You may be looking at that bottle of tequila in the back of your pantry that has been sitting there for months, wondering if it’s still good to drink.
Does tequila expire? The good news is, it’s almost impossible for tequila to expire. Though it’s recommended to drink it within 1 year of opening, it really doesn’t go bad after this point. It may lose its quality a little bit as time goes on, but it won’t fully “expire” as foods might.
Let’s learn more about tequila and help you understand everything about its shelf life and how to keep it fresh.
How Long Does Tequila Last?
Once tequila is put from the casks into the bottle, it doesn’t age anymore. This means that an unopened bottle of tequila will pretty much stay good indefinitely. Once the bottle is opened, it’s best to use it within 1 year because that’s when it stays at its best quality.
When you open a bottle of tequila, the air that gets in will start to oxidate it. This means that the compounds in tequila slowly change from the oxygen, and it causes the flavor to change slightly.
Therefore, you should generally try to use tequila within a year of opening. However, waiting longer to drink it isn’t going to be too much of an issue for most people, it just might have a bit of a different flavor.
How you store your tequila will also influence how fast it loses its quality. There will be more on this in the next section, but there are ways to make your tequila stay fresh for longer if you don’t think that you’ll enjoy it as much after it’s been oxidizing for a while.
How Should You Store Tequila to Keep It Fresh?
Storing tequila in a liquor cabinet is going to be the best option because you can keep it around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is optimal for tequila. If you don’t have a liquor cabinet, storing it in a cold and dark place (such as a pantry) is going to be the next best thing.
Wherever you put your tequila, just make sure it’s in a place with a pretty stable temperature. You shouldn’t store it in a place where temperatures fluctuate such as over an oven or next to a window. Taking care to do this will keep it fresh for a longer amount of time.
Once you open the tequila, it’s important to make sure that it’s tightly sealed every time you put it away, as this will stop it from oxidizing quickly. It will also keep out any possible contaminants, though it’s very unlikely that you would even notice a contaminant because it wouldn’t be able to do much damage.
If you don’t think you will be drinking it that often, you may want to consider pouring your tequila into a smaller glass jar once it’s about halfway empty. Oxygen in the bottle will make the alcohol oxidize faster, and when your tequila is halfway empty there will be more oxygen in the bottle. Pouring it into a smaller glass and sealing it tightly will minimize the oxygen and make your tequila stay fresh for longer.
How Do You Tell If Tequila Has Gone Bad?
Unless you have a really acute taste for tequila, it will probably not be super obvious when it’s “gone bad”. When tequila gets old, the only thing that is affected is its taste and smell. So bad tequila will essentially just have a duller and less fresh taste.
If you’ve stored tequila improperly and it’s been somewhere with a lot of temperature fluctuations or has been exposed to a lot of oxygen, it will probably be a little more obvious when it’s gone bad. It may have a very bad taste or smell that is a lot different from what tequila should taste like. If this is the case, you should just throw it out.
What Happens If You Drink Expired Tequila?
Nothing will happen to you if you drink expired tequila. The drink practically stays good forever, and it’s almost impossible for it to go bad. This means that drinking expired tequila won’t cause you any harm or make you sick (unless you drink too much of course, but this doesn’t have anything to do with it being expired).
Some people are more particular about the taste of their tequila than others. If you are very keen on flavors and detect minor taste differences, you may find that drinking really old tequila is unenjoyable. As previously mentioned, old tequila does lose some flavor and change overtime, so if you really aren’t a fan of this, you may want to throw it out or let someone else drink it.
Will Putting Tequila in the Freezer Prolong Its Shelf Life?
Experts advise that you should not put tequila in the freezer. Though you may think that it will make it last longer, it will actually just dull the flavors. Plus, tequila already lasts a really long time as it is. This means that it isn’t really necessary to put it in the freezer, and it can surprisingly do more harm than good.
When you freeze tequila, it will make the flavor and smell less strong. This is because the freezer makes it colder, and it’s harder to detect the different tastes on your palate when something is cold.
If you are someone who really doesn’t care about the taste of your tequila and you just want it to be cold, then you can definitely throw it in the freezer. Just know that there aren’t any real benefits to this, and the tequila connoisseurs will certainly look down on you for it. But it’s completely up to you and if you don’t care, then go ahead and keep it cold.
Tequila is one of the most resilient drinks out there and it’s really hard for it to go bad. It may taste a little less flavorful if it’s been stored poorly or is really old, but this doesn’t mean that it’s unsafe to consume.
We hope that this article has helped you understand more about tequila, and now you know how to properly store it so that it will stay fresh for a very long time.