Drink Recipes, Food and Drink

Brandy Old Fashioned, Wisconsin’s Cocktail

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission to help keep my blog up and running, but it won't cost you a penny more). For more information, please read my disclosure policy.

Wisconsin’s version of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, the Brandy Old Fashioned! Sweet or sour, it’s a perfect evening cocktail.

Brandy Old Fashioned

Let me tell you a story, a story about a woman who lived in Wisconsin for almost 10 years before truly embracing the state drink: the Brandy Old Fashioned. Before you judge me too harshly, it didn’t take me so long to embrace New Glarus Spotted Cow, but that is besides the point 😉 I think I can officially label myself a Wisconsonite as the Brandy Old Fashioned is one of my favorite cocktails!

The traditional Old Fashioned is made with whiskey, but Wisconsinites have taken to making it with Brandy. Korbel Brandy to be exact. In fact, Wisconsin consumes the most Korbel Brandy of any state in the Union.

Brandy Old Fashioned ingredients

A visit to Madison Wisconsin’s The Old Fashioned with a group of friends is where I first became enamored with Brandy Old Fashioneds. Since then, my husband and I have our annual date lunch there on our way to couples weekend. It wasn’t until recently that we started to make them at home. I have no clue what took us so long, especially since they are so easy to make.

This cocktail starts off with superfine sugar (you can also use simple syrup!), cherries, an orange slice, and bitters. Muddle them up until the sugar dissolves.

We use Angostura bitters, but I am dying to try this Woodford Reserve spiced cherry bourbon barrel aged bitters!

Brandy Old Fashioned glass

Add the brandy and stir.

Brandy Old Fashioned

Add ice and top off with Sprite. It’s our preferred mixer but any lemon-lime soda will do. We use sniffer glasses for our Old Fashioneds. These are Maker’s Mark, and I hate to say it, but they are my favorite!

Brandy Old Fashioned sweet

Whether you like your Old Fashioneds sweet or sour, the Brandy Old Fashioned is the perfect cocktail for sipping outdoors on a warm summer day or an intimate supper club setting. In any form, it is impossible to have just one!!

Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet

Yield: One cocktail


3 maraschino cherries
1 orange slice
1 TBSP superfine sugar
5 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz. Korbel Brandy
ice cubes


1. Put the sugar, cherries, bitters and half of the orange slice in an Old Fashioned glass. Muddle, avoiding the orange pith, until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add brandy and stir.
3. Add desired amount of ice.
4. Top off with Sprite and stir.
5. Garnish with half an orange slice and serve.

Wisconsin's version of the Old Fashioned cocktail, the brandy old fashioned! It can be sweet or sour but it's a simple recipe either way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.