Cocktail Recipe: Oaxaca Old-Fashioned

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 bookSimonson 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.

Oaxaca Old-Fashioned

Oaxaca Old-Fashioned


  • 1 1/2 oz. Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Mezcal
  • 2 dashes Angostura or Xocolatl (Aztec) Bitters
  • 1 barspoon Agave Nectar
  • Orange Twist


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the orange twist in an Old-fashioned glass filled with one large ice cube. Stir until chilled. Twist a large piece of orange zest over the drink and drop into the glass.


Adapted from a recipe in Robert Simonson's The Old-Fashioned.