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Does Tequila Go Bad or Expire? A Complete Guide (2024)

Does Tequila Go Bad

Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by Lydia Martin

You’re itching for some drink and suddenly you remember that old bottle of tequila sitting in your kitchen cabinet. However, you’re unsure if it’s safe to drink since it has been there for a few years. You might wonder, does tequila go bad or expire?

Our team did extensive research to uncover the truth about tequila’s shelf life and many more.

Tequila: Does It Go Bad?

El Hombre Tequila

Tequila is a blue agave-based distilled spirit that seldom goes bad, and unlike wines, tequila does not mature after it is removed from its containers. It will only spoil if you do improper storage. 

A sealed bottle will keep outside factors from getting in and speeding up the spoiling process. Because of the high alcohol content of this liquor, the odds of it going bad are minimal.

Air, light, and temperature can affect the tequila’s quality. You should keep your tequila away from direct light like how others store hard liquor. Better to put it in a cool place to drink it while it’s of good quality.

But will frothing tequila make it better?

Warning Signs To Look Out For 

Warning Signs To Look Out For 

Odd Taste

If you drink tequila and it tastes awful, it’s an indication that your tequila has gone bad. This happens when the cap of the bottle is not securely closed.

If it has a sour flavor, use it in a cocktail or carbonated drinks. The added ingredients will help hide some of the tequila’s imperfections. But will aging tequila make it smoother?

Smell Is Off

A Glass of Tequila

If the liquid still looks good, attempt to smell. If there is no foul scent in the alcohol, eventually taste a tiny amount. Humans, like other animals, have excellent intuition when it comes to detecting unsafe food. Throw it out if you’re not sure it’s safe.

Also Read: Does Tequila Make You Sick?

How Long Does Tequila Go Bad?

How Long Does Tequila Go Bad?


An opened bottle of tequila that has been opened can last for 6 to 8 months. It is consumed within this time frame when it’s still in peak quality.

It’s usually how long tequila lasts. Changes in taste and flavor profile occur in open bottles because more air enters the bottle same happens with other liquors.

Read: Is Tequila Bad For Gout Problems?


Manik Tequila

An unopened bottle may last for five years or more when stored properly and tightly sealed. Evaporation may occur in an unopened bottle without an expiration date, causing it to taste differently eventually. You’ll have to store tequila away from direct sunlight to extend tequila shelf life. 

What Does Oxidation Do To Tequila?

El Jimador

Oxidation minimally alters the components in the alcohol resulting in a change in the taste of the liquor. This occurs when you open the bottle of tequila. Keep the bottle of tequila well-sealed while not in use to prevent oxidation and extend the tequila’s shelf life.

If you only drink a tiny quantity of tequila, pour the alcohol into a smaller bottle once it is half-empty. Because the oxidation process is sped up by adding more oxygen to the bottle, storing tequila in smaller food storage will slowly deteriorate.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can old tequila make you sick?

While consuming old tequila might not necessarily make you sick, the quality of the spirit can degrade over time, leading to changes in taste and aroma.

If tequila has been improperly stored or shows signs of spoilage, such as an off-putting odor or unusual color, it is advisable not to consume it. Drinking spoiled tequila may not cause severe illness, but it could result in an unpleasant taste experience.

Is it safe to drink expired tequila?

Generally, drinking expired tequila, especially if it has been stored correctly, is unlikely to pose a significant health risk. Tequila does not spoil like perishable foods, but its quality may diminish over time.

Check for changes in color, clarity, or any off-putting odors before deciding to consume expired tequila. If it appears normal and smells fine, it may still be safe to drink, but the taste may not be as enjoyable.

How long can I keep tequila?

Unopened tequila, when stored properly in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, can last indefinitely.

However, the quality may decline over time. Once opened, tequila is best consumed within a reasonable timeframe, usually within a few years, to ensure optimal flavor.

Does tequila expire if unopened?

Unopened tequila does not have a strict expiration date, but its quality may degrade over time.

Proper storage is crucial to maintain its integrity. Check for any changes in color, clarity, or unusual odors before deciding to consume unopened tequila that has been stored for an extended period. If it appears normal, it is likely safe to drink, though the taste may not be as robust as when it was first bottled.

No, tequila doesn’t expire if left unopened, unlike other distilled spirits with a shorter shelf life. However, tequila can go bad. Tequila should be drunk within one year of the bottle being opened to avoid food spoilage and experience while it is in its prime quality.

How do you know if tequila has gone bad?

Recognizing spoiled tequila involves a careful examination of its appearance, smell, and taste. If the tequila has an unusual color, appears cloudy, or emits a foul odor, it may have deteriorated. A rancid or off-putting smell can indicate that the tequila has gone bad.

Additionally, a taste test can reveal any unpleasant flavors that may have developed over time, signaling that the tequila is no longer suitable for consumption.

Does tequila need to be refrigerated?

Tequila does not require refrigeration. In fact, storing tequila in the refrigerator is unnecessary and may impact its flavor negatively. Tequila can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight.

Proper storage helps maintain the integrity of the spirit and ensures it retains its intended flavors and characteristics.

How can you tell if tequila is good?

Identifying good tequila involves a comprehensive evaluation of its color, aroma, and taste. High-quality tequila should have a clear and consistent color, a pleasant and distinctive aroma, and a smooth, well-balanced taste.

Tequilas labeled as “100% agave” often indicate superior quality as they are made entirely from agave without added sugars.

Does tequila go bad if left in a hot car?

Leaving tequila in a hot car for an extended period can potentially compromise its quality. Extreme heat can cause changes in color, flavor, and aroma, impacting the overall taste experience.

It’s advisable to store tequila in a cool, dark place to prevent such alterations.

Does tequila expire if unopened?

Unopened tequila does not have a strict expiration date, but its quality may degrade over time. Check for any changes in color, clarity, or odor before consuming to ensure it still meets quality standards.

Proper storage in a cool, dark place is crucial for maintaining the spirit’s integrity.

Does tequila get better with age?

Unlike certain spirits, tequila does not necessarily improve with age in the bottle. While aging in barrels during production imparts specific flavors, extended aging in the bottle may not significantly enhance its quality.

Premium tequilas are often aged to achieve specific characteristics during the production process, but this doesn’t necessarily translate to improved taste over time.

Does opened tequila expire?

Once opened, tequila doesn’t have a strict expiration date, but its quality can diminish over time. Exposure to air may alter its flavor and aroma.

While it doesn’t technically “expire” like perishable foods, opened tequila is best consumed within a reasonable timeframe to ensure optimal taste and quality.

Why is tequila the healthiest alcohol?

Tequila is often considered a healthier alcohol option due to its production from agave, a plant that naturally contains sugars. Pure tequila made from 100% agave contains no added sugars or artificial ingredients, contributing to its perception as a cleaner and purer spirit.

Some believe that agave-based spirits may have fewer negative effects on blood sugar levels compared to drinks with added sugars.

Can you leave tequila unrefrigerated?

Yes, tequila can be safely stored unrefrigerated at room temperature. Refrigeration is unnecessary and may even dull its flavors.

Proper storage in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight ensures that the tequila maintains its intended characteristics and does not undergo unnecessary changes.

What color is authentic tequila?

Authentic tequila comes in various colors, depending on the type. Blanco is clear, reposado has a pale gold hue, añejo displays amber tones, and extra añejo appears dark amber.

These colors are influenced by the aging process in oak barrels, with each category offering a distinct visual and flavor profile.

What color is pure tequila?

Pure tequila, often labeled as “100% agave,” can exhibit different colors based on aging. Blanco is clear, reposado has a pale gold hue, añejo displays amber tones, and extra añejo appears dark amber.

The color reflects the aging process and the type of barrels used during production.

How should tequila smell?

Well-crafted tequila should have a distinct and pleasant aroma. Blanco tequilas may offer notes of citrus, pepper, or herbal scents. Aged varieties like reposado and añejo might have additional hints of vanilla, oak, or caramel, creating a complex olfactory experience.

A good tequila’s smell should be inviting, indicative of its quality and the unique characteristics imparted during the production process.

So, When Does Tequila Go Bad?

Tequila goes bad when you don’t store your liquor properly, although this is extremely rare. The shelf life of tequila is indefinite, similar to most popular liquors like whiskey and vodka shelf life. 

You can tell if tequila should discarded changes in its scent and taste. Proper storage is crucial. This ensures that it is stored in a cool, dry location. It should be kept out of sunlight and heat. Additionally, you must ensure that the cap is securely closed to prevent air infiltration.


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