It’s an old drink, but one worth keeping: the Genever Crusta

A good Genever Crusta recipe is well worth your time.

The Genever Crusta is one of those well and truly old-school drinks that doesn’t get enough play, if you ask us.

The Crusta came about not long after the Cocktail was invented, and if you’d ordered a Gin Crusta from your bartender back in the 1860’s you would have likely been given some genever, or Hollands gin as it was often known.

“Cocktails are compounds very much used by “early birds” to fortify the inner man, and by those who like their consolations hot and strong,” wrote William Terrington in his 1869 book, Cooling Cups & Dainty Drinks. “‘Cocktail’ is not so ancient an institution as Juleps, &c, but, with its next of kin, ‘Crusta’ promises to maintain its ground.”

And when a drink is this good, it’s likely to stick around for a while.

What is a Crusta? The Crusta is often credited to Joeseph Santini, a compounder of drinks in New Orleans who ran the bar at New Orleans’ City Exchange, according to David Wondrich. I’ll let Jerry Thomas explain the drink:

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“[A] Crusta is made the same as a fancy cocktail, with a little lemon juice and a small lump of ice added.”

OK great. So what’s in a Fancy Cocktail again? Well, it’s a tricked up Cocktail is what. We’ve highlighted Thomas’ recipe for the Gin Cocktail before: it’s gin, bitters, sugar, and curacao, with a piece of lemon peel. The Fancy Gin Cocktail has the drinks strained into a fancy wine glass, and the “edge of the glass moistened with lemon.”

From there it’s only a short leap to a sugar rimmed glass, right?

Print Recipe

Genever Crusta

  1. Moisten the rim of a coupe with lemon, and rim with sugar.
  2. Line coupe with the peel of a lemon.
  3. Add all ingredients to a shaker, shake and strain.

“Cocktails are compounds very much used by “early birds” to fortify the inner man, and by those who like their consolations hot and strong,” wrote William Terrington in his 1869 book, Cooling Cups & Dainty Drinks. “‘Cocktail’ is not so ancient an institution as Juleps, &c, but, with its next of kin, ‘Crusta’ promises to maintain its ground.”


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