Rick Bayless’ Ancho Chile Old Fashioned


I should preface this post with full disclosure, I’m a HUGE Rick Bayless fan. Any time I’m in Chicago a stop at one of his Frontera eateries is an absolute must. In fact, I must tell you that on a recent trip I was introduced – by some dear friends and fellow fans – to the pure. addictive. crack. that is the Ahogada Torta, a juicy carnitas sandwich served in a pool of spicy tomato and chile de árbol broth! Aaaaaand I digress. This blog is about craft liquor and cocktails, dammit!

As delicious and addictive as Bayless’ Mexican fare may be, the margarita and cocktail recipes from his book FRONTERA: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks may just give his food a run for it’s money. Chock full of unique margarita variations and riffs on classic cocktails, – often retooled with agave spirits, chiles, etc. – FRONTERA is a treat for any Bayless fan. Or really anyone who isn’t afraid to dress up a classic marg! The days have been chilly and overcast here in El Niño land so this spicy Tequila Old Fashioned felt like the perfect warm-me-up nightcap. Here’s how to make it…

Tequila Old Fashioned. Adapted from FRONTERA: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless. Makes 1 drink.


  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 1 oz 100% blue agave Añejo Tequila (I used Casamigos Reposado because I had it on hand)
  • 1 oz good quality Bourbon
  • 3 dashes orange bitters (I used Hella Bitters‘ citrus bitters)
  • .25 oz agave or rich (2:1) simple syrup (I used raw honey)
  • 6-10 ice cubes


  1. Cut a piece of chile roughly 1 x 2 inches. Muddle in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or mixing glass until aromatic.
  2. Pour in the tequila, bourbon, bitters and agave. Add ice and stir for 10 seconds.
  3. Strain into a 10 oz. rocks glass. Let chile float on top as garnish.

Ancho1{ The Lineup: Ancho Chiles, Tequila, Orange Bitters and Bourbon}

Ancho-Old-Fashioned-Distillerista-2{ One thing I love about FRONTERA is each cocktail includes recipes for one drink and a larger batch. SO handy. }

Distillerista-Ancho-Old-Fashioned-Cocktail{ Crate & Barrel Stainless Steel Muddler | NY Rocks Glass }


{ All photos above by Megan Burgess }


{ P.S. The Ahogada Torta at XOCO River North!!! 😉 *THANKS TEAM P* }

You might also like: Sparkling Peach Margaritas & Distillerista Guide to Baja & Valle de Guadalupe

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