in , ,

Wisconsin Old Fashioned

Homemade Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Cocktail with Cherry and Orange

The Wisconsin Old Fashioned is a beverage that has won the hearts of many people, including mine, and I would like to introduce you to it today. This beverage is not just any cocktail; rather, it is a reimagining of the traditional Old Fashioned, with a singular combination of ingredients that exemplifies the spirit of Wisconsin in a way that is truly remarkable. This beverage is certain to make an indelible mark on your palate, regardless of whether you are a connoisseur of cocktails or someone who is interested in trying out new flavors.

This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy

Tasting Notes

Differentiating itself from its traditional counterpart, the Wisconsin Old Fashioned is a fruity combination of sweetness and bitterness. A sprinkling of bitters and muddled fruit exquisitely complement the warm, opulent flavor of the primary ingredient, brandy. A balanced beverage that is simultaneously invigorating and intricate, the soda imparts a delicate flavor.

Equipment and Glassware

In place of whiskey, a Wisconsin Old Fashioned calls for brandy, and instead of the standard orange slice and cherry, it often has a distinctive garnish of olives or mushrooms. Here’s what you need to make this local favorite:


  • 2 oz. brandy
  • Orange slice and maraschino cherry for garnish
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 2 cherries soaked in brandy
  • 2 orange slices
  • Additional cherries and orange slices to garnish
See also  Blackberry Sangria


  1. Put the sugar cube along with the Angostura bitters, cherries soaked in brandy and orange slices into a lowball short glass
  2. Muddle those ingredients together
  3. Top the glass with ice
  4. Add the brandy and top off the drink with lemon and lime soda
  5. Stir to combine
  6. Garnish the glass with cherries and an orange slice

Pro Tips

  • Choose a locally produced brandy for an authentic Wisconsin experience. It imparts a distinctive flavor that completely transforms the dish.
  • Make the sweetness to your liking by experimenting with various types of soda or by adjusting the quantity of soda.
  • Make the most of the muddling phase! Achieving the complete flavor profile of this cocktail requires meticulously blending the citrus and sugar.

When to Serve

Exceptionally versatile, the Wisconsin Old Fashioned is appropriate for any occasion. It is an excellent option for an intimate evening spent indoors, a joyous occasion, or even as a refined supplement to a dinner gathering. Although its warmth and complexity make it particularly suitable for the winter months, it is, in all honesty, a winner throughout the year.

Which Liquor Brands to Choose

Korbel or E&J are two brandies that are excellent options for a Wisconsin Old Fashioned, despite the fact that there is a far wider selection of brandies available. These brands are considered to be among the favorites of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike due to the fact that they offer the smooth and rich flavor that is characteristic of this beverage.

Similar Cocktails

  • Classic Old Fashioned: A timeless cocktail blending whiskey, bitters, sugar, and water, garnished with an orange slice or cherry for a smooth finish.
  • Brandy Alexander: A luxurious dessert cocktail made with brandy, dark crème de cacao, and cream, dusted with grated nutmeg for a sweet, rich taste.
  • Manhattan: A sophisticated mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, often garnished with a cherry, offering a balanced, aromatic experience.
  • Sazerac: An iconic New Orleans cocktail featuring rye whiskey or cognac, absinthe, a sugar cube, and Peychaud’s bitters for a complex, herbal flavor.
  • Sidecar: A classic cocktail with a tangy and sweet balance, made from brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, served in a sugar-rimmed glass for an elegant touch.
See also  9 Most Popular Brandy Mixers to Try

Cocktail enthusiasts like the fact that each of these drinks has a distinct flavor and experience, yet they also have a certain level of complexity and depth that they all have in common. Exploring these beverages will provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of the world of cocktails and the diverse flavors that they offer.


It was in the early 20th century that brandy became popular in Wisconsin as a result of its availability after both World Wars. This is where the Wisconsin Old Fashioned got its start. Throughout the years, residents of Wisconsin have infused the traditional Old Fashioned with their own unique spin by replacing whiskey with brandy and adding muddled fruit and soda to the drink. The Wisconsin Old Fashioned has become a much-loved local custom as a result of this alteration, which not only paid homage to the original drink but also represented the state’s penchant for brandy.

Save Recipe Form

Homemade Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Cocktail with Cherry and Orange

Wisconsin Old Fashioned

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Angostura Bitters, brandy, Wisconsin Old Fashioned
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Taste the Wisconsin Old Fashioned—a refreshing take on an old favorite—made with brandy, muddled fruit, and a touch of bitters.


  • Put the sugar cube along with the Angostura bitters, cherries soaked in brandy and orange slices into a lowball short glass
  • Muddle those ingredients together
  • Top the glass with ice
  • Add the brandy and top off the drink with lemon and lime soda
  • Stir to combine
  • Garnish the glass with cherries and an orange slice
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!
Wisconsin Old Fashioned
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Follow them on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Google Guide and MuckRack.

Cherry Bomb

Cherry Bomb

gin rickey cocktail with lime

The Gin Rickey