The Wisconsin Brandy Slush is a midwest classic featuring an icy mix of fruit juice, tea, and brandy. This boozy punch is perfect to serve at your next party.
Wisconsin is the top state in the country for brandy consumption per capita. Well, to be honest, Wisconsin is pretty much the top state in the country for any drinking statistic, but ignore that for a moment and let me make brandy feel special.
When your neighbors drink so much brandy, you are bound to develop a regional recipe or two. The Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned is the most famous, and my personal favorite. However, the Wisconsin brandy slush is a lesser-known classic Wisconsin cocktail that is perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day, at parties, and throughout the holiday season.
What is it?
The Wisconsin Brandy Slush is the grown-up version of a snow cone. Tart fruit juice and real tea are frozen with a generous pour of brandy and then scooped into a glass with a couple of glugs of lemon-lime soda. Adding the brandy to the juice prior to freezing prevents the mixture from forming a solid block of ice. Instead, the lower freezing point of alcohol makes it a perfect slushy consistency!
This delicious brandy cocktail recipe is traditionally served as a boozy party punch at holiday celebrations and parties throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Green tea bags - You can substitute other teas, such as black tea, to change the flavor.
- Granulated sugar - You can substitute simple syrup.
- Frozen lemonade concentrate - You can also use limeade concentrate.
- Frozen orange juice concentrate - You can substitute other flavors of citrus concentrates as well, such as Grapefruit.
- Brandy - Since this is a "brandy" slush recipe, I recommend using brandy. However, you could make this drink with rum or whiskey.
- Lemon-lime soda - 7UP or Sprite is recommended.
How to make it
Bring five cups of water to a boil in a large pot or saucepan and then ladle out three cups of water and combine with the sugar. This will dissolve the sugar. Next, steep tea bags in the remaining two cups of water in the saucepan for at least ten minutes.
After ten minutes the green tea bags can be removed and the sugar solution and tea can be combined with the fruit concentrates and brandy. Stir everything together and place the brandy mixture in the freezer overnight.
Tip: Freezing in a large plastic container such as an ice cream bucket works really well (who doesn't want a bucket of brandy slush?!?). However, any freezer-safe container will be fine.
After it has frozen, use an ice cream scoop to serve by scooping the frozen mixture into a cocktail glass with lemon lime soda and garnish with an orange slice.
How to serve it
When serving brandy slush at a party it is easiest to set it out in a large glass bowl and let the party guests help themselves. However, you can certainly serve it up for the guests once it is removed from the freezer. However, like most any frozen party punch, it is ok if it thaws slightly while sitting at room temperature on the counter, slushy is good!
I use these Brandy Snifters for serving this brandy slush recipe simply because I love how they look and they are exceptionally high quality. However, any old fashioned glass will work fine.
More Party Cocktails
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Wisconsin Brandy Slush
- Cocktail glasses
- Ice cream scoop
- Cocktail glasses
- 5 cups water divided
- 4 bags green tea
- 1 cup sugar
- 12 ounce frozen lemonade concentrate
- 12 ounce frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 cups brandy
- 2 liter lemon-lime soda
- Boil 5 cups of water, then stir three cups of the water with sugar until dissolved and let tea bags steep in remaining two cups for 10 minutes. (make sure all of the sugar dissolves or the brandy slush will taste grainy)
- Discard tea bags, and combine tea with the sugar water in a large bowl and add lemonade concentrate, orange concentrate, and brandy. Stir to combine, cover, and place in the freezer overnight.
- To serve, scoop frozen mixture into glasses and fill with lemon-lime soda (~¼ cup). Stir and enjoy!
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com on January 11, 2017.
We used to keep a container of the frozen slush part always ready in a snow bank outside the kitchen door. Just go outside, scoop up some slush, come back into the kitchen, add some sweet and sour mix and there you have it. Obviously, one year we ran out of space in the refrigerator and the snowbank was handy to keep it frozen.
If you used black tea would it taste alot different? My grocery order was supposed to have the green tea and it came without....
Fox Valley Foodie
It will change the flavor some, but should still taste good.
I decided to experiment a couple years ago with the types of tea I use. I mix the tea bags and use 1/2 black tea and 1/2 green pomegranate tea. It changes the flavor slightly, but still retains the iconic slush flavor.
I make this recipe quite often, but I can't find frozen lemonade at this point. Can I use frozen limeade? Checked with our Walmart and local store, and to no avail.
Fox Valley Foodie
Yes, it would probably taste great with limeade as well.
I was making a list for Thanksgiving and Brandi slush popped into my head. I googled and after reading a few, I saw yours!
I am 51 and grew up in Rapids. Still have family in Appleton! This brought back so many memories! My mom made this all of the time. We almost always had one of those 3 or 5 gallon ice cream tubs in our freezer full of it. If there was one thing I learned from living in Wisconsin it was that there are no shortages of parties, 3-5 day weddings, card games and of course snow mobile runs! The slushi was my moms go to! She passed at 41 and this has brought back the nostalgia of Wisconsin, family, friends and lots of love! I can't wait to share it!!!!
Man, this makes me think of my summers spent up north! Great memories!
This was one of my favorite drinks during college and I had forgotten about it until this year when I hosted my family Christmas for the first time as my dad who previously hosted passed last year. Totally forgot about the tea being in there and can’t remember what flavor of brandy we used( seems like peach or apricot). What brandy do you use?
My family had brandy slush at every Easter, bridal and baby shower. I have upheld that tradition, being the good Wisconsinite I am!