The Brandy Crusta – Spirited Smoke
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The Brandy Crusta, a Classic New Orleans Cocktail, Has Been Brought Back to Life

New Orleans is known for its rich history centered around music, food and a “let the good times roll” attitude.

Part of that colorful history includes a celebration of all things spirits and cocktails. While the cocktail was not invented there, many believe that New Orleans was where the concept of the cocktail was truly  honed.

With that, I want to pay a special homage to the Brandy Crusta, a cocktail that was the forefather of the Sidecar and many other sour drinks, as it is believed to be the first to include a citrus note. It was invented by Italian immigrant, Joseph Santini in his own bar called the Jewel of the South in NoLa in 1840.

While the recipe has been tweaked and changed over the years by crafty bartenders all over the world, my extensive research is showing that the following is as close to the original recipe as you can find:

Brandy Crusta
Makes 1 drink

1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce orange curacao
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1-1/2 ounces Cognac

Shake with ice. Strain into a sugar-rimmed glass. Garish with a full lemon peel.

This beautiful drink has been brought back to life by local bartenders Nick Detrich and Chris Hannah, who recently opened the bar Jewel of the South, paying homage to Joseph Santini and his original bar. It is located in the French Quarter on St. Louis St. inside the Creole cottage that dates back to the 1830s.

I know where I’ll certainly be stopping by during my next trip to NoLa!