Food & dining

From the Bar

From the Bar: Strike a balance in the new year with a holiday Crusta

Seasonal Crusta at Pastoral.
Liza Weisstuch for The Boston Globe
Seasonal Crusta at Pastoral.

Todd Maul, who’s led the hyper-creative bar programs at Café Art Science and the now-shuttered Clio, is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School, where he trained in furniture-making. Makes sense, then, that he speaks of cocktails as analogous to woodworking. At his new post at Pastoral, in Fort Point, his holiday offering is a seasonal Crusta, a mid-19th-century drink style defined by its sugar-crusted rim. “A lot of drinks are two ideas touching one another, not necessarily coming together to make one better idea,” Maul says. But the plutonic ideal of a cocktail happens when two ideas become one, just like in carpentry, where a joint can be stronger than the materials it unites. In his Crusta, the dryness of the rum formula compensates for the sweetness of the nutmeg rim. And vice versa. Think of it like the balance we should all strive for in the new year. LIZA WEISSTUCH

The Holiday Crusta

Makes 1 drink

2 ounces Eldorado 5 Year Old Rum (or any aged rum)

¾ ounce lemon juice

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½ ounce Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth

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¼ ounce cinnamon simple syrup (to make syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 4 cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, and let cool.)

1 bar spoon grapefruit bitters

Grapefruit twist to garnish

To make crust: In a shallow bowl, mix 2 parts nutmeg, 2 parts demerara sugar, 1 part cinnamon, a sprinkle of orange zest.

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1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

2. Wet the rim of a small wine glass with orange juice and plunge into the nutmeg mix.

3. Strain into wine glass. Garnish with grapefruit twist.

Adapted from Pastoral

Liza Weisstuch can be reached at liza.weisstuch@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @livingtheproof.