Ultimate Guide to Tequila Old Fashioned Recipe

High price tequila starts from this plantation of Celosa


Welcome to the ultimate guide on crafting the perfect Tequila Old Fashioned. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or just dipping your toes into mixed drinks, this guide is your go-to resource for all things Tequila Old Fashioned. We’re here to walk you through every step, from the basics of what makes this cocktail special to choosing the right tequila for your mix. So, grab your mixing glass, and let’s dive in!

How the Old Fashioned Changed

The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that’s stood the test of time. Traditionally made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus zest, it’s been a favorite since the early 19th century. But as tastes and trends evolve, so do our cocktails. Enter the Tequila Old Fashioned. Swapping out whiskey for tequila, this modern twist adds a fresh, vibrant flair to the classic recipe. It’s a change that celebrates the versatility of tequila while staying true to the roots of a beloved classic.

Why Tequila is Great for Cocktails

Tequila isn’t just for shots or margaritas; it’s a wonderfully complex spirit perfect for cocktails. Its unique flavor profiles, ranging from sweet and floral to rich and earthy, make it a versatile base for a variety of drinks. Tequila brings a certain brightness and depth to cocktails that other spirits can’t match, making it an exciting choice for reinventing classic recipes like the Old Fashioned.

What is Tequila Old Fashioned Recipe

Tequila's Legacy from Celosa Tequila

The Tequila Old Fashioned is a sophisticated cocktail that blends the bold flavors of tequila with the subtle sweetness and bitterness of the traditional Old Fashioned mix. It’s a drink that respects its roots while offering something entirely new and refreshing.

Difference Between Traditional vs. Tequila

The main difference between a traditional Old Fashioned and a Tequila Old Fashioned lies in the base spirit. While the original recipe uses whiskey, typically rye or bourbon, the Tequila Old Fashioned uses, you guessed it, tequila. This swap changes the cocktail’s flavor profile, offering a lighter, smoother drink with a hint of agave sweetness perfect for sipping.

Picking the Right Tequila

Choosing the right tequila is crucial for creating the perfect Tequila Old Fashioned. You’ll want to use a high-quality, 100% agave tequila for the best flavor. There are several types of tequila to consider:

  • Blanco or Silver Tequila: Unaged and bottled shortly after distillation, it offers a clean, crisp flavor that’s great for a brighter, more vibrant Old Fashioned.
  • Reposado Tequila: Aged in oak barrels for two to twelve months, reposado adds a hint of oak and vanilla, making for a smoother, more nuanced cocktail.
  • Añejo Tequila: Aged for one to three years, añejo tequila brings deep, complex flavors of caramel and spices, ideal for a rich and sophisticated Old Fashioned.

Each type of tequila brings its own unique qualities to the cocktail, so feel free to experiment to find your perfect match.

Making the Perfect Tequila Old Fashioned

Celosa Plantation that yields best tequila bottles

Creating the perfect Tequila Old Fashioned doesn’t require fancy equipment or complicated techniques. With a few simple ingredients and some basic tools, you’ll be mixing like a pro in no time.

What You Need to Make It

To craft your Tequila Old Fashioned, you’ll need:

  • Tequila: Choose a high-quality, 100% agave tequila. Whether it’s blanco, reposado, or añejo, select based on your flavor preference.
  • Agave Syrup: A natural sweetener that complements the tequila.
  • Angostura Bitters: Adds depth and complexity to your cocktail.
  • Orange Peel: For a fragrant garnish.
  • Ice: Preferably large cubes or a sphere to slow down dilution.
  • Mixing Glass and Stirring Spoon: For combining your ingredients smoothly.
  • Strainer: To pour your cocktail without any unwanted bits.
  • Old Fashioned Glass: To serve your masterpiece.


Step-by-Step Mixing Guide

  • Add Sweetness: Begin by adding a small spoonful of agave syrup to your mixing glass.
  • Bitter It Up: Douse the agave syrup with two dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Pour the Tequila: Measure out 2 ounces of your chosen tequila and add it to the mix.
  • Stir Gently: Add ice to your mixing glass. With your stirring spoon, gently mix the ingredients until well combined and chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain: Place a large ice cube or sphere in your Old Fashioned glass. Strain the cocktail over the ice.
  • Garnish: Twist an orange peel over the glass to express its oils, then drop it in as a garnish.


Tips for Mixing

  • Chill Your Glass: Pop your Old Fashioned glass in the freezer for a bit before making your drink. A chilled glass keeps your cocktail cold longer.
  • Go Easy on the Sweetener: Start with less agave syrup and adjust to taste. You want to complement the tequila, not overpower it.
  • Experiment with Bitters: While Angostura is traditional, don’t be afraid to try orange bitters or chocolate bitters for a different twist.

Tequila Old Fashioned Variations

Once you’ve mastered the classic Tequila Old Fashioned, why not shake things up with some variations? Each twist brings something new to the table, offering a range of flavors to suit any mood or occasion.

The Añejo Old Fashioned

Opt for añejo tequila to craft an Old Fashioned that dives into deeper, more complex territories of flavor. The aging process of añejo tequila imbues the spirit with rich notes of caramel and spice, elevating the cocktail to a level of sophistication and satisfaction. This variation is a tribute to the art of patience, offering a luxuriously rich sip that’s perfect for those moments when you want to indulge in the finer things in life.

The Tequila Mezcal Old Fashioned

Substitute half of the tequila with mezcal to introduce a smoky version of the timeless Old Fashioned. Mezcal, known for its distinctive smokiness, weaves perfectly with the traditional bitters and the subtle citrus of orange, crafting a cocktail that’s both familiar and intriguingly different. This variation is for those who appreciate the depth and complexity that smoke can bring to their sip.

The Spicy Tequila Old Fashioned

Elevate the classic by infusing your cocktail with a slice of jalapeño or a modest dash of hot sauce, introducing a bold, spicy kick. This daring addition creates a lively contrast to the traditional sweetness and bitterness, igniting a flavor explosion that tantalizes the taste buds. Perfect for those looking to add a bit of excitement to their drinking experience.

The Agave Nectar Sweetened Tequila Old Fashioned

For those with a sweet tooth, adjusting the agave nectar to your taste can transform the Old Fashioned into a smoother, more mellow concoction. This variation shines a spotlight on agave’s natural sweetness, softening the edges of the traditional cocktail and creating a drink that’s both comforting and sophisticated.

The Citrus-Infused Tequila Old Fashioned

This version introduces a zesty twist to the classic mix by adding a splash of fresh lime or grapefruit juice. The vibrant citrus notes cut through the warmth of the tequila, offering a refreshing and invigorating drink. It is ideal for those looking to add a bright, uplifting note to their cocktail repertoire.

The Herbal Tequila Old Fashioned

Infuse your Old Fashioned with a breath of freshness by incorporating a few leaves of basil or mint muddled at the bottom of your mixing glass before adding the other components. This herbal innovation is refreshingly light, making it the perfect companion for a balmy summer evening. It is a delightful choice for those who enjoy the crisp, clean flavors of garden-fresh herbs in their drinks.

By playing with these variations, you can tailor your Tequila Old Fashioned to match any taste or occasion. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your perfect mix. Happy mixing!

Choosing the Best Tequila

Making proceso tequila at Celosa distillery

When it comes to crafting the perfect Tequila Old Fashioned, the star of the show is, without a doubt, the tequila. Selecting the right bottle can elevate your drink from good to unforgettable. Let’s dive into how to pick the best tequila for your cocktail.

Understanding Tequila Types

Tequila comes in several types, each offering a different flavor profile:

  • Blanco (Silver): Clear and unaged, it delivers a pure, bold agave flavor. Great for a crisp, vibrant Old Fashioned.
  • Reposado: Aged in oak barrels for 2 to 12 months, reposado has a smoother taste with hints of vanilla and oak. It’s perfect for those seeking balance and depth.
  • Añejo: Aged for 1 to 3 years, añejo is rich and complex, with notes of caramel, spices, and wood. Choose this for a luxurious, sipping Old Fashioned.
  • Extra Añejo: Aged for over 3 years, this type is the epitome of tequila luxury, offering profound depth. However, its complexity might overpower your cocktail, so it’s often enjoyed neat.


Best Tequilas for Your Wallet

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality tequila for your Old Fashioned. Here are a few tips:

  • Look for 100% Agave: Ensure the label says “100% agave” for the best quality, regardless of price.
  • Mid-Range is Your Friend: Mid-range tequilas often offer the best balance of quality and price, making them ideal for cocktails.
  • Shop Smart: Keep an eye out for sales and discounts at your local liquor store or online. Great deals can be found on high-quality bottles.


High vs. Low Land Tequilas

Tequila is made in two main regions of Jalisco, Mexico: the highlands (Los Altos) and the lowlands. Each region imparts a different character to the tequila:

  • Highland Tequilas: Known for their sweet, fruity, and floral notes. They add a light, refreshing taste to your Old Fashioned.
  • Lowland Tequilas: Offer a more earthy, herbaceous flavor profile. They make for a bolder, more robust cocktail.


Experimenting with tequilas from both regions can help you discover your preferred taste.

Making Your Drink Better

Crafting the perfect Tequila Old Fashioned doesn’t stop with the drink itself. The right food pairings, serving occasions, and presentations can enhance your overall experience.

Foods That Go Well With Your Drink

The Tequila Old Fashioned pairs beautifully with a variety of foods:

  • Cheese: A board of aged cheeses complements the cocktail’s complexity.
  • Grilled Meats: The smoky flavors of grilled chicken or steak match the robustness of the drink.
  • Seafood: Lighter, citrusy versions of the cocktail go wonderfully with seafood dishes.
  • Chocolate: Dark chocolate or a rich chocolate dessert can highlight the drink’s sweetness and depth.


The Best Times to Enjoy a Tequila Old Fashioned

The Tequila Old Fashioned isn’t just a drink; it’s a versatile companion that enhances every moment, making it suitable for a wide array of occasions:

  • Happy Hour: There’s no better way to shake off the stress of a long day than with a sophisticated sipper like the Tequila Old Fashioned. Its smooth, complex flavors provide a moment of relaxation and refinement, setting the tone for a relaxing evening ahead.
  • Dinner Parties: Elevate your hosting game by serving this elegant cocktail to your guests. Whether as a welcome drink that greets them with a touch of class or a dinner companion that complements a wide range of cuisines, the Tequila Old Fashioned impresses with its versatility and sophistication.
  • Special Celebrations: Whether you’re toasting to a new beginning, an achievement, or a milestone, the Tequila Old Fashioned brings a sense of occasion to your celebration. Its refined profile makes every sip a commemorative act, marking the moment with a distinguished flair.
  • Quiet Nights: Even on those nights when you’re simply enjoying your own company, this cocktail adds an element of indulgence. It’s the perfect way to treat yourself to a moment of luxury, transforming an ordinary evening into a special one.
  • Seasonal Gatherings: From the warmth of a summer evening to the cozy ambiance of a winter night, the Tequila Old Fashioned adapts to the season. Customize it with seasonal garnishes or modifications to fit the mood, making it a year-round favorite.


The Right Glass and Garnish

The enjoyment of a cocktail begins with its presentation. The right glass and garnish not only enhance the visual appeal but also the taste and aroma of your Tequila Old Fashioned:

Choosing the Right Glass: The Old Fashioned Glass, with its sturdy base and wide brim, is the quintessential choice. It’s not just about tradition; the design of the glass allows the cocktail’s aromas to gather and greet your senses, enriching the experience before the first sip.

Perfecting the Garnish: A carefully curled orange peel twist perched on the rim or dropped into the glass isn’t merely decorative. This garnish releases oils that add a fragrant citrus note, subtly mingling with the tequila’s complexity. It’s a simple touch that significantly amplifies the drinking experience, making each sip a harmonious blend of flavors and aromas.


The Tequila Old Fashioned is more than just a cocktail; it’s an experience. From selecting the perfect tequila to pairing it with the right foods and serving it in style, every aspect contributes to the enjoyment. Remember, experimentation and personalization are the keys to a great Tequila Old Fashioned. So, grab your favorite tequila, mix it with love, and toast to the good times. Cheers to your perfect Tequila Old Fashioned!

Ready to start your journey? Head over to our Shop to find the perfect tequila for your next Old Fashioned. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or just beginning your exploration, we’ve got everything you need to elevate your cocktail game. Visit Celosa Tequila’s Shop today and bring the spirit of adventure to your glass. Cheers to mixing, experimenting, and enjoying the perfect Tequila Old Fashioned!


Sign up for our newsletter for
news + exclusive updates on
our products.

Chilled rosé tequila served in a wine glass



Chilled rosé tequila served in a wine glass