The view might be a boarded-up KFC, but Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina in Pittsburgh—one of several new chef ventures cropping up in the city’s East End—boasts some of the most interesting food and craft cocktails in the city. Perched on a stool at the neon orange bar, I looked over a cocktail list full of combinations as unexpected as the outpost’s location in the notoriously run-down Garfield neighborhood, like a drink that featured mezcal, carrot, and strawberry, and one that combined gin, lemongrass, and lavender. I took my bet on a tequila old fashioned: Verde’s version tweaks the classic cocktail’s traditional three ingredients, using agave instead of sugar to compliment the tequila’s subtle, earthy flavor, its bright citrus garnish swimming with smooth, aged tequila in a drink that’s more refreshing and less woodsy than the old-fashioned Old Fashioned. I was hooked. When I make them now, I like to use Milagro’s reposado tequila, which has notes of vanilla and citrus that add complexity to an otherwise simple cocktail that’s perfect for sipping.
Friday Cocktails: Tequila Old Fashioned