Saturday, March 5, 2016

niagara crusta

2 jigger Rye (1 1/2 oz Old Overholt)
1/2 Lemon Juice (1/2 oz)
1 tsp Sugar (1/2 oz Simple Syrup)
1 Egg White

Shake with ice and strain into a sugar-crusted glass. Put 2 dash Crème Yvette at the bottom of the glass (1/4 oz inserted at the bottom via plastic pipette). I added a wide lemon twist curled around the inside of the glass.

Every once in a while, there is a historical aberration from a classic style that makes you either shake your head or curious enough to give it a try (and sometimes like here, both at the same time). And many of these can be found in Pioneers of Mixing in Elite Bars: 1903-1933. I associate the classic 1852 Crusta as being a spirit, citrus, a sweetener (usually a liqueur), and bitters in a sugar-rimmed glass that contains a wide citrus twist garnish. In the Pioneer's Niagara Crusta, some of the basics are there, but there is an egg white, no bitters, and no citrus twist? I have made others from that book that lacked the bitters like the Newkirk and Rye Crustas (and the rye one lacked the citrus twist and recommended garnishing with fruits, berries, and mint instead), but to me it is the early presence of citrus in a cocktail (and by cocktail I mean in the classic sense where they need to have bitters) that make the Crusta important (besides being a predecessor of the Sidecar). The egg white is also an oddity; however, the sink of liqueur makes this recipe a dandy! Most Crustas have some liqueur like curaçao or Maraschino as the sweetener, but here the sweetener is sugar and the liqueur element is present in Pousse-café style. I added a citrus twist to the book's instructions to round out the drink and help adjust the recipe slightly to my perceived norm.
The Niagara Crusta had made a list of recipes to try, but I had always skipped over it until two weeks ago after my work shift. I definitely needed to tweak the proportions since I was not downing 2 jiggers of whiskey to test out this drink; moreover, that amount was odd since most of the recipes in the book are for smaller sized libations. Once built, the Niagara Crusta provided a lemon aroma from the citrus swath I added. Next, the creamy sip offered malt notes and a tart lemon aspect that was assuaged by the sugar on the rim; and lastly, the rye began the swallow that ended with a return of the tart lemon on the finish. Once the Crème Yvette entered the picture (assisted by agitation of the glass once it was half drained), the flavor gained berry, floral, and vanilla notes as well as an increase in sweetness.

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