The Brandy Old-Fashioned Goes Official
There is a Resolution in Madison to Make the Regional Classic Wisconsin's Official State Cocktail. The Mix Supports This.
In October 2014, my mother passed away. She was 84 years old. In May of that year, my first book, The Old-Fashioned, a book-length examination of the title cocktail, was published. It was dedicated to her, a lifelong Old-Fashioned drinker. She was delighted with the book and the dedication, and I was happy that she got to see it before she died.
Two weeks after her passing, my father put together a memorial service for my mother. He wanted me to serve Old-Fashioneds at the reception, and I happily agreed. We bought the necessary ingredients, and I set up a table in the corner of the hall where the memorial was held.
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At some point my father came up to me and said he wanted me to sign a copy of The Old-Fashioned book for a friend of his who worked in the state government in Madison. I said I would be happy too. It was only after I met the friend and started signing the book that I realized she was an associate of Tonette Walker, the wife of then-governor Scott Walker. The book was to be given to Tonette.
I was not a fan of Scott Walker. I thought he had done more damage to my home state than any politician since Senator Joe McCarthy. But I did not want to introduce politics into the memorial setting and I did not want to embarrass my father in front of his friend. So I continued to sign the book.