Brandy Old Fashioned Cocktail Garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange wedge
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Brandy Old Fashioned Cocktail

The brandy old-fashioned is a thoroughly enjoyable cocktail with a rich history. The state of Wisconsin may be famous primarily for its bountiful supply of dairy products, but the brandy old-fashioned should be considered just as synonymous.

Here’s an overview of the brandy old-fashioned cocktail, including its history, list of ingredients, and instructions on how to make one for yourself! 

About and History

While the origins of the brandy old-fashioned trace back to the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, it didn’t take long for the sweet-tasting cocktail to make its way to Wisconsin where it became wildly popular. 

During the Prohibition years, it was hard to get your hands on any kind of booze that tasted better than gasoline, brandy included. The foul flavor of the bathtub brandy of Prohibition urged innovative Wisconsonites to improvise by adding a generous mix of fruits and sugar to make brandy more drinkable. 

After Prohibition came to a welcome end, the brandy old fashioned enjoyed another rush of popularity during the dark years of World War II. Many folks were still making their old fashioned with whiskey until the war impacted its availability. 

While whiskey was scarce and in short supply, there was plenty of brandy to go around, which helped cement the popularity of the brandy old-fashioned, especially in the state of Wisconsin. 


While you could always toss some brandy into a glass, plop in a couple of cherries and call it a day, we are going to give you a complete list of ingredients for making a proper brandy old-fashioned. 

  • A few dashes of Angostura bitters
  • At least 2 orange wedges
  • A sugar cube
  • 2 oz of your favorite brandy
  • Club soda, Sprite, or a similar type of soda
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry, orange wedge, or both!

Directions to Make

First of all, you are going to need an old fashioned glass, as putting a brandy old fashioned in a margarita glass just seems wrong.

Put in your orange wedges, cherries, bitters, and your sugar cube first. Then muddle the ingredients until they are properly combined. Next, you will want to add some ice and then put in as much brandy as you fancy. 

The last thing that you will need to add to complete this cocktail aside from the garnish is some club soda, Sprite, or something similar. Once you have stirred the drink thoroughly, you will be ready to add the garnish.

Remember, you can use a maraschino cherry, orange slice, or both. Make sure that you put your garnish on a skewer to maximize presentation.

Finally, take a step back and admire the gloriously smooth cocktail you have created. Once you take the first sip, you will realize why the state of Wisconsin is so enamored with this cocktail.

Then, you will have a critical decision to make. Do you make some brandy old-fashioned for your friends to enjoy or keep the recipe for yourself?  

Decisions, decisions! In any case, we trust that you will make the right one. Cheers!

My Bartender

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