Can tequila go bad? (+3 Ways to tell

In this article, we will answer the question “Can tequila go bad?”, and how to tell If tequila is bad?

Can tequila go bad?

Yes, tequila can go bad. It is quite shelf-stable so going bad won’t be easy unless you help the process. As long as the tequila bottle is unopened, It won’t expire. Once opened, It better be consumed within a year to enjoy tequila while It is still in its prime quality.

How long does tequila last?

Tequila does not age and improves in taste once it is bottled. The shelf-life on an unopened bottle of tequila is indefinite if it is stored correctly. Once opened, it is recommended to use it within a year for premium quality. 

The deterioration process starts right after opening the bottle but it is much slower under the right storage conditions.

How to store tequila?

Like vodka, rum, or whiskey, tequila is also a distilled spirit. Therefore, it has to be stored the same way as the other spirits.

  1. The rule of thumb is to keep the tequila in a dry and cool place preferably the pantry but room temperature is good too. Keep it away from heat sources like direct sunlight and stovetop.
  1. After opening, it is important to keep the bottle sealed tightly to prevent oxidation. Once you have finished the half bottle of tequila, transfer the remaining alcohol to a smaller bottle to limit its exposure to oxygen.
  1. Do not keep the bottle of tequila open. Doing so will hasten the evaporation of alcohol and the tequila will lose its strength.

How to tell If tequila has gone bad?

  1. When tequila sits without the cap, it loses alcohol content due to continuous evaporation. Consider adding it to cocktails or add lime and salt to make up for the lost taste. 

Consequently, its flavor profile is affected. Moreover, the low alcohol content makes it susceptible to microbial growth.

  1. If the smell and flavor of tequila are off, discard it. 
  1. If the tequila looks murky, it has gone bad and is better off discarded.

Ways to drink Tequila

Method 1 

Choose a tequila made from 100% agave

If you are flavor and taste conscious, you will know that the tequila made from 100% agave is authentic and has the finest taste. Some tequilas regarded as “mixtos” are made by mixing 51% agave with sugars. They are just a simulation of the real stuff.

Choose an Añejo tequila

Añejo tequila is allowed to age for at least a year. It has a similar flavor profile to the aged cognac. The complex flavor of Añejos should be enjoyed to its fullest at room temperature.

Adding ice will dilute the concentrated flavors. Whether you are drinking it in a snifter or a tequila glass, sipping on Añejo tequila is the most fun part.

Enjoy your tequila with a little bit of sangrita

Sangrita is a non-alcoholic drink and literally means “little blood”. Pour the sangrita and tequila ins separate shot glasses and drink them both in an alternate fashion. You can also mix the two drinks and enjoy. To make sangrita, you will need:

  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup tomato juice (not V-8)
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • 12 dashes hot sauce 

Follow the sipping protocol

You have not really enjoyed tequila if you did not drink it the vintage way. Though it is pretty fancy but worth it.

  1. Pour an ounce of tequila in a tequila glass or snifter. Do not lose eye contact with the tequila from now on. Raise it to eye level while holding it at the stem.
  1. Give it a swirl and watch it touch and leave the walls of the tequila glass. Finally, take a sip and swish it around your mouth for a good 10 seconds to let the taste buds savor the drink.
  1. Swallow and repeat the process.

Method 2

Choose a Blanco, oro, or reposado tequila to shoot

Oro literally means gold and it has a similar flavor profile to Blanco. Do not compromise and prefer buying 100% agave ones.

Shoot neat and unchilled 

There is no rule to serve your tequila chilled. You can have it at room temperature as well and enjoy it to the fullest.

Shoot with salt and lime

It’s the most famous way of shooting tequila. It goes first lime, then tequila, then salt again.

  1. Lick the tip of your thumb and index finger so that the salt sticks to it.
  2. Lick the salt from your hand, shoot the tequila, then suck on the lime. Suck the lime immediately after gulping the tequila.


In this article, we answered the question “Can tequila go bad?”, and how to tell If tequila is bad?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.

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