Brandy Old Fashioned

The brandy old fashioned is Wisconsin’s unofficial state drink, and we honor that tradition with our Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet Paczki. To create this Fat Tuesday treat, the paczki shell is filled with cream infused with brandy, bitters, and cherry – just like our favorite supper club cocktail.

CRAFT THE COCKTAIL

Ingredients

3 dashes bitters
2 orange slices
2 maraschino cherries
1 sugar cube
2 ounces brandy
Lemon-lime soda, to top
Garnish: cherry and orange slice

Steps

  1. Add the bitters, orange slices, cherries and sugar cube to an Old Fashioned glass and muddle to combine.
  2. Add ice to fill the glass, then add the brandy.
  3. Top with soda, and stir to chill.
  4. Garnish with a skewered cherry and an orange slice.

WHERE DID THIS DELECTABLE DRINK COME FROM?

Wisconsin drinks more brandy than any other state; Korbel has even reported that more than half of its world-wide sales go straight to Wisconsin. The popular myth explaining this phenomenon goes something like this: In 1893, the World’s Columbian Exposition was in Chicago. Since it was just a train ride away, a lot of Wisconsinites were in attendance. German immigrants in this area already had a taste for brandy, and they latched onto Korbel’s product.

Jeanette Hurt, author of Wisconsin Cocktails, found another answer in her research. The story distills down to brandy being in the right place at the right time: Whisky was hard to get due to Prohibition and WWII, but the Christian Brothers had a stash of brandy on hand. Well-made brandy was favored over sub-par liquors, so more and more was distributed to Wisconsin until finally September was declared Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Month last year.

OTHER OPTIONS TO TRY

The basic old fashioned recipe may have been popular during Prohibition to mask bad booze with fruit and sugar. If you order an old fashioned anywhere outside of Wisconsin, you’ll get a drink made with whiskey. Old fashioneds can also be made with rum or tequila, if that’s more your style. For the Wisconsin staple, if you order it sweet, then it is topped with a lemon-lime soda. If you order it sour, then grapefruit soda (or sour mix) is swapped in. Just make sure you order it with some good company in tow!

Fresh from our oven to yours - happy baking, um, drinking!

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