Can Tequila Go Bad and Does it Have an Indefinite Shelf Life?

Plus how to store tequila properly (and drink tequila that’s aged)

Many Casa Mexico Tequila fans have asked us about the shelf life of their unopened bottle, so we’ll answer that and more.

Have you ever wondered what the shelf life of tequila and distilled spirits are? And does it matter if it’s an opened bottle or an unopened bottle? 

To answer these questions, we must first understand how distilled spirits like tequila are made.

How is tequila made?

Tequila like any other distilled spirit comes from fermented sugars found in the blue agave plant that undergoes distillation – boiling and then cooling back into a liquid state with higher alcohol content. During the fermentation process, yeast eats the sugar in the blue agave and transforms it into alcohol. The alcohol content is what determines the strength or potency of the final product. Casa Mexico Tequilas has an alcohol content of 40% alcohol by volume.

Once it’s distilled, tequila is either bottled immediately or receives an aging process typically lasting a few months to a couple of years long in varying types of wooden barrels.

That said, we won’t go too deeply into aging but tequila is aged for various reasons – including having a smoother taste with slight changes in the flavor profile as well as color over time.

If you would like to know more about how a bottle of tequila is made and the aging of different types of tequila head over to our blog:

How tequila is made in 7 steps

If the fermentation process is done properly, due to the high alcohol content, tequila has a shelf life of several years or even indefinitely. However, storing tequila at suboptimal conditions could be detrimental to its quality and taste. So let’s talk about how to store tequila properly so you can best enjoy your Casa Mexico Tequilas.

CMT Coloring 11

The best way to store your tequila.

For optimal liquor storage temperature, experts recommend that liquor properly stored should be at a temperature of 50-55° F (10-13° C). Liquor cabinets are ideal for this purpose and can be set to the right temperature. If you live in a hot climate, it may be better to store your tequila in a dark cupboard, as the heat from sunlight may also adversely affect its quality.

If you don’t have a liquor cabinet, then we recommend that your tequila be stored away from heat and light in a cool dark place. Avoid wide temperature swings (like placing it near a window) as this may also affect the quality of your tequila.

For example, storing tequila near a stove or heater is an improper storage location.

Now for the important question – how long is tequila good after it’s opened?

How long is tequila good after it’s opened?

Heaven forbid any of our precious tequila go bad on us. That’s the last thing that any of us tequila lovers would want to happen, isn’t it?

Well, lucky for us, the simple answer to how long tequila lasts is impressive – practically forever.

The worst thing that will happen to your tequila after it has been opened is that it will not maintain its peak quality over time.

Next, we will look at how to store your opened tequila bottle to retain the maximum tequila shelf life in regards to the tequila’s quality, freshness, and flavor.

How do you store an opened tequila bottle?

When it comes to storing your favorite Casa Mexico Tequilas the key is in the storage environment since that’s what exposes your tequila to air, light, and contaminates. 

Like most other food storage, tequila is best stored in a cool, dry area, away from direct sunlight so that flavors and aromas stay true to the quality you expect out of Casa Mexico Tequila.

Always store your tequila with a tightly sealed lid on it to avoid a shorter shelf life and maintain its best quality. This will prevent oxidation that causes the flavors and aromas to deteriorate slowly. In other words, more oxygen can make the flavor of whiskey, vodka, or tequila go bad.

The porous nature of your average cork top could also be an avenue through which your tequila could lose its freshness and taste over time.

The good news is that can be avoided with a bottle top that’s made with an air-tight closure such as the type of cork top you will find on a Casa Mexico bottle of tequila. We use the same techniques to seal our tequila as all other premium tequila brands which should give you the best shot of maintaining the good quality and freshness of your opened bottle of tequila.

If you only break out the tequila for special occasions or are a light drinker then we would also recommend that you decant your tequila into a smaller bottle after you have drunk about half of the old bottle. The oxidation process will be faster if you leave the tequila sitting in a bottle that is filled with more air.

Storing tequila properly is important so that the taste and quality are preserved for your next drink. So when you open a bottle, it should be left sealed in a tightly sealed, clean, glass container – don’t reuse a jar that previously held something like spaghetti sauce or olives that could contaminate your tequila!

4 Casa Mexico Tequila Mexican Tequila

Do you need to refrigerate tequila?

It’s not advisable to store tequila in the fridge or freezer as this may affect its aroma and flavor as well as make it too cold, which can numb your palate detracting from the flavor of your drink.

How long does a sealed bottle of tequila last?

Regarding unopened bottles, it’s best to store these in a cool place away from sunlight for maximum shelf life. Depending on the storage conditions (temperature and light), you could get upwards of 5 years or even longer.

Though we still don’t recommend keeping a bottle there for longer periods of time because over time even an unopened bottle without an expiration date could suffer from evaporation and eventually taste different.

Does tequila age well in the bottle?

When spirits are removed from casks and bottled, they lose their ability to mature and improve. To put it another way, they are no longer aging after the final product has been bottled.

Will tequila go bad?

No, tequila will not go bad but over time tequila may lose its quality and flavor. Before you panic, note that this only happens when stored improperly or opened and exposed to air for an extended period of time.

When stored properly in a cabinet at room temperature, your tequila will last indefinitely but you should still drink it within a few years because evaporation can happen even if the bottle is unopened.

In the same manner, most popular liquors like whiskey and vodka shelf life are practically indefinite as well.

Ultimately, the best way to enjoy Casa Mexico Tequilas is by opening and enjoying them while they are fresh.

How can you tell if tequila has gone bad?

Tequila has an almost limitless shelf life. That is, unless you assist it, it won’t go bad.

If you have an open bottle sitting in the cabinet for a long time, it’s a good chance that it’s safe to drink. Give it a good sniff, trust your senses, and if it smells okay, try to drink a tiny amount.

If the taste is good, then great, drink up!

If it seems to have lost some flavor but hasn’t gone bad with a horrible smell or taste, consider using it in a cocktail like a margarita or mixed with your favorite carbonated beverages. The additional ingredients will help mask some of the tequila’s imperfections.

Can you get sick from drinking old tequila?

As mentioned, if your tequila has gone bad, you will likely experience a horrible taste and smell. So just discard it instead of drinking it.

The possibility of actually getting sick from alcohol that is too old is slim but if the drink has harmful bacteria like mold or parasites (in tequila, this isn’t common) then there’s a chance you can get sick.

Why does alcohol go bad?

Three main factors can affect the quality of liquor over time: light, temperature, and air. If you store hard liquor away from direct light at a medium temperature it lasts forever. At 30-40 % ABV, liquor isn’t a good habitat for bacteria. Without opening it there will be virtually no oxidation. Only when you open bottles will it begin to deteriorate if improperly stored.

Unlike wines or other liquors, such as cream liqueurs, tequila will not go bad. The only thing that will go bad in an alcoholic beverage is mainly the other ingredients.

For example, a cream liqueur going bad can be chalked up to food spoilage of the dairy product mixed in with the alcohol. If you have ever had spoiled milk then you know it tastes awful.

4 A perfect cinco de mayo tequila

Now you never have to worry about your Casa Mexico Tequila going bad 😉

Well there you have it, now you can drink with confidence knowing that you are armed with all the knowledge and techniques necessary to keep your bottle of tequila tasting great for years to come (or as long as you can resist the temptation to polish off that irresistible bottle of Casa Mexico Tequila).

You can purchase Casa Mexico Tequila online or at a store near you.


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