This twist on the immortal Old-Fashioned was created in 2007 by Phil Ward at New York’s famed cocktail bar Death & Co. It is, in Robert Simonson’s words, “the most renowned of the twenty-first-century variations of the Old-Fashioned, and one of the modern cocktail’s gateway drinks into the pleasures of tequila and mezcal.”
In order to make this drink right, high-quality tequila and mezcal are essential. In his book, Simonson recommends using El Tesoro tequila and Del Maguey mezcal. Those are both excellent choices. Although you can substitute another top-shelf reposado tequila, you’re probably better off sticking with the Del Maguey mezcal, as it’s the gold standard for the spirit.