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Diving into the Old Fashioned

By Joe Ruvel · August 2nd, 2013 · 1 Comment

I have been on an old fashioned cocktail ordering kick. We have been in Wisconsin for around a week and have gone to some great old bars and Wisconsinites love an old fashioned, so it is on pretty much every menu. Now what kind of old fashioned you get is a little more complicated. Here is some high level info to help break the code:

  • The old fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails ever made. The basic idea of a spirit, some sugur, and bitters started showing up in print around 1806.
  • A traditional old fashioned is made with bourbon or rye, sugar, bitters, cherries and an orange slice
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  • A Wisconsin old fashioned is made with brandy – almost always Korbel brandy from California. The cherries and orange are usually muddled.
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  • Another choice with your brandy old fashioned is if you want it sweet or sour. Sweet usually means Sprite is added. Sour is sour mix or a lemon/lime mix. You can also do a press (short for Presbyterian – not sure why this is used here) that means 50/50 sweet and sour. Finally you can just do soda water or no water.
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    From here you can go many different directions. You can use cognac instead of brandy. You can do apple brandy. You can use special cherries. You can even put a pickled egg and veggies into your drink (not that I recommend this but people do it). All in all the simple base of this drink can be extended out to thousands of possibilities! I have tried a lot less then that but have been lucky to try around seven versions so far.

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    I am intrigued by the Wisconsin anomaly of using brandy but so far the one I had with rye has been my favorite.

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    I will post more soon about some of my favorites and the places that serve them.

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    Tags: Non-Beer Beverages · The Basics

    1 response so far ↓

    • 1 Nitch // Aug 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Please do post more on your favs! I’m a huge Old Fashioned fan (a proper Old Fashioned takes a full 5 minutes of the bartender’s time, fyi) and then fell into Nigronis (completely different).

      When I’m not beering, I love a GREAT cocktail. Hard to find.