We spent the day working in the backyard, cleaning up, hanging new lights, trimming branches, burning a bunch of wood in the fire pit. You know, good honest work. It wasn’t till I walked inside for a drink that I realized I smelled like a campfire and that’s when I decided I needed a real drink, something smoky and rugged, like me. Looking at my recent acquisitions, a new stirring pitcher and a fresh bottle of mezcal made this one an easy call, the Oaxacan Old-Fashioned.
I’m a big fan of smoky stuff from barbeque to liquor. My tastes tend toward the Islay Scotch and Mezcal end of the spectrum. So, I tend to order those kinds of cocktails when I’m out. I discovered this one in Boston a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. Like any old-fashioned it’s super simple. Grab a mixing pitcher and add 1 1/2 ounce of añejo tequila, I used Kah cause I love the flavor and that sexy skull bottle. To that add a heavy 1/2 ounce of mezcal, I used Illegal Mezcal, cause I bought a bottle Thursday. I usually drink Vida del Maguey, but the illegal is nice and has a great story about smuggling it across the border for years till they decided to make an honest alcohol out of it. To that add a bar spoon of agave nectar, 4 stabs of aromatic bitters, I used Dr. Elmegraib’s Orinoco. Toss in a a few ice cubes and give it a stir with your barspoon, making sure to keep the back of the spoon in contact with the outside of the pitcher the whole time. If applicable, and it was for me, marvel that you are actually able to do this. Grab a julep strainer, or in my case panic because you forgot to grab it and ask the kid to get it while stirring. Realize he has no idea what you are talking about and describe it to him all while worrying that you are going to overdilute the drink. Once you have that crisis settled, strain slowly over one large ice cube into a rocks glass. Grab an orange and peel off a bit of the skin, and give it a good pinch over the glass, skin side out, to express the oils into the drink. Give it a good wipe around the lip as well, for good measure, before twisting it and dropping in as a garnish. Take a sip and glance out the kitchen window to enjoy the glow of the freshly hung festoons and think to yourself, could be worse, it could be raining. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.