Home Cocktails Best Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

Best Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

Nestled in America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin is renowned for more than just its cheese. This Wisconsin old-fashioned recipe is one of them. Made with brandy, it’s a fun take on a classic.

Wisconsin is a place where tradition and innovation blend seamlessly. That’s particularly evident in the art of crafting this cocktail. 

Iced Wisconsin Old-Fashioned Cocktail
WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

It’s a beloved drink with roots tracing back to the 19th century. It’s undergone a unique evolution in the Badger State. But people still love it as much today as they ever did. 

In fact, it’s become a symbol of craftsmanship and flavor in the cocktail world. Now, let’s talk about how you can make one. 

What Is a Wisconsin Old-Fashioned? 

As you can probably guess from the name, this drink is Wisconsin’s take on the traditional old-fashioned. 

Typically, an old-fashioned contains bourbon, sugar, and bitters. This version substitutes brandy for bourbon and adds a lot more fruit. 

You top it with your choice of fizzy drink for a zesty, zingy finish. The result is a sweeter, bubblier version of the classic old-fashioned. 

Glass of Ice Cold Wisconsin Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Ingredients 

A Wisconsin old-fashioned has several ingredients for a cocktail. Still, it’s just as easy to make as most mixed drinks. Here’s what you need: 

  • Orange slices – Muddle a few fresh orange slices in the glass before adding the liquids. That will give the drink a citrusy finish. Save one for a garnish. 
  • Cherries – Use maraschino or brandied cherries, as you prefer. Like the orange slices, muddle a couple in the drink and use one for a garnish. 
  • Sugar – I like to use sugar cubes because they’re simple. However, you can just as easily mix in a teaspoon of granulated sugar. 
  • Angostura bitters – These add the right touch of complexity to the drink without making it too sweet, sour, or bitter. 
  • Ice – Wisconsin old-fashioneds taste best when served on the rocks. 
  • Brandy – The most popular option is Korbel brandy. But you can use whichever brandy you enjoy most. Some people even substitute whiskey. 
  • Fizzy drink – For the topper, you can use your favorite lemon-lime soda. Doing so will result in a sweeter drink. If you prefer sour drinks, use grapefruit soda instead. Or top the cocktail off with seltzer water and soda. 
Two Glasses of Wisconsin Old-Fashioned Cocktail, Top View

How to Make a Wisconsin Old-Fashioned 

You can sum up the steps for making this drink in three simple words:

1. Muddle. Start by muddling the fruit (orange slices and cherries), sugar, and bitters in a glass. 

2. Mix. Then, fill the glass with ice and add the brandy. Top it off with your choice of fizzy drink. Stir gently to mix it. 

3. Garnish. Garnish the glass with a cherry and an orange slice. 

After that, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the deliciousness. 

Variations 

A drink this delicious doesn’t need variations. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make some tweaks and try variations! Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Use whiskey. As mentioned, the original Old-Fashioned contains bourbon, not brandy. If you want a bit more of that traditional, rustic taste, make the drink with whiskey. 
  • Try different toppers. You already know about the different toppers you can use. (Lemon-lime soda, grapefruit soda, or seltzer water.) However, you can tweak the taste even further by using different brands. For example, a cocktail topped with Sprite will taste subtly different from one made with 7-UP. 
  • Leave out the fruit. Want a still-sweet but less fruity drink? Simply leave out the muddled oranges and cherries. 
  • Experiment with bitters. Try orange bitters or another type to alter the drink’s flavor. 
  • Use unique garnishes. Besides cherries and oranges, Wisconsin drinkers have a couple of other go-to garnishes. Believe it or not, they’re pickled Brussels sprouts and pickled mushrooms. I know! Sounds crazy, right?! Give it a try.
Ice Cold Wisconsin Old-Fashioned Garnished With Orang Sliced and Cherry

How to Garnish 

Typically, garnishes are up to the cocktail drinker’s discretion.

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

However, to make the drink authentically, you must garnish it with a cherry and an orange slice. If you want to branch out and make the cocktail your own, try one of these instead:

  • Strawberries
  • Olives
  • Cocktail onions
  • Baby dill pickles
  • Lemon wedge

When it comes to garnishes, you can pretty much go wild. 

More Fun Cocktails You’ll Love

Vesper Martini
Appletini
Shirley Temple
Chocolate Martini
White Christmas Margarita

Best Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

Servings

1

servings
Prep time

5

minutes

This Wisconsin old-fashioned never goes out of style! Made with brandy, bitters, cherries, and sugar, it’s a true happy hour treat.

Ingredients

  • 2 orange slices

  • 2 brandied or maraschino cherries

  • 1 sugar cube (or 1 teaspoon sugar)

  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters

  • ice

  • 2 ounces brandy

  • lemon-lime soda, grapefruit soda, or seltzer water*

  • orange slice and cherry, for garnish

Instructions

  • Muddle the orange slices, cherries, sugar cube, and bitters in an old-fashioned glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice and pour the brandy. Top it with lemon-lime soda, grapefruit soda, or seltzer water*. Stir it gently.
  • Garnish it with an orange slice and cherry.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use lemon-lime soda for a sweet old-fashioned or grapefruit soda for a sour one. You can also use half seltzer and half soda for a press.
Winconsin Old-fashioned  Cocktail

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Thanks!

Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment