Brandy Old Fashioned 5.5.18

-Branden Kummer

There was once a headline in SB Nation regarding a football game between the Wisconsin Badgers and BYU Cougars in Provo, Utah. The question was “Can Badger fans drink Provo dry?” For context, BYU is Mormon country. Provo itself has only two bars. Wisconsinites created their own drink because they were bored.  Now they didn’t actually drink the place dry, but they gave it a damn good shot, and word is they tipped better than the locals.

The classic drink is a Northern/MidWestern take on the Old Fashioned. According to John Dye, the owner of Bryant’s, a cocktail lounge in Milwaukee, when the Old Fashioned began to sort of fall out prominence again in the Prohibition Era, Wisconsin kept it alive. In an interview with “The Midwestival” he said that while the typical Old Fashioned has only recently seen a resurgence nationally, it has been served in Wisconsin corner bars for over 100 years.

Wisconsin has a bit of an obsession with brandy. Most every mixed drink you can think of probably has a brandy version courtesy of the Badger State. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States say that Wisconsinites buy the most brandy, and are joined by their rivals in Minnesota and everyone’s rivals in D.C. There’s no concrete reason for brandy’s popularity in Wisconsin, some think that the Korbel company, around the time of a population boom, began selling brandy for cheap, some Wisconsin bartenders think at this stage Wisconsinites appreciate brandy in a way that other states don’t or don’t care to. Whatever the reason, it’s is and has been all over the state to the point where it surprised my mother, a born and bred Badger herself, when she first discovered other states made Old Fashioneds with something other than brandy.

The difference between the Brandy/Wisconsin Old Fashioned and the regular drink, apart from the obvious use of brandy instead of bourbon, is that while the usual maraschino cherries are an option, brandied cherries are prefered.

  • 2 oz brandy

  • 2 dases Angosutra

  • 2 brandied cherries.

  • 1 sugar cube/1 tsp of sugar

  • 1-2 slices

  • Sweet or sour wash

  • ice

Put the oranges, cherries, bitters and sugar into an Old Fashioned glass add the wash, and muddle everythin

Add brandy/ice

Garnish with orange slice or cherry (optional)

Enjoy this Wisconsin favorite!!


Jill Kummer