The Old Fashion

Anyone who’s been to a supper club in Wisconsin has witnessed the locals sipping on an Old Fashioned. But did you know that it’s a local tradition to use brandy spirits rather than standard whiskey? The results: A taste that is uniquely Wisconsin.

While you can get this cocktail nearly anywhere in the state, there’s no place to enjoy one quite like Door County. With local cherries readily available, a reputation for handcrafted goodness, and unbeatable views, there’s no wrong way to take yours be it with brandy, whiskey or even bourbon. Each restaurant and tavern across the county offers its own variation of the beverage and two popular destinations let us in on the secret to crafting this delicious drink.

Mr. G’s Logan Creek Grille’s secret is in the garnish. They top their drinks with a delicious, homemade mushroom garnish after carefully preparing the mixture of angostura bitters, simple syrup and soda. Brandy has been the overwhelming choice for most of their customers, but they still prepare quite a few whiskey ones too. After 37 years of business, it’s safe to say they’ve mastered this recipe.

Another longstanding Door County destination known for serving up delicious old fashioneds is Earl's Sister Bay Bowl in downtown Sister Bay. This supper club and vintage six-lane bowling alley have been family owned for over 50 years and says their brandy old fashioned sweet is the most popular cocktail. Earl’s secret simple syrup recipe has been passed down to his children and was once voted “Best Old Fashioned” by the readers of Door County Magazine. Whether you prefer whiskey, brandy, sweet or sour, the nostalgia of sipping the Bowl’s time-honored recipe is an experience not to be duplicated.

Craft cocktails are becoming increasingly popular in the area as well; giving you an opportunity to try an Old Fashioned prepared the old-fashioned way. This is done by using a cube of sugar, muddling a cherry and an orange slice, adding your spirits, and topping with your favorite soda. It is more time consuming to prepare and results in a much sweeter taste.

Visit a local supper club or pub and tell us who makes your favorite.