Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

Brandy • Dry
Brandy Old Fashioned

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Before the Great French Wine Blight in the late 19th century (when aphids destroyed much of France’s grapes) rum and Cognac reigned supreme in American bars—not whiskey. Drinks like the Mint Julep and the Old Fashioned (which was more of a New Fashioned at the time) were served with a healthy measure of French Cognac. To replicate the original cocktail (which, oddly enough, is still the most common way to make the drink in Wisconsin), we created this recipe. Made with brandy (or Cognac), a rich simple syrup (or a gomme syrup), and Angostura bitters, this classic cocktail is regal, rich and decadently delicious. For the best results, we recommend using an overproof Cognac like Louis Royer Force 53, a higher end Cognac like Hine, or any craft, American brandy like Copper & King.

The Essentials

Angostura Bitters
Brandied Cherry
Bar Spoon
The Details


2.25 oz Brandy (or Cognac)
0.5 oz Rich Simple Syrup (2:1)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Brandied cherry, for garnish


  • Add the rich simple syrup, bitters and brandy to a mixing glass.
  • Add large ice cubes. Stir.
  • Using a julep strainer, strain the cocktail into a chilled lowball glass.
  • Add one large cube of ice and garnish with a brandied cherry.
Brandy Dry Easy
Widow’s Kiss

We’re not exactly sure what inspired the creation of this cocktail, but we do know it was invented sometime during the late 19th century by New York bartender George J. Kappeler, who was known for slinging drinks at the Holland House Hotel. The name is also a mystery, but apple brandy combined with two herbaceous French liqueurs and bitters...