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Types of Crusta

Historical Citations

Jerry Thomas

"The “Cocktail” is a modern invention, and is generally used on fishing and other sporting parties, although some patients insist that it is good in the morning as a tonic. The “Crusta” is an improvement on the “Cocktail,” and is said to have been invented by Santina, a celebrated Spanish caterer."

According to David Herpin

This drink is widely believed to be invented by Jerry Thomas, who invented many great drinks, but not this one. There is also some folkore associated with this drink claiming it was invented by Joseph Santina a decade prior to the release of Thomas's book (1862). Here is a pre-Jerry Thomas reference to Crusta.

A dictionary of terms used in medicine and the collateral sciences - Page 95 by Richard Dennis Hoblyn, Isaac Hays in1856 "A nourishing gruel composed of flour or meal, with egg, wine or brandy, nutmeg. The infusion is an exceedingly useful application in crusta lactea"

A common trait amoung vintage cocktails is that most of them were originally prescribed as a medicine. In the case of the Crusta, it appears its name is derived from the ailment itself. It is believed that the word "crusta" comes from the use of sugar on the "crust" of the glass. Although, the problem with this theory is that the word crust was not used in the same context it is today. Also, it probably would have been called a "brandy crust". Every recipe including Jerry Thomas's indicates that this drink is spelled "crusta". It is worth noting that every reference to crusta prior to Thomas's book is related to crusta lactea.

Given the timeframe and association with the Crusta, The Joe Santina story might hold some validity, but i'm not calling that one yet. This drink dates between 1853 - 1859 and contained at least as of then:



Fresh Lemon Juice

3 or 4 dashes gum syrup

2 dashes bitters (bogart's)

A sugar-rimmed fancy red wine glass

There was no mention on the specific type of ice to use, but as early as 1888 Harry Johnson suggest "fine ice"

Garnish with a pared lemon peel. (to pare, cut off ends, slice horizonally in the fruit, remove the fruit) so you should be left with the entire peel except the ends. Easier said than done.

American and other Drinks, by Leo Engel, 1878

"The Cocktail is quite a modern invention, and is very frequently used as the "proper beverage" for fishing and other sporting parties, although we have heard of some "weary sufferers" who take it in the morning as a tonic. The Crusta is thought by some to be an improvement on the Cocktail, and is said to have been invented by Santina, a celebrated Spanish caterer."

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