Wet Bar Wednesday – Tequila Old-Fashioned

In the flurry of publicity surrounding Cinco de Mayo, I stumbled across a video of an interview with a tequila expert explaining the three major types of tequila (some would argue there are four types – plata or silver tequila, which has the sharpest taste; reposado or ‘rested’ tequila, which is aged from two to twelve months in oak barrels and has a slightly golden hue; anejo or aged tequila which is aged at least one year; extra anejo – a newer distinction for tequilas aged over three years).  

The expert was arguing for a tequila old-fashioned.  An old-fashioned is normally a whiskey drink, sweetened with sugar and fruit, a close relative of the more business-like Manhattan.  The expert’s recipe was essentially:
  • 1 part tequila (dealer’s choice, depending on how ‘bitey’ you like your tequila)
  • dash of orange-flavored bitters
  • agave syrup to taste (to sweeten the drink)
  • twist of orange peel to add a bit of fresh citrus effect
I tried this with a reposado (Hornitos brand, which I find is a value-priced tequila good for mixed drinks), and was not at all pleased with the effect.  I maintain that unless you’re going to really off-set the bite of the tequila with an equally strong other flavor (orange juice, for example), you need to use the more expensive anejo tequila.  The reposado still has too much of a bite for my taste.  It works great for margaritas and other mixed drinks, but the anejo is necessary for more of a sipping drink.  
I picked up a bottle of Hornitos anejo the other day and will give it a try again.  It could be that a higher-grade tequila is necessary.  Another option would be to increase the amount of agave syrup used.  Give it a shot if you’re brave and let me know what you think!
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