Phil Ward's Barrio Viejo

An Invigorating Mezcal Cocktail from the Mayahuel Maestro

To the devout mezcal connoisseur, mixing the spirit into a cocktail rather than sipping it in its pure form is tantamount to heresy. But mezcal’s assertive nature lends itself to simple drinks that highlight its individuality. At New York’s East Village Mexican haunt Mayahuel (named after the Aztec goddess of the maguey plant), owner and bartender Phil Ward serves up the Barrio Viejo—a south-of-the-border take on the New Orleans classic Sazerac. “It’s a cocktail that highlights the base spirit,” he says. “The aromatics are the accents.”

Barrio Viejo

Serves one

  • 2 fl oz Pierde Almas Tobaziche Mezcal
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 barspoon agave nectar
  • Absinthe-rinsed “double rocks” glass
  • Lemon peel

  1. Pack the double rocks glass full of ice. In another glass, stir in one barspoon of agave nectar to two fluid ounces of mezcal, then add two dashes each of Peychaud’s and Angostora bitters. 
  2. Add a few cubes of ice, and stir to chill. 
  3. Discard ice from first glass, and rinse with absinthe, pouring out the excess liquid. 
  4. Strain the mezcal into the absinthe-coated glass. 
  5. Twist lemon peel over glass, rub the peel over the glass rim and discard.




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