Brandy Crusta

Chris Hannah, Arnaud's French 75 | New Orleans

Invented by an Italian bartender named Joseph Santini in New Orleans, the Brandy Crusta was one of the city’s first true calling-card cocktails; originally mixed in the 1850s, it predates even the rye whiskey-based Sazerac. Though it all but disappeared in the early 20th century, today, the Crusta is experiencing a revival of sorts, thanks to bartenders like Chris Hannah, who, in 2004, was the first to bring the drink back to its home city.

“It was not on any menu in the entire city,” explains Hannah. “It’d fallen off the radar.” His version, shaken and strained into a sugar-rimmed glass, has been balanced to suit the modern palate, but otherwise stays true to the original in its spirit-forward template. Like many of today’s Crustas, too, it includes a small dose of maraschino liqueur, an addition made popular near the close of the 19th century.


Serving: 1

  • 1 3/4 ounces Cognac
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce orange Curaçao
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura

Garnish: sugar-rimmed glass, peel of half a lemon

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker over ice.
  2. Shake and strain into a sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with the peel of half a lemon.