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Can Tequila Go Bad? (And How To Store It)

Quick Answer

The good news is, that tequila will not go bad! Its shelf life is practically limitless, whether you have found an open or unopened bottle! Once open, the quality will begin to decrease, but you can prevent this by transferring it to a smaller bottle so that less air makes its way to it.

It’s Saturday night, and you decided to throw a last-minute party. Before you know it, you’re elbow deep in your liquor cabinet looking for something to serve your guests.

You then come across an old, dusty bottle of tequila, with a date that’s older than you’d like to admit. 

You may be thinking that it can’t possibly be safe to feed that to your guests, can it? Can Tequila go bad? 

This article will be discussing the shelf life of Tequila, and how you can store it, so it lasts you as long as humanly possible! 

Can Tequila Go Bad

Can Tequila Go Bad?

If you’re a lover of tequila, you’ll be happy to know that it lasts practically forever, even once it’s been opened! 

The only thing that will happen is that its quality will decrease the longer it’s left open. This is when oxidation happens, which is a process that gradually changes the compounds in alcohol.

If you’re an experienced tequila drinker (and among the population of the funnest people on the planet!) you will notice the difference between the taste of unopened, and opened tequila.

Simply pour some in a shot and leave it out for around 48 hours. Then, compare the taste with some tequila poured straight from the bottle, and you’ll notice a difference! 

But do not fear! You can prevent oxidation from happening by ensuring your precious tequila is properly sealed when you aren’t consuming it. 

How To Store Tequila

If your tequila has not been opened, experts recommend you store it at a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you don’t have a proper liquor cabinet, then you should store your tequila in a cool, dark place, away from any heat or sunlight, as this could affect the quality of the drink. 

How To Store Opened Tequila

Tequila will still have an indefinite shelf life even after it has been opened! But, as mentioned earlier, the quality can begin to decrease the longer it stays open. 

If you store it correctly, however, this can definitely extend its shelf life.

Once you’ve opened it and are ready to store it, be sure to do so in a cool, dry area that is away from direct sunlight or other forms of heat. 

You should also ensure there’s a tight lid over it, to avoid oxidation that will cause deterioration. 

If you know you aren’t going to consume your tequila within a month or so, then consider pouring it into a smaller bottle.

This will reduce the amount of air that is left in the bottle, and will lessen the chance of oxidation happening faster. 

Should You Keep Tequila In The Fridge? 

Contrary to popular belief, you should not store your tequila in the refrigerator. Tequila is not supposed to be consumed cold, and if done so, it can numb your palate, interfering with the taste of the drink. 

In addition, storing it in the refrigerator may affect the flavor and aroma of the drink. 

How Can You Tell If Tequila Has Gone Bad? 

How Can You Tell If Tequila Has Gone Bad 

As mentioned already in this article, the shelf life of tequila is pretty much limitless! 

Whether you have an opened or closed bottle lying around for years, the chances are it is safe to consume. If you are skeptical, simply open it up and give it a sniff or a small taste. 

If it tastes fine, then bottoms up! 

If you notice the quality of the taste has diminished, then instead of drinking it on its own, try mixing it into a few cocktails.

This way, you are still able to use it and taste the tequila, without noticing the diminished taste too much. 

Can Bad Tequila Make You Sick?

Experienced drinkers are well aware that tequila doesn’t need to be bad to make you sick! 

All jokes aside though, if for some reason your tequila has gone bad, you will notice a very unpleasant aroma before consuming, so if this is the case, it should be discarded. 

If you do consume tequila that has some harmful bacteria such as parasites or mold, it can make you sick. However, it is quite rare for any bacteria to grow in tequila. 

Can Liquor Go Bad?  

The quality of liquor can be affected by a few factors. These are temperature, light, and air.

If you store your liquor in a cool, dry, place, away from direct sunlight and any other forms of heat, then it can have an endless shelf life. 

If the alcohol levels are at 30 to 40% ABV, then it is highly unlikely that bacteria will start to grow, as it is not an ideal habitat for it. 

Unlike some other liquors, such as cream liquors, tequila will not spoil. When it comes to these other alcoholic beverages, it is most likely the other ingredients used in them that go bad. 

For a cream liquor, for example, it is likely that the dairy used in it will go off, and this will be noticeable in the taste and smell. 

Therefore, as long as you follow the appropriate storage instructions, liquors should not go bad. 

Final Thoughts 

In summary, tequila will not go bad! Whether you’ve found an unopened, or opened bottle lying around in your pantry, it should be completely safe to consume. 

However, if opened, the quality may have diminished, so it may be a better option for mixing into cocktails, rather than consuming neat. 

It is best to store your tequila in a cool, dry place, and once opened, you should transfer it into a smaller bottle to less air makes its way to the alcohol.

This will slow down the oxidation process, leaving you with a delicious liquor for years to come!

Jess Smith