Is this Wisconsin’s official drink?

The Old Fashioned is a Badgerland staple
Is this Wisconsin’s official drink?

Order a brandy old-fashioned outside Badgerland and the bartender is apt to speculate you’re a bit peculiar (or know you’re from Wisconsin). Regardless, don’t expect to be asked if you’ll have it “sweet or sour.” The traditional recipe for this classic whiskey tipple never includes soft drinks like Sprite or Squirt–just a splash of soda water. Nowhere but here will a pickled Brussels sprout be suggested as a garnish, either. Then again, cheesehead drinking culture embraces lavish and nonconformist trimmings for alcoholic beverages. (If you need proof, sample the Brunchzilla at the Nitty Gritty.)

Wisconsinites are so infatuated with the old-fashioned, that seemingly it is acceptable if not desirable that any other libation should come in its iconic namesake tumbler. Please note: Martinis and Manhattans are cocktails and properly served in a cocktail glass and not on the rocks! A good gin and tonic deserves not only lots of ice but a tall glass, necessary to accomplish the right ratio of mixer to spirits.

I doubt I will convince many to change their ways. Nevertheless, I advise a trip to Merchant for its signature old-fashioned containing High West double rye whiskey, local maple syrup and house-made vanilla and cinnamon bitters. It’s a bit of a twist on the classic, but, after all, our state motto is “Forward!”