Wisconsin Supper Club Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a drink with a serious identity crisis. Classic cocktails have been rediscovered and much effort has been made to banish the influences of the 1907's. The original Old Fashioned - or dare I say the Old Fashioned Old Fashioned is a simple concoction of sugar muddled with bitters and soda and topped with Whiskey. However, many people still like having orange and brandied cherries muddled with the sugar. I have a hard time telling them they're wrong.
In Wisconsin they have their own version of the Old Fashioned making use of American Brandy. Considering that Wisconsin has perhaps the best bar culture on the planet I lean in their direction. This does not suggest that there is a unified Old Fashioned recipe in Wisconsin (every tavern has their own twist). Besides using brandy as the preferred spirit the Wisconsin Old Fashioned demands muddled fruit.
A good Wisconsin Old Fashioned will certainly make an uptight mixologist squirm in their bar stool as they witness fruit debris floating in the glass. In some cases it may require restraints to keep them from grabbing a strainer. Relax! An untidy Old Fashioned is a delicious Old Fashioned and besides when I serve this to my guests they all love eating the bits of orange and cherry at the bottom of the glass. Who am I to deny them of such a pleasure?
In Wisconsin the guest knows to order their Old Fashioned sweet or sour. A sweet drink calls for a splash of 7-up while the sour calls for a splash of sour mix. In my rendering of the Wisconsin Old Fashioned I use my own sour mix for a fresher approach. It's both sweet and sour.
2 oz. Quality American Brandy (I like E&J XO)
BevX Perfect Sour Mix
1 orange supreme (cut away peel, pith, and membrane found between each segment but you can just use one segment from a peeled orange)
1 Brandied cherry
1 Demerara sugar cube
5 dashes of bitters
This congenial drink is great in any season and if you venture to Wisconsin you will see that as long as you're awake, it's Old Fashioned time.
Drop the bitters one by one on to the Demerara sugar cube and allow it to soak in. Add the sugar cube, orange supreme, brandied cherry, and sour mix to an Old Fashioned Glass. Muddle the fruit and sugar well - I mean beat it to a pulp (literally). Add the Brandy followed by ice and stir. If you are using large cubes of ice you may want to add a splash of soda if using crushed ice leave it alone. No garnish required.
The variations of this cocktail are endless as nearly every bar has their own method. I'm sure that my interloper version will make some cringe but my guests love it.
Source: Sean Ludford, BevX
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