While other places struggle with definition and innovation, New Orleans revels in identification and rebirth. There is something quite satisfying about being recognized as the first and still the best.

That can be applied to any number of culinary and cocktail situations, and recently this city reclaimed a famous creation that had been lost. The Brandy Crusta, precurser of the Sidecar cocktail, maybe even the Margarita, and the first cocktail in history to include lemon juice as a named ingredient, was invented at a local bar, the Jewel of the South, by a flamboyant proprietor and mixologist from Trieste, Italy who found his muse in New Orleans.

Joseph Santini was renowned as a host par excellence. His bar was infamous and gorgeous. His demeanor was magnetic. He loved this city and despite his passing in Europe, 1874, was returned to us and is a permanent resident in St. Louis Cemetery #3.

Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, well-known for innovation both behind and before “the stick,” have recently established a resurrected Jewel of the South as a destination watering hole. Mr. Santini would not only be pleased, he would feel very much at home.


Brandy Crusta

1.75 oz. cognac
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.50 oz. curacao
0.25 oz maraschino cherry
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Gratuitous lemon peel swath and a sugared rim

Mix all ingredients together.
As created and served at Jewel of the South.