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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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In Bars & Clubs Commentary

The Old Fashioned, made with brandy rather than whiskey, is a Wisconsin classic.

On the town in Milwaukee: Sipping something local


Each year, State Fair celebrates all things Wisconsin. From local farms to citywide tradition, cheeses, meats and fried specialties, the State Fair shows off those "Midwestern" stereotypes permeating our Wisconsin culture.

Likewise, we've got drinks, cocktails and beers screaming "Wisconsin" each time a bartender goes to make the pour. You might not find them all at the Fair, but you'll find a decent mixture and if you're really looking for one of these local cocktails, just step just down the street or into a neighbor's house where prideful locals will happily educate you on Wisconsin favorites.

Brandy Old Fashioned
Originating in New York, the Old Fashioned took on local meaning in Wisconsin years ago. By far the largest purchaser of Korbel Brandy in the country, people all across this great state love to sip the muddled mixture that is the Brandy Old Fashioned. It was German settlers who embraced Korbel Brandy during the Chicago's World Fair and ever since, Wisconsinites opt for brandy rather than whiskey in this classic cocktail.

Miller Beer
Frederick Miller started tapping Miller Beer in the Menomonee Valley back in 1855; instilling local pride simply unable to be diminished. You'll find strict Miller drinkers in every bar statewide, often openly condemning any individual venturing to purchase the dreaded Budweiser product. It's on tap in practically every bar, on the menu in every restaurant and shipped across town for every festival.

Local Microbrews
Lakefront Brewery, Capital Brewery and Sprecher Amber are just a few of the mainstream microbrews infiltrating our shopping carts, festivals and bars in the last couple decades. A welcome divergence from the typical Miller products, these are local favorites signifying a new generation of drinkers.

Wisconsin Lunchbox
Typically served as a vitamin C rich shooter, the Wisconsin Lunchbox is two parts beer, one part orange juice and a dash of amaretto. Disturbing in concept, this turns out to be a tasty shot found in rural dive bars all over the state.

Jameson Irish Whiskey
Maybe it's our Irish ancestry, maybe it's the long, dark, harsh winters but either way, Jameson Whiskey has become the standard whiskey in Wisconsin bars. Usually served straight up in shot form, Jameson manages to set the Wisconsin whiskey standard.

Talkbacks

MelOnWheels | Aug. 9, 2009 at 12:30 a.m. (report)

how could you leave out Rehorst Vodka and other products of the Great Lakes Distillery...local and delicious...try the citrus and honey vodka on the rocks or in your favorite vodka cocktail :>)

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justapalooka | Aug. 8, 2009 at 4:42 p.m. (report)

OnMilwaukee sure does shill for a lot of crap microbreweries that don't even advertise on their site... And Gizzle, er, I mean whispering jerk, please stop shilling for that lame bar where you work.

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buck | Aug. 8, 2009 at 10:05 a.m. (report)

wisconsin's love of brandy has nothing to do with gender, it has to do with german immigrants and korbel appearing at the world's fair in chicago, as stated in the article.

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Gizzle | Aug. 7, 2009 at 8:45 p.m. (report)

OMG Brandy Old-Fashioned at Bomb Shelter, best in town you have to check it out. Made from scratch in front of you, no mix like other places use...and...served with a rock candy swizzle stick!

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college_dave | Aug. 7, 2009 at 8:14 p.m. (report)

Nice mention of the Lunchbox. It's an amazing thirst-quenching hang-over cure. I've always tried to tell people that, but I also sometimes forget about this concoction.

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