Añejo Old Fashioned

As we discussed earlier, the Old Fashioned goes back to the earliest days of the cocktail, and is actually the first definition of what a “cocktail” was — spirits, water, sugar and bitters.

You can make an Old Fashioned out of any base spirit, and it works really well with almost anything. It works especially well with aged tequila.

The Añejo Old Fashioned is very popular among Los Angeles bartenders, and elsewhere as well. Everyone puts their own spin on it — when Robert Hess first mentioned it in his video episode about the Old Fashioned he thought first of lemon bitters, then grapefruit bitters. The bartenders I see most often like classic Angostura, but I like a little of both.

While agave nectar seems to be the sweetener of choice, I also like to make it with piloncillo syrup. Piloncillo is the hard Mexican brown sugar, heavy on the molasses, that comes in rock-hard cones. To make a syrup from it shave it on a heavy grater so it’ll dissolve more easily, and do a 1:1 simple syrup with it.

Our favored añejo tequila these days is Partida, then El Charro, but use your favorite. Oh, and in case you can’t tell, I like ’em big.

Añejo Old Fashioned

3 ounces añejo tequila.
1/4 ounce piloncillo syrup or agave nectar.
2 dashes Angostura bitters.
1 dash Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters.
Orange or grapefruit peel.

Combine in a double Old Fashioned glass, add ice and stir for 20 seconds. Garnish with a large swath of orange or grapefruit peel.