When you think of premium spirits, tequila may or may not come to mind. Some think of the drink as a staple at spring break parties everywhere, but the ubiquitous spirit is surprisingly versatile and an essential ingredient in many mixed drinks.
One of those delicious cocktails is the Anejo Old Fashioned, which utilizes a diverse mix of spirits and even some agave nectar, which really makes the tequila pop.
Anejo Old Fashioned: Distinctively Delicious
When making a traditional Old Fashioned, one uses bourbon or rye whiskey. However, this take on the conventional recipe swaps out the bourbon or whiskey for Añejo tequila, which lends woody notes of caramel and vanilla in addition to its extraordinary spicy agave flavor.
Most people think of a margarita when they think tequila, which is well-suited for a dry and slightly earthy Blanco version of the spirit.
However, this recipe benefits from tequila that’s been aged for a minimum of one year. In fact, most people consider aged tequila as tasting slightly similar to whiskey—and that makes sense since it’s actually aged in oak barrels, just like whiskey.
However, the aged tequila also adds delicious notes of agave blended with spiced vanilla caramel. That’s why this cocktail tastes so unique: the bitters and agave nectar pair perfectly with the aged tequila and dash of bright citrus, too.
A Quick History
The recipe for this spectacular cocktail is veteran NYC bartender Julie Reiner. If you’ve never heard of her, she’s the driving force behind many of New York City’s most fabulous cocktail bars, including Clover Club, the Pegu Club, and the former Flatiron Lounge.
When she worked at the latter, she began serving a twist on the traditional Old Fashioned in the early 2000s. Unsurprisingly, the utter deliciousness of the cocktail caught on, and its popularity quickly spread across the entire country.
For a tasty variation on this recipe, try adding ¼ oz amaretto liqueur, three drops of almond extract, two dashes of orange bitters in addition to the Angostura, and three pieces of orange peel.
The almond and the orange may not seem like they’d work well together, but it’s a marriage made in paradise. For an extra fancy garnish, use an orange blossom to up the sophistication factor.
- 3 oz Añejo tequila
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- ¼ oz agave nectar
- Orange peel
- Garnish with a brandied cherry
- Gather all of your ingredients, a mixing glass, and an Old Fashioned glass
- In your mixing glass, gently muddle the agave nectar, orange peel, and Angostura bitters
- Add the aged tequila, then fill it with ice and stir until the mixture is well-chilled
- Strain and pour the mixture into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice
- Garnish with a brandied cherry
- Serve immediately, sip, and enjoy
The ingredients in this cocktail may not seem like they’d work well together, but the subtle flavors in the spirits mixed with the orange and agave are simply divine. The aged tequila lends earthy notes of caramel and spiced vanilla, which also works extremely well with a bright, flavorful note of orange zest.
Next time you’re tired of a margarita, but you still want a tequila-based cocktail, try this recipe for a delicious foray into the world of orange, agave, and spices.