Brandy Old Fashioned
by Darcy O'Neil on December 2010
Another month, another Mixology Monday. This one is being hosted by Marleigh at Sloshed! As usual I waited until the last minute before writing, and as I write this I haven’t even decided what I’m going to write about! Obviously the topic is brandy, so that helps to narrow it down. The first thing that comes to mind is the Brandy Old Fashioned. Now, like most people I know whisky belongs in an Old Fashioned, except if you are from Wisconsin. I’m not from Wisconsin, but I do have extended family there and ever since my first visit, brandy has become an equal in the Old Fashioned.
The Old Fashioned is one of those drinks that’s been around for a long time. It’s also a drink that hasn’t been extremely popular, until the recent interest in classic cocktails. But in the great state of Wisconsin, the Brandy Old Fashioned has stayed relatively popular.
Of course there is a story as to why brandy replaced whiskey in Wisconsin, and I’ll give you the short version. Basically, it has a lot to do with German settlers. If you want a really good explanation, visit Off the Presses and the full writeup on the Brandy Old Fashioned.
Interesting factoid: Wisconsinites consumed more brandy than any other state in the U.S. But it is not 90% of all brandy in the US, that’s just an urban myth.
The Old Fashioned is especially handy when a guy walks in and asks for a drink that will make him hump a sailor! A couple rounds of these made him very happy, and possibly some lucky, or unlucky, sailor. But the point is, this is a fairly strong drink, so no diluting it with copious amounts of soda water. It is basically a slightly sweetened spirit with some depth added (bitters). Also, don’t pulverize the orange, just muddle gently.
Brandy Old Fashioned
2 oz Brandy (Van Ryn’s)
3 Dash Bitters
1 Sugar Cube
1 Splash Water
1 Splash Club Soda
Instructions: In a glass dissolve sugar cube in a small amount of water (or use a splash of simple syrup). Gentle muddle an orange wheel, just to get a bit of juice out of it. Add brandy and bitters. Pack glass with ice and there should only be enough room left for a splash of soda. Garnish with a brandy soaked cherry.