Saturday, June 9

Brandy Crusta

This is a true New Orleans classic which was invented in the 1850s by Joseph Santina. Joseph owned and operated the City Exchange on Gravier Street in New Orleans. (1)This drink is unique in its garnish in that it uses a large amount of lemon peel that almost entirely coats the inside of the glass.

A Great Grandfather
The significance of this classic is far reaching into what is today some our most prolific cocktails. The formula was coined by Gary Regan as the New Orleans Sour and consists of a base liquor (in this case Brandy), an orange liqueur for the sweetener and lemon or lime for the sour. This mixture is exactly what is used in some modern day classics like the Margarita (Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice) and the Cosmopolitan (Vodka, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Cranberry Juice). Many other cocktails where born of this mixture and the formula was born right here in New Orleans on Gravier Street.(1)

The sweet orange flavor and citrus sour flavor combine to complement the base spirit very well in the New Orleans Sour formula.

1.5 oz Brandy
0.25 oz Maraschino liqueur
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel spiral and sugared rim for garnish

Cut a lemon in half and moisten the rim of the glass with the lemon. Then heavily coat the rim with sugar. Completely peel one of the lemon halfs in a ½ inch wide piece of lemon peel. Fill glass with ice leaving enough room to place the peel in glass. Cut one of the lemon halfs in half again in order to get a quarter of the lemon. Juice the lemon quarter and add the juice to the brandy, maraschino, Cointreau, and bitters. Shake with ice for 10 seconds and then strain into prepared glass.

The glass used for this drink should be a wine glass, a Sour glass, or in a pinch a double old fashioned (rocks) glass.

As you taste the drink you should find the balance of the sweet and sour elements brings out the flavor of the base liquor. The lemon peel and sugared rim almost do the same thing but on a different level. This is a really great cocktail and you can see why it was made a design pattern for many drinks to come.