The cocktail’s exact origin is unclear, but there are a few pieces of history that ties the Old Fashioned to Wisconsin. The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago introduced many Wisconsinites (many were German immigrants with a taste for brandy) in attendance to Korbel brandy. Although the Old Fashioned has the ability to work with a variety of spirits, brandy has been preferred over whiskey in the cocktail in Wisconsin.
During the Prohibition era, quality spirits were difficult to find. To mask the flavor of bootleg alcohol people often utilized fruit, sugar, syrups and mixers. In the case of the Wisconsin Old Fashioned, locals relied on fruit like oranges and cherries for flavor, and they topped the drink with sparkling water or white sodas. The practice stuck around is still the preferred method today.
Skip the supper club, and make this classic cocktail at home while enjoying a Friday night fish fry.
Boone & Crockett’s Old Fashioned
2 ounces of Korbel Brandy or Old Forester Bourbon
1 ounce of Raw Sugar Syrup (equal parts raw sugar and water)
5 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Pour all ingredients over ice, top with sweet (Sprite), sour (Squirt) or seltzer. Garnish with brandied cherry and orange slice
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