Wisconsin Old Fashioned Recipe: Cocktail Guide (2023 Guide)

Last Updated on July 3, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Having spent countless evenings in the heart of Wisconsin, I’ve discovered a timeless gem—the Wisconsin Old Fashioned.

Join me as we uncover the perfect Wisconsin Old Fashioned recipe, a cherished tradition that embodies the spirit of the beloved state.

Get ready to experience a taste of Wisconsin like never before.

Easy Wisconsin Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Glass of Wisconsin Old Fashioned Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 5 mins


  • 2 oz Brandy (choose a Wisconsin brandy)
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • 2-3 Dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 Orange slice or orange peel
  • 1-2 Maraschino cherries
  • A splash of lemon-lime soda
  • Ice cubes

Instructions: To make a Brandy Old Fashioned, get an old-fashioned glass and muddle one sugar cube with a few dashes of bitters. Add an orange slice, a cherry, and a splash of soda.

Gently muddle the ingredients to release their flavors. Add ice cubes and pour in a measure of Wisconsin brandy and soda. Garnish with cherry and orange slices if desired.

Serve and enjoy!

Serving: 1

What Is A Wisconsin Old Fashioned?

The Wisconsin Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail hailing from the heartland of Wisconsin [1]. It traces back to the influx of German immigrants in the 19th century, who brought their fondness for brandies to Wisconsin.

It puts a unique twist on the traditional Old Fashioned by swapping whiskey for smooth and flavorful Wisconsin brandy.

“During Prohibition, that simple [Old-Fashioned] formula evolved into a fruity concoction.” – Robert Simonson, Author

This cocktail embodies the state’s love for good brandy and its commitment to crafting delightful cocktails widely served in Wisconsin supper clubs.

Add brandy, a sugar cube, bitters, and a splash of soda to make Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioneds with a timeless charm.

What Does It Taste Like?

Top View Image of Wisconsin Old Fashioned Cocktail

Since it is made from brandy instead of whiskey, it offers a harmonious blend of rich and mellow notes balanced with the subtle bitterness of bitters.

The sweetness from the sugar cube and the refreshing effervescence of lemon-lime soda add complexity. You can decide whether you want it sweet or sour because you can customize the drink. Remember the cherries on top.

Wisconsin Old Fashioned vs Old Fashioned 

While the Wisconsin Old Fashioned and the classic Old Fashioned share a similar foundation, they differ in their choice of base spirit.

Wisconsin is typically served with brandy [2], infusing the cocktail with a distinct sweetness and depth. In contrast, the traditional Old Fashioned is a whiskey cocktail, bringing a bolder and more robust flavor.

These nuanced differences highlight the regional preferences and showcase the versatility of the beloved Old Fashioned cocktail.

Traditional Choices


You can have your Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned sweet or sour in Wisconsin. The sweet option entices with its muddled fruit, sugar cube, and the perfect touch of sweetness from cherries.

Add fruit juice, club soda, sugar cube, simple syrup, and cherry juice that compliments cheese curds, green olives, pickled mushrooms, and stock pickled Brussels sprouts to make a Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned sweet option.


The sour version adds a tangy twist with the inclusion of a sour mix or grapefruit soda.

The sour soda delivers a delightful balance of flavors in a Wisconsin Brandy Old fashioned sour variation. I use Korbel brandy, grapefruit soda, and bitters with ice, cherry, and orange wedges on top of the glass.

What Is Different About Wisconsin Old Fashioned? 

Hand Holding a Glass of Wisconsin Old Fashioned Drink

The Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned stands out with its use of brandy, imparting a distinct sweetness and character to the cocktail drink.

This regional variation captures the essence of Wisconsin’s love affair with brandy and showcases the state’s unique cocktail culture.

Adding an orange slice and a splash of soda, the Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned adds a refreshing citrusy twist that sets it apart from its counterparts. It’s a sip of Wisconsin in every glass.

How To Order An Old Fashioned In Wisconsin?

Going to a Wisconsin supper club to drink classic cocktails before dinner is part of the Wisconsin experience.

When ordering Wisconsin Old Fashioned cocktails, ask for a “Brandy Old Fashioned” at the bar, and you’ll be met with a smile from knowledgeable mixologists.

“Savor Wisconsin’s charm with a classic Brandy Old Fashioned.” -Liquor Laboratory

This specific order ensures you’ll receive the Wisconsin variation, highlighting the state’s preference for brandy.

The bartenders in supper clubs in Wisconsin know how to craft the perfect Old Fashioned Wisconsin brandy cocktail drink to suit your taste.


Why is the Brandy Old Fashioned so popular in Wisconsin?

The Brandy Old Fashioned’s popularity in Wisconsin stems from the state’s affinity for brandy and its German heritage.

The smooth and sweet character of brandy, combined with aromatic bitters and citrus, creates a beloved flavor profile that has captured the hearts of Wisconsinites.

What is the best Old Fashioned mix for Wisconsin?

The best Old Fashioned mix for Wisconsin is Miss Mary’s. For the recipe, combine one part of Miss Mary’s and two parts Brandy in a rocks glass with ice. Enjoy this Old Fashioned cocktail with cherry and olives on top.

In Conclusion

Wisconsin Old Fashioned is not just a cocktail; it’s a testament to the rich heritage and flavors that define the Badger State.

With its distinctive use of brandy, aromatic bitters, and a touch of sweetness, this classic cocktail captures the essence of Wisconsin’s cocktail culture like no other.

We hope that our Brandy Old Fashioned recipe delights your taste buds. For more drink recipes, check out our page.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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