Oaxacan Old Fashioned is a delicious cocktail that is a tequila counterpart to the whiskey classic cocktail. The combination of reposado tequila, mezcal, bitters, and orange essence is just the perfect blend of flavors. That’s not all though, we finish this cocktail by infusing it with hickory smoke. Read though to learn how to smoke your own cocktails!
Oaxacan Old Fashioned
I’m sure all of you have heard of an Old Fashioned. It’s a classic cocktail that features your favorite rye whiskey or bourbon sweetened with sugar, spiced with bitters and orange essence.
Well, Oaxacan Old Fashioned is a tequila counterpart to this classic cocktail created by Phil Ward, who was a bartender in New York’s Death & Co. bar. This is a fairly young cocktail but it has taken tequila fandom by a storm. This cocktail features reposado tequila and mezcal with a couple of dashes of aromatic butters, and of course, orange essence extracted from an orange twist.
What is mezcal, you ask? Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made with maguey, which is a plant similar to a cactus but it is actually in an agave family. Mezcal is loosely translated to “oven-cooked agave.” Thousands of years ago, the Aztecs fermented the sweet liquid accumulated in the center of maguey giving birth to what we now know as mezcal.
What’s the difference between tequila and Mezcal?
Tequila and Mezcal are actually not the same things! Although both are made with agave, mezcal is more of a general term for agave-made liquor. Much like scotch and bourbon are types of whiskey, tequila is a type of mezcal.
Tequila is made specifically with blue agave, it’s made by steaming the agave before distilling it in copper pots, and it’s made in different regions of Mexico than mezcal.
Mezcal is made out of varieties of agave that are cooked inside earthen pits lined with lava rocks. These pits are also filled with wood and charcoal, which gives the mezcal its distinct smoky flavor. Mezcal is also distilled in clay pots.
You may be more familiar with smoked cocktails than you think. Have you been eating out at a restaurant and suddenly, a smoky aroma filled the room? And then, as by magic, this aroma disappeared…leave you wondering.
What it was is most likely a smoked cocktail that someone ordered. Smoked cocktails have been appearing in more and more restaurants. They are delicious, unusual, and put on a great show.
But you know what, you can make them at home in just about 15 minutes! All you need is a smoking gun and just a few minutes of patience. While in the restaurants, most smoked cocktails will only have a faint essence of smoke, you can make it as smoky as you want at home! Restaurants don’t have the adequate amount of time to give it for the smoke to infuse into the liquid and ice. You have all the time on your hands at home.
How to Smoke Cocktails
Remember how I mentioned that all you need is a smoking gun? That is true, that is all you need, even if you don’t get the special cloche. If you’re trying to stay on the budget, there is a way around without having to get the cloche.
This is the smoking gun that I use (and love) but you can find any one that you prefer. (This is not an affiliate link.) Like I mentioned, you can get them with or without the cloche. The workaround the cloche is very simple, you just use a cocktail mixing glass and saran wrap.
Before you start smoking your cocktails (and any other small plates of food), make sure to read the instructions for your particular smoking gun!
As a fuel, make sure to buy the fine wood chips made specifically for smoking guns. These wood chips are very thin and tiny pieces meant for the small opening of a smoking gun. They light very fast and burn fast.
Smoking Cocktails With The Cloche
If you’re using a cloche, prepare the cocktail according to the recipe, pour it into the glass you want to use, and then place it under the cloche. Insert the tube of the smoking gun into the valve on the cloche and start the smoking gun.
Once the cloche is filled with smoke, turn off the gun and let the cocktail sit under the cloche for about 5 minutes. Lift the cloche and stir the cocktail.
Feel free to repeat the process of filling the cloche with smoke and letting the cocktail sit there for 5 minutes 2 or 3 more times. Depending on how much smoky flavor you want, is how many times you want to repeat.
Without The Cloche
If you don’t have a cloche, don’t worry! Use a cocktail mixing glass to prepare your cocktail.
Place the tube of the smoking gun inside the mixing glass but not touching the liquid and then cover the glass tightly with plastic wrap. Try to make it as tight as you can.
Start the smoking gun and let the mixing glass fill up with smoke. Turn off the smoking glass and let it sit for 5 minutes. (You can gently lift the whole glass and swirl the liquid around to incorporate more of the smoky flavor.)
You are welcome to repeat filling the mixing glass with smoke a couple more times for a more smoky flavor.
When to Add Ice
Ice is great at taking in the flavors around it so it is great at taking in smoke as well. The problem with adding ice too soon though is that it will dilute your cocktail as it melts.
So I recommend adding ice half way through, after the first 5 minutes of smoking but before the second (or third) round.
How To Make Smoked Oaxacan Old Fashioned
Twist the orange peel (orange part only, no white rind) over the old fashioned glass and run the extracted oils over the rim. Throw in the orange twist.
Combine reposado tequila, mezcal, bitters, and agave nectar in the glass. Use a bar spoon to mix everything together. Place the glass with the cocktail under the smoking cloche and insert the tip of the smoking gun into the designated valve on the cloche.
Prepare and start the smoking gun as instructed in your manual and fill the cloche with smoke. Turn off the gun and let the cocktail sit under the smoke-filled cloche for 5 minutes. Add ice cube and smoke another 5 minutes.
Can I Smoked Classic Old Fashioned?
Absolutely! Bourbon and other whiskeys are excellent cocktails when smoked. Grab my Old Fashioned cocktail recipe and use the same method for smoking it! Hickory is also a great choice for bourbon cocktails.
Smoked Oaxacan Old Fashioned
- Smoking gun
- Hickory wood chips for the smoking gun
- 1 1/2 oz reposado tequila
- 1/2 oz mezcal
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 2-4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 large orange twist
Prepare the cocktail:
- Twist the orange peel (orange part only, no white rind) over the old fashioned glass and run the extracted oils over the rim. Throw in the orange twist.
- Combine reposado tequila, mezcal, bitters, and agave nectar in the glass. Use a bar spoon to m ix everything together.
Smoking the cocktail:
- Place the glass with the cocktail under the smoking cloche and insert the tip of the smoking gun into the designated valve on the cloche.
- Prepare and start the smoking gun as instructed in your manual and fill the cloche with smoke.
- Turn off the gun and let the cocktail sit under the smoke-filled cloche for 5 minutes.
- Lift the cloche, stir the cocktail, and add an oversized ice cube.
- Cover back up with the cloche and fill it with smoke once again. Let the cocktail sit there another 5 minutes.
- You can enjoy the cocktail now or fill it with smoke one more time if you wish for a smokier flavor.