The story of the Old Fashioned

James Johonnott

Image: Luke Rosynek, themidwestival.com
Image: Luke Rosynek, themidwestival.com

Certain things in Wisconsin are just part of our DNA – fish frys, cheese, beer, beer cheese soup, freezers full of venison, and (of course) the ability to order and consume a decent “Old Fashioned” just about anywhere. But where can one find this noble cocktail's roots, and why is it such a Wisconsin staple, and why can’t the rest of the country seem to make a good one to save their lives? Over at the Midwestival blog, Rachel Fell dove into the history of the drink and uncovered some answers, telling a story filled with Wisconsin character. In most bars and super clubs, an Old Fashioned features whiskey, but here in Wisconsin we know it to contain brandy. This difference stems back to the tastes of German immigrants, who dominated early Wisconsin’s population and forever left their stamp on the state’s cuisine. The origin of the drink can be traced back to the Chicago World’s Fair (as can nearly every food or drink with a mysterious historical origin, it seems). Fell’s historical investigation into this artifact of Wisconsin lore is a colorful and enjoyable celebration of Wisconsin’s spirit.

See what I did there? Anyway, head over to Midwestival.com to read The Wisconsin Old Fashioned: An Abridged History. Pretty pictures!