Friday, February 27, 2009

Wisconsin's State Drink: the Brandy Manhatten

Why Badgers drink Brandy Manhattens.
When I moved to Wisconsin from New Jersey many years ago, I was mystified when, upon ordering a Manhattan, I was served a brandy Manhattan. Soon, I discovered that an old-fashioned was actually a brandy old-fashioned, and that "brandy and Seven" was considered a potable drink.

Fish-fry authority Jeff Hagen, in his acclaimed book Fry Me to the Moon, declares the brandy old-fashioned to be Wisconsin's State Drink. "Milk?" says Jeff. "Forget it. Got brandy?"

For more than 30 years, I have wondered how this came to be. Why brandy? And a related question: Why Korbel brandy? Korbel is only the fourth leading brand in the U.S., yet it has a virtual lock on the Wisconsin market, outselling any other brand by more than two-to-one.

While others pondered the mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the lost island of Atlantis, I lay awake nights wondering, "Why brandy? Why Korbel? Why here?"
There is a reason...read the rest here.

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