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Meso Maya's marvelous Mexican Old-Fashioned

Meso Maya’s appeal extends beyond its central Mexican cuisine and Martinez (El Fenix) family history to a cocktail menu that applies agave spirits to classic cocktail variations. General manager Albert Hernandez wanted to develop a list that would pull diners away from rote accompaniments (beer, margaritas) to the food and also tempt drinkers who prize brown-liquor concoctions.

“We figured the downtown customer might have different tastes,” Hernandez says, so he added three cocktails not found at Meso Maya’s North Dallas location — the Hibiscus Sour, Hand Shaken Piña Colada and El Viejito.

That last is a charming revelation, a south-of-the-border interpretation of the Old-Fashioned. Measures of Los Nahuales Mezcal Reposado and Herradura Añejo tequila ably take the part of rye or bourbon. Agave nectar stands in for simple syrup. Ingredients are stirred with ice in one glass, then deposited into another filled with crushed ice. Orange bitters and orange zest complete the arrangement.