Brandy, you're a fine girl
Valentine’s Day / Galentine's Day / Palentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we have a pretty little cocktail for you with an unfortunately ugly name. Meet the Brandy Crusta: it’s a showstopper to look at, but holy cow, “crusta” really evokes some unpleasant imagery for us! The term refers to the “crust” of sugar that rims the glass — ok, cool, we just wish it had a more pleasant moniker.
Naming conventions aside, the liquid in cocktail is actually really straightforward and easy to make — it’ll just take a little time to adorn it in all its finery. But it’s worth it: your beloved / pal / yourself will have a gorgeous, tasty cocktail made with love (that’s also Insta-worthy!). Pick up a bag of lemons and get your peeler ready, cause this delicious drink is lined with a full lemon peel and sparkles with a sugar rim.
The Brandy Crusta dates all the way back to 1850s New Orleans, where it is thought to have been one of the first cocktails to use citrus as an ingredient. (If you know your cocktail lineage, you might recognize that the B.C. is a precursor to the Sidecar.) The Brandy Crusta was popular among locals in the Crescent City, but then rocketed to national fame when startender of the time, Jerry Thomas, featured it in his cocktail recipe book in 1862. Mr. Thomas recommends drinking it with some cheer, as he concludes the recipe instructions with: “Then smile.”
She’s so pretty and so tasty that you will certainly be smiling while you enjoy this lovely cocktail. Cheers!
2 oz. Cognac or brandy
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. rich syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
1/2 tsp. orange curaçao
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnishes: sugar & whole lemon peel
First, a note on glassware: you’ll want a smaller, narrower cocktail glass or shorter champagne flute to serve this. You’ll be fitting a whole lemon peel around the entire inside of the glass, so a large vessel won’t work out quite right.
Run a lemon wedge around the outside rim of a cocktail glass, leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch swath of juice all the way around. Pour some sugar into a shallow dish, and twirl the glass through the sugar to create a sugar rim. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the rest of the cocktail.
Using a vegetable peeler and starting at the top of a lemon, cut a long lemon twist all the way around the whole fruit, keeping it all in one piece. Arrange the peel around the inside of your sugar-rimmed glass, so that the peel peeks out of the top of the glass.
Add brandy, lemon juice, syrup, orange curaçao, and bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain into prepared cocktail glass. Sip & enjoy!