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by Greg Rutkowski


Oaxaca Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

by Greg Rutkowski

Orange Peel Garnish With Match Flame Presentation

by Greg Rutkowski

The Quintessential Mezcal Cocktail Recipe

Serving Size: One boozy cocktail (but your friends will be asking for more)

Time: 2 minutes

Cocktail Type: Stirred

El Tesoro reposado tequila, Del Maguey San Luis del Rio Mezcal, agave nectar, Angostura bitters, large ice cube, orange twist



1.5 ounces of El Tesoro reposado tequila

0.5 ounces Del Maguey San Luis del Rio Mezcal

  • 1 bar spoon agave nectar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 large ice cube
  • Flamed orange peel twist for garnish (and flare)


Stir the mezcal, tequila, agave nectar, and bitters in a mixing glass filled with ice until chilled and diluted. Strain into a old fashioned glass or a short glass tumbler with a large ice cube. To make the flamed orange, take the orange peel with the outside facing one inch away from the lit match flame and pinch or twist it quickly to create a spark. Drop the orange peel garnish into the glass and it's ready to drink!

Cocktail Variations:

Try substituting the reposado tequila for apple brandy, rye whiskey or bourbon.

Use 2 dashes of chocolate bitters or mole bitters instead of the 2 dashes Angostura bitters.

For fun make your own agave nectar by whisking together one part agave syrup and one part warm water.


1 cocktail mixing glass

1 bar spoon


A double old fashioned glass (rocks glass)

Or a short glass tumbler with a colored rim if you are looking to bring more of a Mexican feel

Food Pairings:

Try with any kind of Mexican style steak dish or molle dish for dinner.

For desert, try it with a dark chocolate or chocolate with orange.

Cocktail History:

Phil Ward Bartender Death Co

PC: Diageo Bar Academy

This is the king of mezcal cocktails and commands a presence on every mezcal cocktail list known to mankind! It is seen on the menu at many restaurants across the country.

Phil Ward, comes to mind whenever this cocktailed is mentioned. It was inspired by a trip to Oaxaca with friend Ron Cooper, owner of Del Maguey and the makers of the San Luis del Rio Mezcal. Phil Ward created this riff off of the classic cocktail the "old fashioned" in 2007 during his time at the famous bar Death and Co. in New York. An interesting fact is that mixed drink including mezcal rose in popularity when bartenders started noticing how versatile of an ingredient mezcal is.

Flavor Profile:

Old fashioned vibes, and the reposado tequila gives it a "south of the border" feel. Because the tequila is aged in oak barrels, you get some of the oak flavors that are present in the old fashioned. The mezcal adds a nice smoky, aromatic nose that isn't too over powering. Although sometimes we like to amp up the mezcal (because we love mezcal).

First Hand Account:

Are you ready for an easy, boozy agave cocktail recipe that will knock the socks off of your guests?

The first time I experienced this cocktail was none other than magical and it kept me wanting more. Slowly over time I started trading the portions of tequila for mezcal because I loved the flavor profile so much. San Luis Del Rio and Chichicapa by Del Maguey are my favorite mezcals to use because they bring on a more sophisticated drink as compared to using Montelobo or another mezcal where the smoke is more intense. This drink is also one of those special cocktails that you can bust out to impress your friends or introduce someone who is knew to mezcal.

When you are able to find the right balance of flavors and portions that suit you in this drink, it is time to venture out and substitute with variations like chocolate molle bitters and brandy. It is important though that you still capture the essence of an old fashioned with oaky flavors. There is no need to go too far off the reservation with this one.

Lastly, I suggested experimenting with different mezcals as the different varieties of agave and the process in which they are made drastically changes the flavors.

I love going against the grain of what everyone else is doing and that is exactly why I love this cocktail so much. When you are at a restaurant and all of your friends are ordering old fashioned drinks, you immediately stand out as the more interesting and cultured person of the group.


Reference Books:

Finding Mezcal - A Journey Into The Liquid Soul Of Mexico, by Ron Cooper

Mezcal - The History, Craft & Cocktails Of The World's Ultimate Artisanal Spirit, by Emma Janzen

The Office: Classic Cocktails, by Grant Achatz


If you are looking for more recipes that include mezcal click here!


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