Thursday, July 25, 2013

Recipe: Wisconsin Old Fashioned

Especially in the summer, there's nothing I love more than a weekend spent at the cabin with my family. Even though everyone's lives seem to be getting busier and busier, we've been good at getting together for a weekend each summer for the past few years. And let me tell you, they just keep getting better and better.

While I love the Twin Cities dearly, I adore going back to Wisconsin for the weekend. There's just something about being back home, wearing cut-off jeans, flannel and Birkenstocks, sitting outside, reminiscing about our "famous" family stories. The only thing that makes it better is when we have drinks in our hands. 

And in my family (yes, both sides), that means a good 'old Wisconsin old fashioned. (Seriously, check out this NY Times article.)

In Wisconsin, old fashioneds are the drink of choice. Trust me, years of research, bar hopping and family events have validated how true this is. Old fashioneds are as beloved as the Green Bay Packers, a home cooked meal, fishing in the summertime, supper clubs and the first winter snow. So for a weekend spent at the cabin, old fashioneds were (and are always) a necessity.

While many people consider it a "townie" drink, old fashioneds can get pretty specific, depending on how you like them. All old fashioneds start with bitters - the key ingredient. From there, the drinker has a choice of either whiskey or brandy. Next, you can have your old fashioned sweet (7 Up) or sour (Squirt). Finally, the drinks are topped with the appropriate garnish (anything from cherries to oranges, lemon, olives, brussel sprouts, tomatoes - the list goes on). On my mom's side of the family, we usually take our drinks "whiskey sour."

Thankfully, we were in luck for the weekend - the folks at Alibi Whiskey were generous enough to let us test out their new product for our weekend at the cabin. A true old fashioned family with more than a few opinionated characters, Alibi was really putting themselves to the test with us!

So how did we make our old fashioneds while roughing it in the woods? Easy. See our family recipe below!

Step 1: Admire the Alibi. 

Step 2: Slice your lemons.

Step 3: Place one at the bottom of each cup (the more drinkers, the merrier).

Step 4: Add a few dashes of aromatic bitters (to taste. Our family usually does 3-4).

Step 5: Make sure your dog is happy as a clam.

Step 6: Muddle the lemons with the aromatic bitters (if you're roughing it in the woods, use any tool available [i.e. wooden spoon]).

Step 7-8: Admire the whiskey again, and pour (lightly or generously to taste, about 1 shot worth)

Step 9: Fill each cup to the brim with sweet (7 Up) or sour (Squirt).

Step 10-11: Admire your work.

Step 12: Admire the whiskey again.

Step 13: Stir each glass, and garnish as needed.

Step 14: Drink up.

The result? DELICIOUS. Smooth, refreshing and the cherry on top of a perfect weekend with family and friends. Alibi, you're welcome at our cabin anytime. Thanks again!

Does your family have a favorite food or drink? I'd love to hear more!

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