Brandy Crusta

Brandy Crusta

The Brandy Crusta was invented in 1862 by Joseph Santini at his bar named Jewel of the South located in New Orleans. The main ingredients are brandy, fresh lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and Angostura bitters.

The Brandy Crusta tastes very much like a Brandy Sour with the added layers of cherry and cinnamon from the liqueur and the bitters, respectively.

The Brandy Crusta is typically served in a sour glass since it is essentially a sour; or more accurately a “daisy” cocktail which consists of four elements — a spirit, a sugar, a citrus, and a liqueur. The sour glass is perfect for the sugared rim and the orange twist to fit around the lip of the glass.

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“The Brandy Crusta is a cocktail with complex flavors. It has a sweetness that is perfectly balanced by fresh lemon juice and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Rim a cocktail glass with sugar, add an orange twist and enjoy” —Joan Velush

Brandy Crusta/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, more for rimming the glass

  • Granulated sugar, for rimming the glass

  • 1 1/2 ounces aged brandy

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau

  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

  • 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

  • Orange peel twist, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Brandy Custa cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Have a coupe, cocktail glass, or sour glass ready. Take a small cloth, dip it in lemon juice, and rub it around the rim of glass.

    Rubbing the rim of a cocktail glass with lemon juice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Dip the outside of the rim in the sugar to coat all the way around. Use another clean, damp cloth to wipe any uneven lines, making the sugar rim is even.

    A sugar-rimmed cocktail glass

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Combine the lemon juice, brandy, simple syrup, Cointreau, maraschino liqueur, and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add ice to shaker and shake very hard for 10 seconds.

    A cocktail shaker, lemon juice, brandy, simple syrup, Cointreau, maraschino liqueur, and bitters

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Strain the cocktail into the rimmed glass.

    Strained cocktail in a sugar-rimmed glass

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Garnish with an orange peel twist and serve.

    Brandy Custa cocktail garnished with an orange twist

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Tips

  • For the orange peel twist, use a y-peeler to make a long twist. But make sure you use a pairing knife on a cutting board to make the twist look nice and elegant. You don’t need to wrap it around the rim to make this cocktail impressive, but you should always cut it into a nice shape.
  • For maraschino liqueur, Luxardo is always a great choice especially for classic cocktails. And for brandy, Copper & Kings is my go-to as it’s very smooth and easy to use in cocktails.

Blue Brandy Crusta

The “Blue” version of the Brandy Crusta surprisingly tastes exactly the same as the classic version by just switching out a few ingredients. Substitute blue curaçao for the Cointreau; sub the aged brandy for white Brandy (or eau de vie); and lastly, substitute the aromatic bitters for orange bitters. This helps to bring out the color more while retaining the exact same flavors. But most impressively, you make a blue sugared rim for this version.

Blue Sugar (for rimming)

• 1/4 cup white sugar

• 1/4 cup blue edible glitter 

– Pour both ingredients into a small bowl and stir for 20 seconds until mixed together.

Blue Brandy Crusta

• 1/2 ounce simple syrup

• 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

• 3 dashes orange bitters 

• 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur 

• 1/2 oz blue curaçao

• 1 1/2 ounces white brandy 

– Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake really hard for 10 seconds. Fine strain into a sugar-rimmed sour glass.

How strong is the Brandy Crusta?

This Brandy Crusta cocktail recipe is 25% ABV.


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