This post was originally published on December, 20 2017 and was updated July, 13 2020. This brandy slush recipe is known far and wide across Wisconsin! It’s an easy big-batch cocktail made with tea, orange juice, lemonade, and good quality brandy. What more could you want?
This frozen cocktail recipe tastes like home to me. And probably to most people from Wisconsin and the Midwest. A bucket of brandy slush was almost certainly in the basement chest freezer of one relative or another for most people I knew growing up.
Want to recreate those childhood memories by making this recipe for Wisconsin brandy slush? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Black Tea
- Orange Juice Concentrate
- Lemonade Concentrate
- Lemon Lime Soda
- An old ice cream pail
What is Brandy Slush?
In Wisconsin, brandy slush is the best, big batch cocktail for a crowd. It is a staple during the holiday season! I also love it for summer to cool off in the sweltering Midwestern heat. (Of course I could also go for grasshopper ice cream!) It’s a drink recipe made from black tea, juice concentrates, and brandy. So simple and so delicious! It’s bright and bubbly (thanks to lemon lime soda) and refreshing!
How to make Brandy Slush (the Wisconsin way!)
- Clean out an old ice cream bucket. Y’know the kind that's a big gallon container with a lid and a handle. Or find one in your grandma’s basement, she’s probably got one. (Or I guess buy one???)
- Combine water and sugar and bring it to a boil. Add the tea bags and let it steep to make a strong, sweet tea.
- Pour in the (thawed) juice concentrates and the brandy.
- Stir it all together, cover with that bucket’s lid, and freeze for at least 12 hours. Or overnight.
- Serve large scoops in a glass and top with lemon lime soda. Garnish with fruit, if desired.
I love this recipe for a few reasons. For one, it is such a classic Wisconsin cocktail. It reminds me of Christmas at my Grandma’s and there is no better feeling than that! For two, it can be made ahead of time and in a large quantity which means it’s the perfect cocktail for crowds or gatherings of any and all kinds!
Lastly, it can be adjusted to suit your tolerance. Add two cups of brandy or heck, add four! (You could even sub out the brandy for bourbon or whiskey, if you felt like it. But if it’s in Wisconsin it has to be brandy!) Whatever alcohol you choose, just remember, the more alcohol in the slush mix recipe, the less solid of a freeze you will achieve. Alcohol doesn’t freeze, remember!
Cheers to you! And cheers to me! And cheers to a slush recipe full of brandy!
Wisconsin Brandy Slush Recipe
- Ice Cream Pail
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 black tea bags
- 1 12- oz. container orange juice concentrate thawed
- 1 12- oz. container lemonade concentrate thawed
- 2 – 4 cups brandy more or less depending on how strong you like it
- Lemon Lime Soda
- In a large pot, bring water and sugar to boil, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep according to package instructions, or for three to four minutes, before removing tea bags and discarding. Let tea cool slightly before pouring into ice cream pail.
- Stir in the orange juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate, and brandy. Mix to combine.
- Cover pail with lid and freeze for 12 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, fill a glass halfway with slush, top with lemon-lime soda and garnish with fruit, if desired.
- Whiskey or bourbon can be used in place of the brandy, if desired.