The Oaxaca Old Fashioned is a variation of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail that incorporates elements from the rich culinary and cultural traditions of Oaxaca, Mexico.

The Old Fashioned itself is a renowned cocktail that dates back to the early 19th century. It was one of the original mixed drinks, consisting of a combination of whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters.

Over the years, various iterations and adaptations of the Old Fashioned have emerged, reflecting the creativity and preferences of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.

Oaxaca old fashioned close up
Oaxaca Old Fashioned Close Up

The Oaxaca Old Fashioned introduces a distinctive twist by replacing the traditional whiskey base with mezcal, a smoky agave-based spirit that is deeply rooted in Oaxacan culture.

Mezcal has gained popularity worldwide, and its unique flavor profile, derived from the roasted hearts of agave plants, adds a complex and smoky character to the cocktail.

How to Make an Oaxaca Old Fashioned

Oaxaca Old Fashioned Recipe

Recipe by Phil Ward
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Course: BeverageCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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A great mezcal, reposado tequila riff.

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  • 1.5 oz Reposado Tequila ( El Tesoro preferred )

  • 0.5 oz Mezcal ( Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio preferred )

  • 1 Teaspoon Agave Syrup

  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters


  • Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass.
  • Add ice.
  • Stir for 30 seconds.
  • Strain over a large ice cube in a double rocks glass.
  • Garnish with an orange twist.

Recipe Video

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Who Created the Oaxaca Old Fashioned?

The Oaxaca Old Fashioned is widely attributed to a renowned mixologist named Phil Ward.

Phil Ward is known for his contributions to the craft cocktail movement and his work at notable bars in New York City, including Death & Co.

Oaxaca old fashioned ingredients
Oaxaca Old Fashioned Ingredients

Around 2007, while working at Death & Co, Phil Ward developed the Oaxaca Old Fashioned as a variation of the classic Old Fashioned.

Inspired by the smoky and complex flavors of mezcal, he substituted whiskey with mezcal to create a unique twist on the traditional cocktail.

Oaxaca old fashioned in death and co book
Oaxaca Old Fashioned in Death and Co Book

The combination of mezcal, reposado tequila, muddled sugar, bitters, and citrus peel resulted in a cocktail that showcased the characteristics of mezcal while maintaining the essence of an Old Fashioned.

The Oaxaca Old Fashioned gained popularity in the cocktail community and quickly spread to other bars and establishments around the world. It has since become a staple on many cocktail menus and has inspired countless variations and interpretations.

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