Oaxaca Old Fashioned

Any recipe with “Oaxaca” in the name probably means it has mezcal in it, as Oaxaca is the birthplace of the smoky agave spirit. The Oaxaca Old Fashioned is no exception, and it’s one of the best ways we can think of to experience the complex, charred flavor of a new bottle of mezcal.

This recipe, from famed mixologist Phil Ward of Death & Co, is built on the classic Old Fashioned template: two ounces (or 60mL) base spirit, two dashes of bitters, and a teaspoon of sweetener. Ward cleverly uses only a small share of mezcal along with aged tequila, allowing the flavor to shine through without overwhelming the drink.

Agave syrup is a bit sweeter than simple syrup, so we usually adjust this recipe according to our own tastes by using only a scant teaspoon of agave syrup.

The recipe as printed in Death & Co’s book calls for Angostura bitters, but word on the street is that they tend to serve it with spicy chocolate mole bitters, which we prefer.

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Add all ingredients to a short glass, without ice, and stir to combine. Add ice and stir again until well-chilled. Flame an orange twist to express the oils, then squeeze the oils into the drink and drop the twist in as a garnish.

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