Drink of the Week: Bourbon Crusta

By Paul Nelson

Bourbon is seriously challenging tequila for my favorite liquor. I don’t think bourbon will ever fully displace it mostly because I’m stubborn, but I’ve been enjoying bourbon more often than tequila of late.

This is a simple, tasty drink. It calls for Cointreau, but Cointreau is really just a fancy brand of triple sec, an orange flavored liquor produced in France. Traditionally triple sec is made from a variety of dried orange peels, and it is considered one of the five white liquors that are standard for a good bar to stock (the others being vodka, gin, white rum, and tequila) and which are requisite for the ever-popular Long Island Iced Tea.

Bourbon Crusta

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • ½ oz Cointreau or triple sec
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice

Rub the rim of whatever kind of glass you’re using with lemon and then dip the rim in sugar. This drink is simple and elegant enough to be served in a champagne flute but that’s really your call. Shake the ingredients together with ice and then strain to serve straight up in the glass. Garnish with a lemon peel twist (which you can learn to create by watching this awesome video). The lemon twist is both a visual element as well as a flavor and olfactory enhancer, as twisting the lemon peel releases the natural oils in the peel which heighten the lemon flavor and scent of the drink.

This is a delicious drink. Not too sweet as the lemon juice and the triple sec/Cointreau balance each other nicely, and the bourbon is pronounced enough still to be thoroughly enjoyed.