Oaxacan Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Oaxacan Old Fashioned Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

August 9, 2023


The Oaxacan Old Fashioned is a modern twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, created by renowned bartender Phil Ward at the famous Death & Co. bar in New York City. This cocktail is a perfect blend of Mexican and American spirits, combining the smoky flavors of mezcal with the sweetness of agave syrup and the bitterness of Angostura bitters. It's a favorite among adventurous drinkers and those who appreciate the unique flavors of mezcal.

How Oaxacan Old Fashioned Tastes?

The Oaxacan Old Fashioned is a complex, smoky, and slightly sweet cocktail with a rich, velvety texture. The mezcal provides an earthy, smoky backbone, while the agave syrup adds a touch of sweetness and the Angostura bitters bring a subtle bitterness to balance the flavors.

Interesting facts about Oaxacan Old Fashioned

  • The Oaxacan Old Fashioned was created by Phil Ward, a renowned bartender at Death & Co., one of the most influential cocktail bars in the world.
  • Mezcal, the primary spirit in this cocktail, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, native to Mexico.
  • The name 'Oaxacan' comes from the region of Oaxaca in Mexico, which is known for producing some of the finest mezcal in the world.


Recipe. How to make Oaxacan Old Fashioned Drink

  1. In a mixing glass, combine the mezcal, reposado tequila, agave syrup, and Angostura bitters.
  2. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir the cocktail until well chilled.
  3. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with a large ice cube.
  4. Express the orange peel over the cocktail, then discard the peel.
  5. Garnish the cocktail with a Luxardo Maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality mezcal for the best flavor. The smokiness of the mezcal is a key component of this cocktail.
  • Stir the cocktail well to ensure all the ingredients are fully combined and the cocktail is properly chilled.
  • Express the orange peel over the cocktail to release the oils and add a subtle citrus aroma.

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What you could change in Oaxacan Old Fashioned

  • If you don't have mezcal, you can use a smoky Scotch as a substitute.
  • If you don't have reposado tequila, you can use blanco tequila instead, but the flavor will be slightly different.
  • If you don't have agave syrup, you can use simple syrup or honey as a substitute.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Oaxacan Old Fashioned

What is the best time to enjoy an Oaxacan Old Fashioned?

It is often enjoyed in the evening, either as a pre-dinner cocktail to stimulate the appetite, or as a neat slow-sipper post-dinner drink.

What does 'express the orange peel' mean?

This refers to squeezing the orange zest or peel over the drink, so the aromatic oils spray onto the surface.

What does it mean when a drink is described as 'smoky'?

This term often refers to a unique flavor profile that originates from the process of roasting or smoking, found mainly in whiskies and mezcal.

What kinds of meals pair well with an Oaxacan Old Fashioned?

Considering its smoky and slightly sweet profile, it pairs well with grilled meats and spicy Mexican dishes.

What is the alcohol content of an Oaxacan Old Fashioned?

The alcohol content of this beverage can be quite high, but it can vary depending upon the proportions of mezcal and tequila added. Please drink responsibly.

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Extra information to help you make Oaxacan Old Fashioned

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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