The Brandy Crusta is a very, very old drink. Depending who you ask, it may have been the precursor to the Margarita – and the whole “sour” cocktail family. Some even say it was the very first cocktail that used citrus.

While it’s an unusual find behind the bar, you will almost always be able to recognize it from a distance: traditionally the Crusta has a very thick sugared rim and is served with a full lemon peel wound around the inside of the glass. It’s quite a sight.

This cocktail is whiskey take on the Brandy Crusta – featuring Rye Whiskey as the base spirit and a few other adjustments to (our) taste.

The result is a much sweeter cocktail (which isn’t saying much), with a cherry and orange focus. The fruit flavor plays nicely with the spice of the Rye, without overwhelming it.

You may notice we cheated a bit on the lemon garnish, and only rimmed half the glass with sugar. These are a matter of personal preference, and I like to have the option of a sugared rim or not. Either way, you’re in for a tasty drink!


Crusta in the Rye

This is a take on the classic brandy crusta - but sweeter, with a cherry and orange focus.
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Course: Drinks


  • 1.5 oz Rye Whiskey We used Pendleton
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
  • 0.25 oz Grenadine


  • Rim a cocktail glass with a thick rim of sugar. Set aside.
  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake well to dilute and incorporate.
  • Fine strain into prepared cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.