A Wisconsin old fashioned cocktail.
How Wisconsin Does Their Old Fashioned Differently
By Christine Barba
While Wisconsin is typically known for its cheese and beer, you may also be surprised to learn that it is the only state with several variations on a traditional old fashioned cocktail. Although the cocktail was introduced in 1880, an 1893 event likely led Wisconsinites to drink their old fashioned cocktails a little differently.
In Wisconsin, the traditional whiskey is often ditched for brandy, usually mixed with soda and a variety of oranges, cherries, sugar, and bitters that can be ordered as "sweet, sour, or press," Wine Enthusiast reports. "'Sweet' is with 7-Up, 'sour' is with Squirt soda or pre-packaged sour mix, and 'press' is half 7-Up, half club soda," says Brian Bartels, writer of "The United States of Cocktails."
In 1893, many Wisconsinites attended the World's Columbian Exposition, where Francis Korbel and his brothers introduced their Californian brandy, but after World War II, many distilleries closed down. Distributors found thousands of cases of brandy, causing brandy makers to target Wisconsin, and from then on, brandy became a popular choice for Wisconsin citizens ordering an old fashioned.