Brandy Wisconsin Old Fashioned

Wisconsin Old Fashioned

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If a classic cocktail is what you’re craving, look no further than this Wisconsin Old Fashioned recipe! It’s an easy-to-make drink that’s delightful and packed with rich ingredients.

Wisconsin Old Fashioned Recipe

This Wisconsin Old Fashioned recipe is just what you need for a cozy winter evening! Made with brandy, sugar, bitters, and a splash of citrus, it's the ultimate drink for staying warm on cold nights.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

157 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Brandy
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2 orange slices
  • 1 splash of Club Soda
  • Orange slice and maraschino cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Old Fashioned Glass
  • Muddler
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Place 1 sugar cube in your Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Bitters: Douse the sugar cube with 2 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters.
  • Add orange: Place 2 orange slices into the glass.
  • Muddle: Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube and the orange slices together.
  • Add Brandy: Pour 2 oz Brandy.
  • Add Ice: Fill your glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients until the sugar cube is dissolved.
  • Top with Soda: Add 1 splash of Club Soda.
  • Garnish: Place an orange slice and a maraschino cherry into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Brandy: If you don't have brandy on hand, bourbon is a great substitute that I often use. It gives the cocktail a slightly different flavor profile but still works wonderfully.
  • Angostura Bitters: If you're out of Angostura bitters, try using orange bitters instead. They add a nice citrusy twist to the drink.
  • Sugar Cube: If you don't have sugar cubes, use a teaspoon of granulated sugar or simple syrup as a substitute.

Making a Pitcher of Wisconsin Old Fashioned:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of brandy, 8 sugar cubes, 16 orange slides, and 16 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, muddle the sugar cubes and the orange slices together with the Angostura bitters. Add Brandy and ice cubes. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into individual ice-filled Old Fashioned glasses, add a splash of soda water, garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Brandy Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic brandy substitute available in most supermarkets and do a good job mimicking the brandy's flavor.
  • Angostura bitters: use a non-alcoholic aromatic bitter alternative available on the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this classic cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

  • Sugar Substitute: Some sugars are not vegan due to the processing methods used. To ensure your cocktail is vegan-friendly, make sure your sugar is not processed using bone char or any other animal-derived products.
  • Garnish: Ensure your maraschino cherries are vegan. Some brands use artificial colors or preservatives derived from animal products. Look for brands that specify they are vegan-friendly.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
157
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
2
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Potassium
 
5
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.02
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
5
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.02
mg
0
%

 

Brandy Wisconsin Old Fashioned

Wisconsin Old Fashioned Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
This Wisconsin Old Fashioned recipe is just what you need for a cozy winter evening! Made with brandy, sugar, bitters, and a splash of citrus, it's the ultimate drink for staying warm on cold nights.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 157

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Brandy
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2 orange slices
  • 1 splash of Club Soda
  • Orange slice and maraschino cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Old Fashioned Glass
  • Muddler
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Place 1 sugar cube in your Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Bitters: Douse the sugar cube with 2 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters.
  • Add orange: Place 2 orange slices into the glass.
  • Muddle: Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube and the orange slices together.
  • Add Brandy: Pour 2 oz Brandy.
  • Add Ice: Fill your glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients until the sugar cube is dissolved.
  • Top with Soda: Add 1 splash of Club Soda.
  • Garnish: Place an orange slice and a maraschino cherry into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Brandy: If you don't have brandy on hand, bourbon is a great substitute that I often use. It gives the cocktail a slightly different flavor profile but still works wonderfully.
  • Angostura Bitters: If you're out of Angostura bitters, try using orange bitters instead. They add a nice citrusy twist to the drink.
  • Sugar Cube: If you don't have sugar cubes, use a teaspoon of granulated sugar or simple syrup as a substitute.

Making a Pitcher of Wisconsin Old Fashioned:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of brandy, 8 sugar cubes, 16 orange slides, and 16 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, muddle the sugar cubes and the orange slices together with the Angostura bitters. Add Brandy and ice cubes. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into individual ice-filled Old Fashioned glasses, add a splash of soda water, garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Brandy Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic brandy substitute available in most supermarkets and do a good job mimicking the brandy's flavor.
  • Angostura bitters: use a non-alcoholic aromatic bitter alternative available on the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this classic cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

  • Sugar Substitute: Some sugars are not vegan due to the processing methods used. To ensure your cocktail is vegan-friendly, make sure your sugar is not processed using bone char or any other animal-derived products.
  • Garnish: Ensure your maraschino cherries are vegan. Some brands use artificial colors or preservatives derived from animal products. Look for brands that specify they are vegan-friendly.

What is a Wisconsin Old Fashioned?

A Wisconsin Old Fashioned is a brandy-based cocktail made of brandy, sugar cube, Angostura bitters, soda water, and garnished with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. This drink is relatively easy to make but requires attention to detail in correctly muddling the sugar and bitters together with some orange slices before adding the other ingredients.

The Wisconsin Old Fashioned is indeed a variant of the well-known whiskey-based Old Fashioned cocktail. The substitution of brandy for whiskey gives this version its unique flavor profile.

An exciting aspect of this particular beverage lies within its regional popularity; it’s essentially the Wisconsin official drink, where locals often serve it “sweet” or “sour”. Sweet is mixed with Sprite or 7-Up instead of soda water, while sour involves using Squirt or similar citrus-flavored sodas.

A side shot of a Brandy Wisconsin Old Fashioned cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a wooden board placed on a wooden table surrounded by a brown bowl, a cigar, a red cloth, and a cigar cutter.

What is a Wisconsin Old Fashioned made of – The ingredients

If you’re making a Wisconsin old Fashioned, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brandy: The cocktail’s base spirit provides a rich, warming depth of flavor.
  • Sugar Cube: Adds sweetness to balance the strength of the brandy and the bitterness of the bitters.
  • Angostura Bitters: A concentrated botanical extract that adds complexity and a bitter counterpoint to the sweetness.
  • Orange Slice: Provides a citrusy note, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Maraschino Cherry: Offers a touch of fruity sweetness and serves as an attractive garnish.
  • Soda Water is used to top off the drink, adding effervescence and slightly diluting the strong flavors.

Brandy, Angostura aromatic bitters, club soda and two oranges laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Wisconsin Old Fashioned?

Discover the simplicity of making a Wisconsin Old Fashioned with our detailed steps:

1
<p>Start by placing a sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass. This will serve as the base of your cocktail and help balance out the other ingredients' strong flavors.</p>

Start by placing a sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass. This will serve as the base of your cocktail and help balance out the other ingredients' strong flavors.

2
<p>Proceed to douse the sugar cube with two dashes of Angostura bitters. The bitters will add complexity to the drink.</p>

Proceed to douse the sugar cube with two dashes of Angostura bitters. The bitters will add complexity to the drink.

3
<p>Add a couple of orange slices to the mix, this will provide a citrus freshness to the overall flavor. </p>

Add a couple of orange slices to the mix, this will provide a citrus freshness to the overall flavor.

4
<p>Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube, the orange slices together with the bitters. Be sure to muddle thoroughly but don't exaggerate.</p>

Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube, the orange slices together with the bitters. Be sure to muddle thoroughly but don't exaggerate.

5
<p>Pour two ounces of brandy. The brandy is the show's star in this cocktail, so be sure to use a high-quality brand you enjoy.</p>

Pour two ounces of brandy. The brandy is the show's star in this cocktail, so be sure to use a high-quality brand you enjoy.

6
<p>Ice up the glass.</p>

Ice up the glass.

7
<p>Stir the drink with a cocktail spoon. This will help to mix the brandy with the sugar, the orange, and bitters, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.</p>

Stir the drink with a cocktail spoon. This will help to mix the brandy with the sugar, the orange, and bitters, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

8
<p>Top up your drink with a splash of soda, you can also try an aromatized one to give it a little twist. </p>

Top up your drink with a splash of soda, you can also try an aromatized one to give it a little twist.

9
<p>Finally, garnish your Wisconsin Old Fashioned with a slice of orange and a cherry. The fruit adds a sweetness and a pop of color, making the drink as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.</p>

Finally, garnish your Wisconsin Old Fashioned with a slice of orange and a cherry. The fruit adds a sweetness and a pop of color, making the drink as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Wisconsin Old Fashioned Sour

This twist brings out a tart flavor by adding sour mix or citrus juice instead of the usual soda or sweet elements. The citrus highlights the strong taste of brandy, giving it a fresh kick that cuts through the sweetness. It often comes with garnishes like olives or pickled mushrooms, which add a savory touch. I really like how the sour flavors wake up your taste buds, making it a great choice to start off the night.

History and Origin of the Wisconsin Old Fashioned

At first, the Old Fashioned had whiskey, usually bourbon or rye. But when the drink got to Wisconsin, locals changed it up. They used what they had a lot of — brandy. German immigrants brought their love for brandy to Wisconsin, and soon, everyone was drinking it.

A Brandy Wisconsin Old Fashioned cocktail, shot from above, in an old fashioned glass on a beige surface surrounded by Brandy, Angostura aromatic bitters, club soda, two sugar cubes, and two oranges.

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FAQ

How many calories does a Wisconsin Old Fashioned contain?
A standard Wisconsin Old Fashioned cocktail contains approximately 180-200 calories. However, this can vary depending on the brandy used and the amount of sugar added.
How strong is a Wisconsin Old Fashioned?
The strength of a Wisconsin Old Fashioned can vary based on the ratio of ingredients used. Typically, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 30% to 35%, translating to 60 to 70 proof. This makes it a moderately strong cocktail.
What type of alcohol is used in a Wisconsin Old Fashioned?
As the name suggests, a Wisconsin Old Fashioned uses brandy as its primary alcohol. The choice of brandy can significantly influence the taste and quality of the cocktail.
In what type of glass is a Wisconsin Old Fashioned served?
Traditionally, a Wisconsin Old Fashioned is served in an old-fashioned glass, a rocks, or lowball glass. This short tumbler provides ample room for ice and garnish while allowing the drinker to appreciate the aroma and flavors of the cocktail fully.
What does a Wisconsin Old Fashioned taste like?
A well-made Wisconsin Old Fashioned offers a complex blend of flavors. The brandy provides warmth and depth, the orange delivers freshness, while the sugar and bitters add sweetness and spice. The overall taste is rich, slightly sweet, and subtly spicy with a smooth finish.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Wisconsin Old Fashioned?
The typical ratio for a Wisconsin Old Fashioned is 2 oz of Brandy, 1 Sugar Cube, 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters, 2 muddled orange slices, and a splash of Club Soda. However, some prefer to adjust these ratios to suit their taste preferences.
How is a Wisconsin Old Fashioned served with ice?
A Wisconsin Old Fashioned is usually served over ice, often as a single large ice cube or sphere. This helps to chill the drink and dilute it slightly, enhancing its flavors without making it too watery.

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