Aug 14: How to Make a Brandy Old Fashioned, Wisconsin Style

(Do you see a theme with my daily blogging lately? Lots of 'how to' posts. Hope you don't mind)

I never really cared for mixed drinks because college most likely ruined them all for me. I can still smell the cheap, rail rum whenever someone talks about a 'Rum and Diet' and it makes me want to gag. And really, all hard alcohol usually makes me gaggy because I scorched my taste buds back in the day with the crappy, gut-rot stuff out there. And therefore, I have always stuck to beer and wine for my ultra-sophisticated self. Because somehow my taste buds were not ruined from beer and wine experiences in college. Go figure.

Until my father-in-law introduced me to a Brandy Old Fashioned. My eyes have been opened to the glory of a mixed drink again, ladies. Erin has always raved about these and I never thought I was tough enough to try one until Tony changed my mind;) I mentioned this drink in a DiTL post earlier this year and I will re-use those same pictures because I'm lazy. But the interesting thing about this drink is a standard Old Fashioned is made with whiskey, but in Wisconsin we are known to make ours with Brandy. And my father-in-law claims that WI is the state who consumes the most Brandy out of everyone in the USA, so I guess people really dig their B.O.F.'s. ;) I can understand why, too. 

I pride myself on getting really good at making these drinks, and so I should probably share my 'recipe' in case you want to take a stab at it, too. Trust me when I say that I know it sounds gross and very 'old man-ish' but it's awesome. And that's coming from someone who doesn't love hard alcohol. 

orange slice
maraschino cherry with juice
Brandy (we like Korbel)
soda--we like 50/50 or Squirt. 

Also, I should note that there are two kinds of Brandy Old Fashioneds: a sweet, or a sour. I like the sweet much, much better. The sour has lemon/lime concentrate instead of the soda and I have to have carbonation in my mixed drink, so I prefer the sweet version. 

We bought a muddler from Crate and Barrel kind of like this one, which is fine but we probably could have just used a wooden block from Truman's collection to get the same effect. I do like to muddle it, though, instead of just smashing stuff together with a spoon. 

Let's get to it:

1. Put a teaspoon of sugar in the bottom of the glass

2. Bitters: we like a lot of them, so we do about 6-7 shakes. And we like the Angostura Aromatic Bitters brand.

3. Slice of orange

4. A cherry plus a little bit of the juice

5. Then it's time to muddle! Get wild here. It's fun.

6. Ice: Nate is very specific with needing 4 cubes here. Totally overdone.

7. Brandy. This is where you can play around with how much booze you want in your drink. I don't measure anymore and depending on the day, I 'accidentally' make ours a little stronger than expected. ;) But I think the standard is about 1 oz or something, about a shot of Brandy.

8. Fill the rest with your soda. Again, I like 50/50 the best but Squirt works, too. We use canned soda and if we are making two drinks, it might empty the can completely depending on the amount of alcohol we use.


9. Ta Da!!! IMG_6413 Ahhhhh. I hope you enjoy as much as we do! These aren't the fastest to make with all of those ingredients (cracking open a bottle of beer is much more efficient) but they are pretty yummy for a special occasion. Or a Wednesday night after the kids go down.


  1. I might just have to try this! I'm not a huge alcohol drinker and am pretty picky when it comes to drinks because I haven't found one that I really like. I just recently found my favorite type of wine, but this would be another good drink to try!

  2. Sounds pretty yummy. Here is a summer drink for you. Raspberry Vodka and Sprite with a lime wedge. Not very alcohol tasting but very refreshing. Better than a cranberry/vodka IMO. I just mix to taste.

  3. I love a good Old Fashioned. That was "the drink" when I met Jim and his family. At a family wedding, I was trying to keep up with everyone and ended up wasted off my butt on these things (and in the car passed out before the wedding ended). Doesn't help that they are so tasty and delicious! Anyway, that's my story....totally embarrassed myself but I still love 'em! I'll take another the next time I'm over :)

  4. Yuuuuuuum!

    When I saw the title, I wondered if you'd give me a shout-out for helping to turn you on to these babies. ;) My dad always made them for holidays growing up and he taught me how to make a mean one. They're just so good!

  5. My husband is going to look at my like I have 5 heads, but I'm totally going to ask him to make me one of these this weekend!

  6. Yummm. And today *IS* Wednesday!

  7. This looks delicious, but I have a few questions before I feel confident enough to go purchase the ingredients at the store:

    1) What is 50/50? Is it like sprite/slice/7up?
    2) How much muddling? Do you end up with just an orange peel and a cherry stem floating around because the fruit part is so mashed?


    1. Susie---50/50 is like squirt but a little less sweet. It's good! And don't muddle the fruit to a pulp but I do like to squeeze a lot of juice out. Makes it more flavorful.

  8. Haha. I think I've got enough fake tools around here that can act like a muddler. Good idea. I've always wanted to try an old fashioned. Don Draper just looks to good drinking one not to try!!!

  9. We have a cabin in Wisconsin and these are my husband's favorite drink when we're there.

    If Nate really likes/is picky about ice, he might like the big circular ice cube molds. Stocking stuffer idea? They're a requirement for my husband's BOF's.

  10. Made this in a big batch (like punch) with simple syrup for a holiday party last night. I read your blog all the time and it sounded like a yummy treat. It was a hit. I think I'll make some as single serve cocktails for my husband and me tonight with the leftover brandy. Thanks for the recipe!


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