The Wisco Old Fashioned

Wisconsin brandy old- fashioned cocktail

Brandy Old Fashioned.

Wisconsin’s own unique version of the Old Fashioned

Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned

Outside Wisconsin and perhaps northern Illinois an Old Fashioned cocktail is usually made with whiskey, but in Wisconsin, brandy reigns supreme. Some of the ingredients do indeed cross-over, however, soda is also added. For both versions the cherry and orange are mulled together over a sugar cube and bitters are added, but here is where the paths diverge. Elsewhere, Whiskey rounds out the ingredients, served over Ice. In Wisconsin, Brandy is used, and then it is topped up with soda. It is also served over ice.

Most any Brandy will do. I like this one from North distilled in Milwaukee

Sour or Sweet

Wisconsin Old Fashioned are most often served “sweet” meaning the additional soda is clear and sweet like 7-up or Sprite, however they can be ordered “sour” as well. The sour version only differs with the type of soda, usually something tangier like Squirt.

Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned


2 Maraschino Cherries

1 Sugar cube or 1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Slice of Orange

2 Ounces of Brandy

2-3 Dashes Bitters, most commonly Angostura

Soda, usually clear like 7-up or Sprite but Ginger Ale is good too.

Additional Orange slice and Cherries for Garnish.

Place Sugar, Orange and Cherries in bottom of an old fashioned glass, or large rocks glass.

Muddle ingredients until combined.

Add a bit of the soda and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Add the Brandy and the bitters.

Fill Glass with Ice.

Optional: Add 1/2 Teaspoon of the Maraschino cherry juice.

Top off with Soda.

Garnish with orange slice and cherries.

Charlie Berens Brandy Old Fashioned tutorial

Check out Charlie Berensinstructional video (then go back and follow the directions).

Steps 1 and 2
Steps 3 and 4

4 thoughts on “The Wisco Old Fashioned

    1. firejack12 says:

      Any liquor store should have bitters. Angostura is the most common brand. We like Peychaud’s bitters if you can find them. They are used in a lot of drinks in Louisiana.


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