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Salt & Wind Travel

Bourbon Crusta Cocktail

A bourbon twist on this cocktail that is so classic it is said to predate the Sidecar Cocktail. This Bourbon Crusta cocktail recipe is so good, you will come back to it more often than you think.

Bourbon Crusta Cocktail Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Bourbon always sounds like something fancy, something you should only drink on the rocks, so some people get intimidated by it. Here we like to make things fun, without taking the fancy part away, this Bourbon Crusta Cocktail Recipe is exactly that. The sugar coated rim combined with dry Maraschino cherry liqueur, lemon juice, and bourbon makes for a balanced cocktail that’s sweet-sour and refreshing.

Recipe Ingredients

These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Lemon: The peel is used to make the garnish while the juice and rind will help to sugar crust the glass and to make the drink. 
  • Sugar: The cocktail has no sweetener in it so the sugar on the rim provides a nice balance.
  • Maraschino liqueur: This dry cherry liqueur gives the drink a fruity note without adding sweetness.
  • Bourbon or Rye: Choose your brown spirit of choice. This is delicious with High West Whiskey, Four Roses Bourbon, or Knob Creek Rye.
  • Ice: Make your ice with filtered water for the best cocktails.

How To Make This Recipe

These are the instructions to make this recipe:

  • Sugar The Crust Of The Cocktail Glass: Prep the cocktail glass by filling it with ice water. Right before you are going to serve the drink, discard the ice water. Then take the cut side of the lemon half and rub into around the outside of the cocktail glass from the rim to about 1/4-inch below the rim.
    Place the sugar on a flat rimmed plate then press the edge of the glass into the sugar and repeat until you have coated the whole outside edge of the glass in sugar.
  • Make The Horse’s Neck Lemon Garnish: Grip the bottom of the fruit with one hand securely. Beginning at the top of the fruit, use your other hand to press a Y peeler or channel knife into the fruit, while firmly working your way around it. Wrap the lemon peel into a coil then drop it into the glass.
  • Make The Bourbon Crusta: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice then add in the lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and the bourbon or rye. Close the shaker and shake until condensation forms on the outside, at least 20 seconds. Strain the drink into the cocktail glass and serve immediately.

What To Pair With A Bourbon Crusta Cocktail

The Bourbon Crusta’s citrus and sweet notes pair well with a variety of foods. It’s particularly complementary to rich, savory dishes that can balance its sweetness and acidity. Consider pairing it with charcuterie, aged cheeses, or spicy appetizers. The cocktail’s bold flavors also make it a great accompaniment to grilled meats or barbecue dishes.

Now go stock up on all your cooking essentials, then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bourbon Crusta is a classic cocktail that stands out due to its unique preparation and presentation. It's a variation of the classic Brandy Crusta, traditionally made with bourbon, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and a dash of bitters. The drink is known for its decorative sugar-crusted rim and the use of a large lemon or orange peel lining the inside of the glass, which adds a fragrant citrus aroma and a burst of flavor with every sip.

Preparing the glass for a Bourbon Crusta is a key part of the cocktail's presentation. Start by rimming the glass with lemon juice and then dipping it in fine sugar to create the signature crust.

Next, take a large peel of lemon or orange and spiral it inside the glass, ensuring it lines the interior completely. The glass is then ready for the cocktail to be strained in, allowing the flavors of the citrus to infuse with the drink.

While the Bourbon Crusta is traditionally made with bourbon, you can substitute other spirits to suit your taste. The original Crusta was made with brandy, and variations can include using rye whiskey, cognac, or even rum. Each spirit will bring its own flavor profile to the cocktail, making it a versatile drink that can be tailored to different preferences.

Bourbon Crusta Cocktail Recipe

Bourbon Crusta Cocktail Recipe

A bourbon twist on this cocktail that is so classic it is said to predate the Sidecar Cocktail. This Bourbon Crusta Cocktail recipe is so good, you will most likely come back to it more often than you think.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Cocktail
Calories 74 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium lemon
  • Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces good-quality bourbon or rye
  • ice cubes

Instructions
 

  • To Sugar The Crust Of The Cocktail Glass: Prep the cocktail glass by filling it with ice water. Right before you going to serve the drink, discard the ice water. Then take the cut side of the lemon half and rub into around the outside of the cocktail glass from the rim to about 1/4-inch below the rim.
    Place the sugar on a flat rimmed plate then press the edge of the glass into the sugar and repeat until you have coated the whole outside edge of the glass in sugar. 
  • To Make The Horse's Neck Lemon Garnish: Grip the bottom of the fruit with one hand securely. Beginning at the top of the fruit, use your other hand to press a Y peeler or channel knife into the fruit, while firmly working your way around it. Wrap the lemon peel into a coil then drop it into the glass. 
  • To Make The Bourbon Crusta: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice then add in the lemon juice, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and the bourbon or rye. Close the shaker and shake until condensation forms on the outside, at least 20 seconds. Strain the drink into the cocktail glass and serve immediately. 

PERSONAL NOTES

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 63mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Aperitivo, Classic cocktail
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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