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How Long Does Tequila Last? Can It Go Bad?

How Long Does Tequila Last? Can It Go Bad?

Tequila is undoubtedly one of the renowned hard liquors of all, and it is the popular booze of choice. Tequila is exclusively produced in Mexico, specifically in Jalisco of the Western part of the country. That state is the primary producer of real tequilas.

Real tequila is derived from the distilled fermented juices of the blue agave plant. Yes, this is the plant source of your authentic tequila. And guess what? It takes an average of eight years for the blue agave plant to mature before you can start producing tequila. Tequila is sold in these categories: Blanco tequila, Joven tequila, Reposado tequila, Añejo tequila, and Extra-Anejo tequila.

Seemingly, many drinkers won’t immediately get drunk from drinking tequila that has approximately 40% alcohol by volume. And surprisingly, this liquor can even offer several health benefits! Studies revealed that tequila can aid your digestion, stimulate your appetite, ease your headaches, and even regulate your body’s cholesterol level. That, as long as you consume tequila in moderation.

Now, if you could remember, years ago, your grandfather had a special cabinet for his most precious and expensive alcohol. As you grow older, you noticed that some of his treasured liquors are still sitting in the same place and unopened. You start to ask yourself if your grandpa is ever going to open the bottle? Does that alcohol ever get spoiled? How long can it stay there? How to tell if it is still consumable when it still looks the same as years ago?

For more information about storage, shelf life, and spoilage of tequila, this article has it all! Let’s dive in.


How to store tequila?

Like any distilled spirits, tequila is also stored in the same manner you keep whiskey, vodka, rum, and other liquors. They do not require strict storage conditions, unlike how you store wines.

Store your bottle of tequila in a cool, dry area. If you have no plans to open your tequila bottle in the next weeks or these coming months, you can keep them in your cellar. Well, not everyone has a basement, so your pantry would be the best place to store it.

Make sure that it is also kept away from direct sunlight or any sources of heat. When it is not in use, keep it tightly closed. In this way, you’ll be able to maximize the shelf life of your tequila and, at the same time, preserve its quality.

Never store the bottle with a metal cap horizontally. Let it stand upright. A vertical position will prevent the liquor from reaching the metal cap. If that happens, the liquor may react to the cap and cause corrosion. Consequently, that will degrade the quality of your tequila.

You can lay an unopened bottle of tequila to keep the cork moist. Once you open it, store it vertically, tip the bottle periodically to wet the cork and keep it swollen. Look out for leakage when you lay a bottle down. The cork may be dry and may not expand immediately.

Moreover, never store your tequila without its cap or without a pourer. Why should you seal the tequila bottle tightly?

1. A tequila bottle without its cap increases its chances for the contents to evaporate rapidly, unlike if you have it sealed.

Remember. Tequila contains alcohol. Alcohol evaporates faster than water. If evaporation happens, your tequila will taste milder over time.

2. Sealing the bottle is protecting your tequila from impurities that may find its way into the bottle. Tequila is indeed a hard environment for microbial growth. However, excessive amounts of pollutants can potentially ruin the aroma and taste of your tequila.

And here is another thing.

If you wish to store a half-full bottle of tequila and think you will not consume the rest within a few weeks, you have to transfer it into a smaller bottle. Why? The more air occupies inside the bottle, the faster oxidation and evaporation will occur. As a result, the quality of your tequila is slowly compromised.

Again, to make things clear, storing tequila must basically meet these storage requirements:

  • It should be kept at a constant and moderate temperature of 60 degrees F to 65 degrees F. Cool doesn’t mean cold.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and heat exposure.
  • Always keep the bottle tightly sealed.

Can I freeze tequila?

It is okay to put your tequila in the freezer. However, for true fans of tequila, they won’t do it. Making it too cold will hide its aroma. That’s why many choose to drink them at room temperature, especially when they have a high-quality tequila.

Can it go bad?

Tequila can go bad because it is distilled, and it is not 100% pure alcohol. It is not like wine. Tequila doesn’t age after it is removed from the production containers and then bottled. In other words, storing for an extended period will not taste better, nor it becomes more valuable. After bottling, the quality will stay the same, and nothing will change within it even if it has remained in your cabinet for years.

However, distilled spirits like tequila are unlikely to go bad in terms of safety. It is actually rare, but it can happen. Apparently, it is still safe for consumption, even if it is untouched for years. Apparently, it is a matter of quality and not safety. If you store it in the right condition, a bottle of tequila can last indefinitely even after the bottle has been opened. However, that doesn’t mean that the longer it stays for years, the quality will remain the same.

Anyway, make sure to follow the simple procedures and steps in storing your tequila. This way, you might even maximize its shelf life for up to several years.

How long does it last?

As for tequila’s shelf life, opened or unopened basically depends as long as the seal is unconceded. Generally speaking, an unopened bottle of tequila can last for several years. If it has been unopened, for example, a couple of years now, you can certainly assume that it is still fine, and its quality is most likely the same.

But once you have opened it, that begins for oxidation and evaporation to occur. This makes its shelf life reduced to 3-6 months. Leaving it opened for more than a year may not be the best idea because the quality just degrades over time, and it may not taste the same. However, that old tequila is still technically okay for consumption. You will only get drunk sick if you over drink it. Plus, you might even dislike the taste and end up even throwing it away.

To save your tequila from the disposal to the drain, make sure to provide proper storage for it.

How to tell if it has gone bad?

If your tequila has developed an off odor, odd flavor, or appearance, you should have it discarded for quality purposes. Things like these happen when the cap is not sealed tightly.

1. Look for signs of discoloration. If it already looks kind of murky, that may indicate that the tequila’s taste or flavor is already affected. On the other hand, if the liquor looks fine, smell it. If there is no odorous smell, taste it. If the liquor’s taste is acceptable, then it’s okay. If the liquor’s taste is less appealing, some bartenders mix it into cocktails, classic margarita, or mixed alcoholic drinks. Some use other ingredients that may help shadow the taste of tequila.
2. Air is one of the reasons why your tequila loses both its distinct aroma and flavor. As a result, you’ll have a bland tequila.
3. Evaporation happens if the alcohol of your tequila has faded away first. With this, your tequila will lack its spirit as an alcoholic drink. In other words, you’ll just have a feeble one.
4. With its low alcohol content, your tequila is susceptible to bacterial growth. This makes your drink more prone to spoilage.

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