The Old Fashioned is as classic as cocktails get. Composed of a spirit, sugar, water and bitters, it follows the same template as the first recorded definition of the cocktail, which occurred in the early 1800s. Yet for all its tradition and history, the Old Fashioned is also a drink that undergoes endless experimentation. Fortunately, many of those experiments yield positive results, like the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, a modern success story featuring tequila and mezcal.
This Spiced Tequila Old Fashioned takes a similar path. It comes from Matt Armato, a blogger and recipe developer and the co-founder of Probably This. He gives the classic drink a Mexican makeover, reaching for reposado tequila, allspice dram and orange bitters.
Reposado tequilas are aged between two months and one year in oak barrels, lending them a softer, rounder profile than unaged blancos, with hints of oaky sweetness and spice. Allspice dram—also called pimento dram—is a popular addition to Tiki drinks, but it works well in a variety of cocktails. The liqueur is typically made with a rum base and flavored with allspice berries, which taste like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. These baking spice notes merge with the reposado tequila to create a full and spicy cocktail. Add some orange bitters for zesty zing and complexity, and you have a new take on the OId Fashioned. Regardless of when you choose to make it, this recipe will infuse some holiday sensibilities into your day.
- 1 demerara sugar cube
- 1 splash club soda
- 1 1/2 ounces Cazadores reposado tequila
- 1/4 ounce allspice dram
- 4 dashes orange bitters
- Garnish: lemon twist
Combine the sugar cube and 1 small splash (about 1 1/2 tsp) of club soda in a mixing glass.
Using a muddler, pulverize the sugar cube into the club soda to create a paste.
Add the tequila, allspice dram and bitters, plus ice, and stir 25 to 30 times until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Express the oil of a lemon twist over the top of the drink, and garnish with the twist.