Forget the sour mix and the salt on the rim of the glass! The flavor of an aged tequila can come through when making a tequila old-fashioned.
One of the traditional drinks that have experienced a significant renaissance in popularity over the past few years is old-fashioned. It’s a short cocktail with sophistication, thanks to the few simple ingredients that let the spirit’s flavor shine through. If you are a fan of this type of cocktail, you know that whiskey or bourbon is typically used as the base spirit when making an old-fashioned. But have you ever sampled an old-fashioned cocktail made with tequila?
What Is a Tequila Old-Fashioned?
This version of the old-fashioned cocktail uses tequila instead of more conventional spirits like bourbon or brandy. After being sweetened with agave syrup and blended with bitters, the mixture is poured over ice and garnished with a twist of orange zest.
The tequila you choose to use will play a significant role in this. Because enjoying the taste of the liqueur is the primary focus of an old-fashioned, the aejo variety of tequila is the ideal choice for this cocktail.
The Different Types of Tequila
Agave, a succulent plant native to Mexico, produces all tequila. Tequilas are separated into distinct categories according to how long they are allowed to age before being bottled and put up for sale.
- Blanco tequila, or silver tequila, has not been aged at all or only very slightly. As a result, it has a clear appearance and a flavor that is sweet but sharp, even harsh, and it is the variety most commonly used in margaritas and other mixed drinks that contain a lot of juices and other mixers.
- The aging process for reposado tequila can take a few months to an entire year in oak barrels. As a result, it has a more subdued flavor and includes some woodsy notes from the barrel. The color is light gold. Using it in drinks that call for blanco tequila is possible, but doing so will give the drinks a more robust flavor.
- Aejo tequila must be aged in barrels for at least one year before being sold. The finished product is a amber silky tequila with notes of caramel, vanilla, flowers, and wood. It offers a taste experience that is quite distinct from that of Blanco tequila, and it is recommended that it be consumed in drinks that do not mask its warm and rich flavor. Aejo rum is ideal for making an old-fashioned, which should be sipped slowly.
How to Make an Old-Fashioned with Tequila
One beverage can be prepared using this recipe. Look for bottles of tequila that are labeled “aero.” These tequilas have been aged for a certain amount of time and have a color similar to light amber.
- 1 small orange
- 2 ounces añejo tequila
- 2 teaspoons of agave syrup in blue color
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Cherry is optionally served with cocktail ice.
Tools You’ll Need
- Rocks Glass: This is the appropriate glass for an old-fashioned, as well as other cocktails like sazeracs and white Russians and other drinks that are served neat.
- Jigger is a cool tool that bartenders use, and this particular one has measurement markings on it so you can easily measure out the exact amount of booze you need.
- Large ice cubes or spheres look more elegant in mixed drinks and melt more slowly than smaller ones. Silicone ice cube molds.
Step 1: Prepare the orange garnish
An orange peel measuring approximately 3 inches long and between 1 and 2 inches wide should be sliced off using a small paring knife. By running the paring knife between the pith and the peel, you can leave a very thin layer of white, which is just enough to ensure that the peel will maintain its shape when it is twisted.
You can make the edges of the peel straight by slicing down each long side of the peel, and you can cut the ends at an angle.
Step 2: Add the drink ingredients to a glass
Stir together the aero tequila, agave syrup, and bitters in a rocks or lowball glass. Serve immediately. After you have added one or two ice cubes to the glass, give the beverage another stir.
Step 3: Finally, the orange zest
Place the orange peel you have prepared on top of the glass you are using. Turn each end in the opposite direction to create a twist. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that a fine orange oil mist is drizzled into the beverage. The orange peel should then be dropped into the glass. Finally, it’s time to take a sip of your tequila old-fashioned.
How to Garnish a Tequila Old-Fashioned
Traditional tequila old-fashioned is served with an orange peel twisted over the glass to release its oils as a garnish. Although I prefer to add the peel to the drink itself, it can also be omitted for a drink with a more muted orange flavor. The flavor of the aged tequila pairs beautifully with the cherry used as a garnish in cocktails. Cocktail cherries are not only delicious but also very pretty. You should use Luxardo cherries or cherries preserved in brandy or whiskey.
How to Make a Smoky Tequila Old-Fashioned
Rick Bayless, chef and restaurateur of Frontera Grill, add some mild ancho chiles to his old-fashioned tequila to give it a smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness. To prepare it, rehydrate a dried ancho chile in hot water until it is pliable. Next, cut the chili in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then cut off a small piece. Just before you add the ice to the glass, drop in the piece of chile and use the back of the spoon to mash it up a little bit to release the pepper’s flavor. After stirring, add the ice, and then serve.
Learn more: What Is Espresso?