tequila go bad

Does Tequila Go Bad? A Guide to Quality and Flavor

In a nutshell: No,tequila does not spoil or go bad due to its high alcohol content and is technically safe to drink indefinitely, even if it’s decades old. However, the flavor and quality of tequila may deteriorate over time, especially after the bottle is opened and exposed to air.

Can tequila spoil over time? Is it possible for it to change or diminish the taste over the years? Find all the answers in our article.      

Whenever we talk about powerful alcoholic drinks, the idea arises that they last forever. Simply alcohol cannot be spoiled. But does that mean the taste is the same now and in twenty years? Does the flavor change if the drink is open, and how long can it last? Regardless of popular belief about the lifetime of alcohol, these questions are correct. So what is shelf life of tequila?

Not to keep you in suspense unnecessarily, tequila technically can last forever. That is as far as correctness is concerned. So if you come across a 50-year-old bottle, you are free to drink it without fear of it harming you. Unless you consume too much, of course. But, we must say that tequila is not a drink that gets better as it ages. Therefore the quality is best after production, and once you open the bottle, the oxidation process will begin. Read more and be an expert on tequila issues.     

How Long Does Tequila Last?

Forever. Even if you leave tequila sitting on the counter for years, its shelf life should not change a bit. Like any other pure alcoholic drink and tequila can last eternally. It is one of those distilled spirits that are bought after the birth of a child and then opened to celebrate graduation. Since it is obtained through distillation and contains a high percentage of alcohol, tequila will never spoil.      

Duration of the unopened tequila 

If the bottle is factory sealed and not damaged, the taste of tequila should be the same after many years. The peak quality will not decline as there is no possibility of air getting inside the unopened bottle. Therefore, a packaged bottle can stand on your shelf for years before you want to drink a glass. Storing tequila is the easiest job on the planet.        

Duration of the opened tequila 

Once you open the bottle, the air starts to do its thing. Oxidation will cause the liquid to fade over time. That is, the strength of the alcohol will decrease, and the taste will deteriorate. It is estimated that the duration of an open bottle would be ideal for up to a year. Of course, the drink is suitable even after that, but spirits lovers will notice a weaker taste. After opening, you should keep it the same way you store hard liquor of any kind.  

Duration of flavored tequila

Unopened will last just like any other tequila, hence forever. However, once you open the bottle, the loss of flavor could happen a little faster than for a blank drink, so it is recommended that you use it within six months. Tequila’s quality should be untouched in that span.   

Does Tequila Expire?

As we have already established, it cannot be spoiled in the classical sense. It can only lose on the quality of taste. Simply the high alcohol content prevents any bacteria from growing and has a sterilizing effect. However, if you miraculously managed to hold an opened bottle of tequila for a very long time, say several years, the quality degradation may be so significant that it caused spoilage.

Sign 1: The drink developed an unusual odor

Anything that doesn’t smell very nice to your nostrils is probably not suitable to consume. Maybe the spirit has evaporated so much that it’s not good to drink. If the smell is stale and unpleasant, pour everything into the drain.  

Sign 2: Taste is wrong 

Just like with the smell, the taste can be pale. If the drink is not what you are used to, you should rather throw it away. You will not enjoy it.       

Sign 3: Colour has changed    

Tequila has a clear transparent appearance like pure water. Anything blurred or to notice any phenomenon will mean that foreign substances are present. Maybe some other liquid came in contact. In any case, it will not be satisfactory.    

Which is the Best Way to Store Tequila?

Tequila, while unopened, can stand in any condition like other shelf stable spirits. Of course, choose a cool and dark place rather than keep it in direct light. Any liquor cabinet will do for unopened bottles. It is unlikely that some external influences will impair the quality. Once you open the bottle, follow the instructions below to store liquor properly.     

Tip 1: Keep it tightly sealed

Always try to close the bottle well after use. You want to prevent the air from causing the alcohol to evaporate and reduce the quality. A properly sealed bottle is good enough protection.        

Tip 2: Pour into a smaller bottle     

Alcoholic beverages don’t like air too much due to the evaporation of the alcohol itself. In order to keep as little air as possible inside the bottle, when you have used up half of the liquid, pour it into a smaller container. So half of the bottle will not be empty or filled with air that is detrimental to quality.        


How long can you keep tequila?

Tequila can be stored indefinitely if the bottle remains sealed and is kept in a cool, dark place. Once opened, tequila’s quality may gradually degrade over time, but it should still be safe to consume for years as long as there are no signs of spoilage.

Can old tequila make you sick?

No, old tequila can’t make you sick. Only the degradation of the flavor. Although it has an indefinite shelf life, you should still store tequila properly.     

How do you know when tequila goes bad?

Tequila doesn’t necessarily go bad, but its quality can deteriorate over time once the bottle is opened. Signs of degradation include changes in color, taste, or aroma. If your tequila exhibits these characteristics, it might be best to replace it for a better drinking experience.

Should I refrigerate tequila?

No, It is not necessary to keep the distilled spirits in the refrigerator even after opening it. It will be just as safe on the shelf. But if you like drinking tequila cold, you can certainly put the bottle in a fridge.   

Is 10 year old tequila still good? 

Yes, 10-year-old tequila should still be safe to consume if stored properly and if there are no visible signs of spoilage. However, its flavor and quality might have changed over time, so it’s advisable to assess its aroma, taste, and color before consuming.


Tequila is a trendy alcoholic beverage around the world. It is on a par with other strong spirits such as whiskey, rum, or vodka. No matter how old the bottle you have on the shelf is, and what expiration date is written, it is entirely safe to drink. So if you find dusty tequila that belonged to your grandfather, feel free to enjoy it. This distilled spirit won’t get any better with age because it’s not that type of poison, but it’s undoubtedly durable for decades.  

If you like to drink tequila in very small sips only on special occasions, we can immediately reassure you that this drink will accompany your anniversaries for many, many years.

If you plan to use tequila for evening cocktails, here’s guidance on how long margarita mix can last.

Up next:

*image by Elnur_/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top