…from the Perspectives’ Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? Joan is from Brown Deer, Wisconsin and I always tease her about some of the weird things and strange people that come from her home state. Don’t take my word, follow the news yourself and you won’t believe some of the stuff that comes out of that state. Sometimes I think she is the only sane person to come out of that environment… other times I’m not so sure.
Because everything is going so well around our country you would think that state legislatures would have enough on their calendars where they couldn’t be bothered to declare a state cheese, milk or a cocktail—but, oh no--in a spirited debate, Wisconsin lawmakers have taken steps to officially designate the Brandy Old Fashioned as the state’s official cocktail. Like they had nothing else to do. The bipartisan resolution sailed through the state Assembly on Thursday, November 9th marking a distinctive nod to Wisconsin’s unique take on this classic drink.
While this resolution falls short of the legal weight carried by most bills, its passage in the State Assembly could lend some official recognition to the Brandy Old Fashioned. However, to secure a spot alongside Wisconsin’s other official symbols, such as milk as the official beverage or corn as the official grain, a more comprehensive process involving the introduction of a bill, a public hearing and the governor’s signature is required. I’m glad they have so much time on their hands.
Only two states, Alabama and Virginia, have gone as far as designating an official state spirit—both choosing whiskey. Wisconsin’s deviation from the norm, favoring brandy in its old fashioned cocktail, adds a unique twist to the state’s cultural identity.
For the uninitiated or unknowing, a traditional old fashioned cocktail, found almost everywhere else in the world, typically features whiskey, like bourbon, mixed with sugar and bitters. In Wisconsin, however, brandy takes center stage, often combined with muddled cherries, orange slices, sugar, and bitters. Depending on personal tastes and preferences, the concoction may be topped with a variety of mixers, from lemon-lime soda to a sour mix or club soda.
As the legislature continues to cogitate and the resolution moves forward, it remains to be seen whether the Brandy Old Fashioned will officially join the ranks of Wisconsin’s cherished state symbols.
I’d love to hear your vote… give it a try and let me know what you think.
1 orange slice
1 maraschino cherry
1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
1 sugar cube
4 to 6 shakes Angostura bitters
1-1/2 ounces brandy
Lemon-lime, Squirt grapefruit soda or 2-Cents Plain (seltzer water)
ChefSecret: Squirt is a caffeine-free, grapefruit-flavored, carbonated soft drink, created in 1938 in Phoenix, Arizona. Squirt competes primarily against The Coca-Cola Company's Fresca. I really like the refreshing flavor of this soft drink.
Quip of the Day: I’m not old, just old fashioned.
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