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How To Drink Anejo Tequila: Explained (2024 Best Edition)

How to Drink Añejo Tequila

Derived from the blue agave plant, tequila is Mexico’s national drink.

While Añejo tequila is regarded as one of the best party drinks, there are ways to enjoy it– aside from the traditional salt-and-lemon combo. 

Want to know how to drink Añejo tequila in different ways? Check this out.  

Top 4 Ways of How To Drink Anejo Tequila 

1. Shoot It

pouring tequila on a shot glass

If you don’t want to drink Añejo tequila in a salt-and-lime routine, shoot it and unchill it (though Mexicans don’t drink this way).

Prepare a shot glass of tequila, make a toast, and swallow it down your throat.

Rather than the traditional salt and lime combination, you can drink it with some little sangrita or just the vintage way to drink it– straight up. 

2. Sip It Neat

You can sip the Añejo Tequila neat as most Mexicans do. But when it comes to tequila in general, it’s important to choose a drink that’s 100% authentic to enjoy it better. 

Añejo, as an authentic tequila, is best drunk neat at room temperature. Also, you can add ice to reduce the strong flavor. 

3. Drink It On The Rocks

One of the finest ways to enjoy the various flavors of Añejo tequila is by drinking it on the rocks. 

This is the perfect way to appreciate and realize what this dark tequila offers. The smooth vanilla and creamy finish will make you want to drink more.

If you’re new to tequila, add lime or orange coin and stir some alcohol around the ice cubes to help mellow its flavor.

Read: Popular Extra Anejo Tequilas

4. As A Cocktail

Tequini Cocktail Drink

A classic cocktail like Margarita is a great way to enjoy this type of tequila– be it classic or frozen.

But if you want to relish the flavor of the tequila, we suggest opting for the classic version.

Aside from Margarita, you can also savor the Añejo tequila in a “Tequila Martini” (or “Tequini”).

A Tequini is a cocktail that takes the class and sophistication of a traditional Martini and adds a speck of fun to the mix. However, this cocktail is heavily alcoholic. 

Note: Other tasty tequila cocktails you can make are Tequila Sunrise and Vampira (a Bloody Mary twist)

What is the Best Way to Drink Añejo Tequila? 

Drinking the Añejo tequila on the rocks (or with ice) is the best way to drink it. This means you don’t have to add any mixers– just drink the tequila straight up over ice. 

Upon drinking the Añejo tequila, you’ll taste a very slight smoky flavor that lingers, followed by a creamy and smooth caramel finish, making it an excellent “on the rocks” drink.

We suggest using a clear ice cube or crushed ice, then serving it using a large whiskey glass or a rocks-sized crystal glass. 

“To taste tequila is to taste Mexico.”

— Ana Paula Pelayo of the Dos Armadillos Distillery

Tips & Tricks Before Drinking Añejo Tequila

woman drinking tequila

We recommend waiting around two minutes before drinking your Añejo tequila on the rocks.

You can stir it around the ice to allow it to melt. This will help open up the flavors of your tequila.

After that, you can freely enjoy the intense yet delicious caramel and vanilla flavors of the Añejo tequila. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should you chill Añejo tequila?

Whether to chill Añejo tequila or not depends on personal preference and how you prefer to enjoy it. Añejo tequila is aged for a minimum of one year but often much longer, imparting complex flavors and aromas. Some people prefer to drink it at room temperature or slightly chilled to fully appreciate its nuances, while others enjoy it served over ice or even in cocktails.

Chilling Añejo tequila can slightly mute its flavors and aromas, which may be desirable for some drinkers who prefer a smoother, more subdued experience. However, chilling too much can dull its complexities, so it’s essential not to over-chill if you want to fully appreciate the aging process and the nuances of the tequila.

Ultimately, whether to chill Añejo tequila comes down to personal preference. Experimenting with different serving temperatures can help you discover how you enjoy it best.

How do Mexicans drink Añejo tequila?

In Mexico, Añejo tequila is typically enjoyed in a manner that showcases its rich flavors and smooth texture. While there is no one “correct” way to drink Añejo tequila, there are some common practices among Mexicans:

Neat or Straight: Many Mexicans prefer to sip Añejo tequila neat or straight, allowing them to savor its complex flavors without dilution. Añejo tequila’s smoothness and depth make it suitable for sipping slowly and appreciating its nuances.

Sangrita: Sangrita is a traditional Mexican accompaniment to tequila, often served alongside Añejo tequila. It typically consists of a spicy, tangy tomato-based juice flavored with citrus, chili peppers, and other seasonings. Sipping Añejo tequila alternately with sips of sangrita can enhance the tasting experience by providing contrast and cleansing the palate between sips.

Añejo Old Fashioned: Some Mexicans enjoy Añejo tequila in cocktails such as an Añejo Old Fashioned, which combines Añejo tequila with sugar, bitters, and a twist of orange or lemon zest. This cocktail allows the flavors of the aged tequila to shine while adding complexity and sweetness.

On the Rocks: Serving Añejo tequila over ice is another common method of enjoying it in Mexico. The ice can slightly chill the tequila and dilute it, mellowing its flavors and making it more refreshing, particularly on hot days.

With Dessert: Añejo tequila’s rich, caramelized flavors make it an excellent accompaniment to desserts, particularly those with chocolate or caramel notes. Enjoying a small pour of Añejo tequila alongside a sweet treat can create a delightful flavor pairing.

Ultimately, how Mexicans drink Añejo tequila can vary depending on personal preferences, regional traditions, and the occasion. The key is to enjoy it in a way that enhances its flavors and allows you to appreciate its quality.

Should Anejo Tequila Be Sipped Neat or Mixed in Cocktails?

Añejo tequila is a premium, aged spirit with complex flavors and aromas that are the result of its extended aging process in oak barrels. Whether it should be sipped neat or mixed in cocktails depends on personal preference and the desired drinking experience.

Sipping Añejo tequila neat allows you to fully appreciate its nuanced flavors and aromas without dilution. The aging process imparts characteristics such as oak, vanilla, caramel, and spice, which can be savored and enjoyed slowly when sipped neat. Sipping Añejo tequila neat is often considered the most authentic and traditional way to experience this premium spirit, particularly for connoisseurs who want to savor its complexities.

On the other hand, mixing Añejo tequila in cocktails can create unique and flavorful drinks that highlight its rich, aged character. Cocktails such as the Añejo Old Fashioned or the Añejo Margarita showcase Añejo tequila’s depth and complexity while incorporating other ingredients to complement its flavors. Mixing Añejo tequila in cocktails can be a creative and enjoyable way to experiment with different flavor combinations and create signature drinks.

Ultimately, whether Añejo tequila should be sipped neat or mixed in cocktails comes down to personal preference and the occasion. Sipping it neat allows you to fully appreciate its qualities as a premium, aged spirit, while mixing it in cocktails offers versatility and the opportunity to explore new flavor profiles. Experimenting with different serving methods can help you discover how you prefer to enjoy Añejo tequila best.

What Are Some Tasting Notes and Flavor Profiles of Anejo Tequila?

Añejo tequila is prized for its complex flavor profile, which develops over years of aging in oak barrels. Some common tasting notes and flavor profiles of Añejo tequila include:

Oak: Añejo tequila often exhibits prominent oak notes due to its extended aging period. This can manifest as flavors of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and toasted wood.

Spice: Añejo tequila may feature spicy undertones, including hints of cinnamon, clove, and black pepper, derived from both the oak barrels and the agave itself.

Fruit: Añejo tequila may have subtle fruit notes, such as dried fruit, cooked agave, or ripe tropical fruits like pineapple and mango.

Chocolate: Some Añejo tequilas develop chocolatey flavors, reminiscent of cocoa, dark chocolate, or chocolate-covered nuts, adding depth and richness to the profile.

Caramel: The aging process imparts caramelized sweetness to Añejo tequila, resulting in flavors of caramel, toffee, and burnt sugar.

Herbal: Añejo tequila may exhibit herbal nuances, with hints of oak, tobacco, leather, and earthiness contributing to its complexity.

Nutty: Some Añejo tequilas feature nutty undertones, such as almond, hazelnut, or walnut, adding a layer of richness and texture.

These tasting notes and flavor profiles can vary depending on factors such as the aging process, the type of oak barrels used, and the individual characteristics of the agave. Tasting Añejo tequila allows you to explore its depth and complexity, appreciating the interplay of flavors developed during the aging process.

How Should Anejo Tequila Be Served to Enhance the Drinking Experience?

To enhance the drinking experience of Añejo tequila and fully appreciate its complex flavor profile, consider the following serving suggestions:

Neat or Straight: Sip Añejo tequila neat or straight at room temperature to fully experience its nuanced flavors and aromas without dilution.

Room Temperature: Serve Añejo tequila at room temperature or slightly chilled to allow its flavors to open up and develop on the palate.

Glassware: Use a snifter or a stemmed glass with a wide bowl to concentrate the aromas and allow for swirling, releasing the tequila’s bouquet.

Sipping and Tasting: Take small sips of Añejo tequila, allowing it to linger on the palate to discern its different flavor notes. Pay attention to the aroma, taste, and finish to fully appreciate its complexities.

Pairing: Consider pairing Añejo tequila with complementary flavors such as dark chocolate, aged cheese, or roasted nuts to enhance the tasting experience.

Sangrita: Enjoy Añejo tequila alternately with sips of sangrita, a traditional Mexican accompaniment made from tomato juice, citrus, and spices. The contrast between the tequila’s sweetness and the sangrita’s tartness can enhance the tasting experience.

On the Rocks: Serve Añejo tequila over ice for a refreshing twist, particularly on hot days. However, be mindful that melting ice can dilute the tequila’s flavors, so avoid over-chilling if you want to fully appreciate its complexities.

By following these serving suggestions, you can elevate the drinking experience of Añejo tequila and fully appreciate its rich flavor profile and aged character.

Are There Any Traditional Mexican Customs or Rituals Associated with Drinking Anejo Tequila?

In Mexico, drinking tequila, including Añejo tequila, is often accompanied by customs and rituals that reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. Some traditional Mexican customs associated with drinking Añejo tequila include:

Toasting: When sharing Añejo tequila with friends or family, it’s common to raise a toast, known as a “brindis,” to celebrate special occasions or express gratitude. The toast may include heartfelt words or expressions of camaraderie.

Sipping and Savoring: Mexicans often sip Añejo tequila slowly, savoring its complex flavors and aromas. Drinking tequila is seen as a social activity that encourages conversation and enjoyment.

Accompaniments: Añejo tequila may be enjoyed alongside traditional Mexican dishes or snacks, such as tacos, ceviche, or guacamole, to enhance the tasting experience and complement its flavors.

Music and Dance: In some regions of Mexico, drinking Añejo tequila is accompanied by live music, dancing, and festive celebrations, particularly during festivals and holidays. Music and dance play a significant role in Mexican culture and add to the joyous atmosphere of tequila drinking gatherings.

Respect for Agave: Mexicans have a deep reverence for the agave plant, the source of tequila, which is considered sacred in indigenous cultures. Drinking Añejo tequila is often accompanied by expressions of appreciation for the agave’s role in Mexican heritage and culture.

Traditional Cocktails: While Añejo tequila is typically enjoyed neat or straight in Mexico, some traditional cocktails incorporate tequila, such as the Paloma or the Tequila Sunrise, which are popular choices for celebrations and gatherings.

Craftsmanship and Artistry: Mexicans value craftsmanship and artistry in the production of Añejo tequila, recognizing the skill and dedication of distillers who create this premium spirit. Drinking Añejo tequila is often seen as a way to support local artisans and honor their traditions.

These customs and rituals associated with drinking Añejo tequila reflect Mexico’s vibrant cultural heritage and the deep appreciation for this beloved spirit. Whether enjoyed casually with friends or as part of a festive celebration, drinking Añejo tequila is a cherished tradition that brings people together to share in the joy of life.

How Should I Store Anejo Tequila to Preserve Its Quality?

Proper storage is essential for preserving the quality and flavor of Añejo tequila. Follow these tips to ensure your Añejo tequila maintains its optimal taste over time:

Keep it Sealed: Always store your Añejo tequila in its original bottle with a tight-fitting cork or cap to prevent oxidation and maintain its integrity.

Avoid Direct Sunlight: Store Añejo tequila away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as exposure to light and high temperatures can degrade the quality of the tequila and alter its flavor profile.

Maintain Consistent Temperature: Store Añejo tequila at a consistent room temperature, ideally between 60°F and 70°F (15°C to 21°C). Fluctuations in temperature can affect the aging process and compromise the tequila’s quality.

Store Upright: Store bottles of Añejo tequila upright to minimize contact between the liquid and the cork, which can help prevent leakage and maintain a proper seal.

Avoid Air Exposure: Minimize air exposure by avoiding frequent opening and closing of the bottle unnecessarily. Exposure to air can lead to oxidation and affect the flavor of the tequila over time.

Use a Cool, Dark Cabinet: Store Añejo tequila in a cool, dark cabinet or pantry away from appliances that generate heat, such as ovens or stovetops. A wine cellar or dedicated liquor cabinet is an ideal storage location.

By following these storage guidelines, you can preserve the quality and flavor of your Añejo tequila for an extended period, ensuring an enjoyable drinking experience with every pour.

Can Anejo Tequila Be Used in Cooking or Baking?

Yes, Añejo tequila can be used in cooking and baking to impart its unique flavor profile to a variety of dishes and desserts. Here are some creative ways to incorporate Añejo tequila into your culinary creations:

Marinades and Sauces: Use Añejo tequila as a key ingredient in marinades and sauces for meats, seafood, and vegetables. The tequila’s rich, caramelized flavors can add depth and complexity to dishes such as grilled chicken, shrimp skewers, or steak fajitas.

Desserts: Incorporate Añejo tequila into desserts such as cakes, cupcakes, or flans to infuse them with its distinct flavor profile. Tequila-infused caramel sauce or chocolate truffles can be delightful treats for special occasions.

Cocktail-inspired Dishes: Create dishes inspired by classic tequila cocktails, such as margarita shrimp or tequila-lime chicken, which use Añejo tequila as a flavorful marinade or glaze.

Fruit Salsas and Salsas: Add a splash of Añejo tequila to homemade fruit salsas or salsas for a refreshing twist. The tequila’s citrus and herbal notes can complement the flavors of fresh fruits, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Tequila Flambe: Use Añejo tequila for flambeing dishes such as shrimp scampi or bananas foster to add a touch of flavor and theatrical flair to your cooking.

When using Añejo tequila in cooking or baking, it’s essential to use it judiciously and balance its flavors with other ingredients. Experimenting with different recipes and techniques can help you discover innovative ways to incorporate Añejo tequila into your culinary repertoire.

What Are Some Tips for Beginners Who Want to Explore Anejo Tequila?

For beginners exploring anejo tequila, it’s recommended to start by sipping it neat or on the rocks to appreciate its unique flavors and characteristics. Experiment with different brands and expressions to discover your preferences and gradually explore cocktails and food pairings to enhance your tasting experience.

Bottom Line 

You can try different ways to enjoy and savor the flavors of authentic Añejo tequila. 

Whether you sip it neat, on a cocktail, or on the rocks, you can only expect one thing– a great drinking experience. 

Cheers!

Reference:

  1. How to drink tequila and mezcal like a grown-up
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