Oaxaca Old-Fashioned

Phil Ward | Death & Co.

This is the drink that opened the American mixology world’s eyes to the potential of using tequila and mezcal in cocktails. According to Angus Winchester, British bartenders were making Old-Fashioneds with tequila much earlier. But if they were, the drinks were thrown down the gullet unnamed and unsung, and they likely didn’t contain mezcal. Ward called it his eureka moment when he figured out, regarding mezcal, “this shit works.” It has inspired countless imitations, with different names, but essentially the same recipe.

Reprinted with permission from A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces El Tesoro reposado tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio mezcal
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 barspoon agave nectar

Garnish: flamed orange twist

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the orange twist in an Old-Fashioned glass filled with one large ice cube.
  2. Stir until chilled.
  3. Top with a flamed orange twist, then drop the twist into the drink.