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Tequila Old Fashioned

The tequila old fashioned keeps the basic blueprint of the original - spirit, sugar, bitters and water. But the agave-based tequila contributes its own distinct flavor profile of earthy, peppery, and herbaceous notes in place of the mellow oak and vanilla of whiskey.

19 days ago

You know that as SeƱor Pastor and chief storyteller of Bourbon Gospel, I cant go more than a couple of weeks without taking about a Bourbon Cocktail or at least a version of a bourbon cocktail and March is no different. Last month I introduced you to the Bourbon Espresso Martini and today it is the  Tequila Old Fashioned. 

The old fashioned is one of the most foundational and enduring cocktail recipes, consisting originally of whiskey, sugar, bitters and water. This iconic 19th century drink has spawned countless variations over the decades. One creative riff is the tequila old fashioned, which substitutes tequila for whiskey. 

The agave spirit adds its own unique flavor profile to the bittersweet classic template.

As with many cocktails, the precise origins of the tequila old fashioned are unclear. Food historians point to pioneering bartender Don Javier Delgado Corona of La Capilla bar in Tequila, Mexico as likely being the first to experiment with agave spirits in an old fashioned format.

In the late 1950s or early 60s, Don Javier began putting his own twist on beloved cocktails using the local tequila. His tequila old fashioned was simply an agave-fied version of the whiskey drink popular with American tourists. The cocktail concept likely spread from there.

By the early 2000s, Tequila Old Fashioned's were popping up on Mexican restaurant cocktail menus, especially in the American southwest. The recipe gained traction as premium 100% agave tequilas rose in popularity, with drinkers appreciating tequila's nuanced flavors in a classic template.

The cocktail gained even more recognition when it was featured as the signature drink at celebrity chef Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill restaurants. As tequila's perception as a complex, sip-worthy spirit grew, so did acceptance of it in time-honored cocktails beyond just margaritas and palomas. The tequila old fashioned offered a great way to highlight good tequila.

Combining Tequila and Bitters in Perfect Harmony

The tequila old fashioned keeps the basic blueprint of the original - spirit, sugar, bitters and water. But the agave-based tequila contributes its own distinct flavor profile of earthy, peppery, and herbaceous notes in place of the mellow oak and vanilla of whiskey.

Many recipes call for reposado tequila, which spends a short time aging in barrels. The reposado's hint of wood balances against the bitter complexity of aromatic bitters. The fruit and spice essences of bitters complement tequila's vegetal qualities.

The sweetener bridges the gap between bitter and sour. Agave nectar is often used instead of plain sugar syrup to echo the taste of the tequila. And lime adds a tart brightness. The ingredients come together to create a complex yet balanced tequila cocktail.

Tequila Old Fashioned

Ingredients

Instructions

Play with the amount of sweetener and bitters to suit your preferences. Sip and savor this southwestern riff on a vintage cocktail! The tequila old fashioned beautifully showcases tequila's complex interplay with bitter, sour and sweet.

As always I am open to hear your take and your input. You can reach me at [email protected]

Brian Certain

Published 19 days ago