I have a special relationship with the Old Fashioned from Wisconsin, and I’ll tell that story in a bit. But Wisconsin has a serious relationship with it, and they’re taking it to the next level.
Of course, they are letting the world know that an Old Fashioned is made with Brandy. It’s not supposed to have Whiskey in it. If it’s made with Whiskey, Wisconsin has a serious problem with you and your drink. It shouldn’t be called that, but bartenders have been making it that way for years as one of the many versions of the Old Fashioned.
However, if you go to Wisconsin, expect yours to be made with Brandy, and let me tell you, it is good. It became my favorite drink for a while, but no one could make it as good as the first and tenth one I ever had in Wisconsin. Those were on the same night, by the way.
I was in the Marine Corps then, and we were doing cold-weather training. I flew to Wisconsin and was picked up by the Gunny at the plane. He took me back to the barracks, where I had just enough time to find my rack and throw my gear on it before he started yelling, “Anyone going to the bar, van’s leaving in five minutes.”
Some Marines had already been in Wisconsin for a week or so. I showed up fashionably late when they could arrange my transportation. So, I had no clue what was going on, but I got ready and was in that van on time.
That’s when we went to what seemed like the only bar in town. That first night was a blast, and I started off with Jack and Cokes. But a Marine walked up and ordered a Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet. He must have known where he was and all about it. I had never heard of it. Sounded good. So, I had to try.
Do you want to talk about a great-tasting drink? That was it. I kept drinking them the whole time I was there. Every time we went to the bar, I ordered it and had several more after that.
I flew all over the United States in addition to many parts of the world, and I’ve never had a drink as good as an Old Fashioned in Wisconsin. Seriously! The bartender couldn’t make it that good in Detroit. Another one couldn’t make it that good in San Diego. I tried one in New York, Atlanta, Tampa, and Dallas. No bueno.
It might be because they all used Whiskey instead of the Brandy that was in the first one I ever had. And now, Wisconsin legislation is passing a resolution to make it the state spirit. Only Alabama and Virginia have gone that far with their love of Whiskey. And let me tell you from experience, those are three great states to drink in. Trust me.