oaxaca old fashioned recipe

Oaxaca Old Fashioned Recipe: A Smoky Twist on a Classic Cocktail You Can Master at Home

Oaxaca Old Fashioned Recipe: A Smoky Twist on a Classic Cocktail You Can Master at Home

oaxaca old fashioned recipe

Everything You Need to Know About the Oaxaca Old Fashioned

Picture it! You've just finished hosting a delightful evening with friends. The conversation winds down, and you sense a desire for something special to end the night on a high note. Instead of suggesting another round of wine or beer, you make a grand entrance with a tray of icy glasses containing a captivating amber liquid – the Oaxaca Old Fashioned. This unique cocktail, with its smoky mezcal notes and perfectly balanced sweetness, is guaranteed to impress your guests and leave them wanting more. Not only is the Oaxaca Old Fashioned a showstopper, but it's surprisingly easy to create at home, ditching the bar tab and crowded scene. So, channel your inner bartender and impress your loved ones with this delicious and sophisticated cocktail experience.

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History of the Oaxaca Old Fashioned: A Modern Classic is Born

The Oaxaca Old Fashioned, a now-iconic cocktail, boasts a relatively short but impactful history. In 2007, Phil Ward, a renowned tequila specialist and owner of Death & Co., a legendary New York cocktail bar, revolutionized the way we think of Old Fashioneds. Ward's ingenious idea was to replace the traditional whiskey base with a combination of reposado tequila and mezcal, both agave spirits native to Mexico. This twist added a smoky depth and a touch of south-of-the-border flair to the classic recipe, instantly captivating the palates of patrons at Death & Co. The drink's popularity soared, and it wasn't long before the Oaxaca Old Fashioned found its way onto menus across the country and eventually, the world. Today, it's considered a "modern classic", a testament to its enduring appeal and impact on the cocktail world.

Oaxaca Old Fashioned Recipe: Unleash Your Inner Mixologist

oaxaca old fashioned recipe

The beauty of the Oaxaca Old Fashioned lies in its simplicity. With just a few readily available ingredients and a basic understanding of mixing techniques, you can create a cocktail worthy of any upscale bar. Here's a step-by-step guide to becoming an Oaxaca Old Fashioned maestro at home:


  • 1 ½ ounces reposado tequila (choose a brand known for its smoothness; El Tesoro is a popular option)
  • ½ ounce mezcal (explore different varieties to find your preferred smokiness; Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio was used in the original recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or ½ barspoon, depending on desired sweetness)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel for garnish

Agave Nectar: Agave nectar, a natural sweetener derived from the agave plant, is a perfect complement to the tequila and mezcal in this cocktail. It adds a touch of sweetness without overpowering the other flavors.


oaxaca old fashioned recipe

There are two main methods for preparing your Oaxaca Old Fashioned – stirring directly in the glass or using a cocktail shaker. Both methods achieve excellent results, so choose the one that best suits your setup and preferences.

Method 1: Stirred in the Glass (for a more traditional approach)

  1. Chill Your Glass: Fill your favorite Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes and let it sit for a few minutes. This pre-chills the glass and ensures your drink stays refreshingly cold. Discard the ice before adding your ingredients.
  2. Combine and Stir: Add the reposado tequila, mezcal, agave nectar, and Angostura bitters to your chilled glass. Gently stir with a bar spoon for about 30 seconds, or until the outside of the glass feels cold to the touch.
  3. Express the Orange Oils: Hold an orange peel over the drink and express the oils by squeezing it gently over the surface. Discard the peel or use it as a garnish, adding it to the drink.

Flaming the Orange Peel (Optional but Impressive):

For a touch of theatricality, you can try flaming the orange peel before expressing the oils. Here's how to do it safely:

  • Use a long match or lighter and carefully hold the flame over the orange peel, away from the drink itself.
  • As the peel expresses its oils, you'll see a brief flicker of flame. Once the flame dies down, quickly squeeze the orange peel over the drink to release the aromatic oils and discard the peel.

Remember, safety first! Only attempt flaming the orange peel if you feel comfortable doing so and have a clear workspace. If you're unsure, simply express the oils without flaming.

Beyond the Basics: Experimentation and Personalization

oaxaca old fashioned recipe

The beauty of the Oaxaca Old Fashioned lies in its potential for customization. Here are a few ideas to explore and make this cocktail your own:

  • Sweetness Level: The recipe suggests using 1 teaspoon of agave nectar, but feel free to adjust it to your taste. Start with ½ barspoon for a less sweet drink and gradually increase the amount if you prefer a sweeter profile.
  • Smoky Variations: Mezcal comes in a wide range of varieties, each offering a unique level of smokiness. Experiment with different types of mezcal to find your ideal balance of smoke and other flavors.
  • Agave Spirit Substitutes: While mezcal is the traditional smoky spirit used in the Oaxaca Old Fashioned, you can explore alternatives like pechuga mezcal (infused with fruits, spices, or herbs) or even a smoky tequila for a slightly different flavor profile.

Conclusion: Impress Your Guests and Embrace Your Inner Mixologist

The Oaxaca Old Fashioned is more than just a cocktail; it's an experience. It allows you to showcase your home bartending skills and create a delightful beverage that's both delicious and visually appealing – all from the comfort of your own home. Ditch the crowded bar scene and gather your friends for an unforgettable evening. With this guide and a little practice, you can whip up a batch of impressive Oaxaca Old Fashioneds that will have your guests raving.

oaxaca old fashioned recipe

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oaxaca old fashioned recipe