cocktail, the sugared rim, is believed to be among the earliest uses of this garnishing technique, lending the name “Crusta” to the drink. 

As with many cocktails from this time, the Brandy Crusta gained widespread attention thanks to its inclusion in the pioneering bartender’s guide by Jerry Thomas in 1862. His endorsement and the detailed recipe he provided helped popularize the cocktail in bars across America and beyond.

A Brandy Crusta cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a white marmol table surrounded by Brandy, two lemons, Angostura Bitters, Maraschino Liqueur, Triple Sec and sugar cubes.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Brandy Crusta Cocktail?
Typically, a Brandy Crusta contains around 150-200 calories.
What's the strength of a Brandy Crusta Cocktail?
The alcohol content is usually around 25-30% ABV, translating to 50-60 proof.
What type of alcohol is in a Brandy Crusta?
Brandy is the primary alcoholic component.
In what glass is a Brandy Crusta typically served?
It's served in a cocktail glass with a wide rim.
What does a Brandy Crusta taste like?
It offers a balance of brandy richness, zesty citrus, and a touch of sweetness.
What's the typical ingredient ratio in a Brandy Crusta?
It involves 2 parts brandy, 0.5 parts each of lemon juice and triple sec, 0.25 parts of maraschino liqueur, with a touch of sugar and a drop of bitters.
How is the Brandy Crusta typically served with ice?
It's served up, meaning chilled but without ice in the serving glass.

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