8 Añejo Tequila Cocktails for Every Occasion

June 21, 2024 by

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It’s about time we take a deep dive into the tempting world of añejo tequila cocktails, don’t you think? Rich, complex, and daringly dapper, añejo is a mature tequila that strides into the party with plenty of life experience and a smouldering twinkle in its eye— 100% delicious and always extraordinary. So, let’s take a look at celebrating this stellar spirit and how to make añejo tequila cocktails that will leave a lasting impression every time:  

Introduction to añejo tequila

Sweeping view of a field of mature blue agave plants in rows

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is añejo tequila? Añejo, which means ‘aged’ in Spanish, is a type of tequila that has been matured in oak barrels for one to three years. This ageing process imbues the tequila with a rich, complex flavour profile, making it perfect for sipping or mixing into sophisticated cocktails. 

The ageing process and characteristics of añejo tequila are what set it apart. During its time in the barrel, añejo tequila develops a deep amber hue and a smooth, velvety texture. The interaction with the oak barrels imparts flavours of vanilla, caramel, and sometimes even a hint of chocolate or spice. This makes añejo tequila a favourite among connoisseurs who appreciate its layered, nuanced taste. 

When comparing blanco, reposado, and añejo tequilas, the differences are quite notable. Blanco tequila is unaged, offering a pure, agave-forward flavour. Reposado tequila undergoes a brief ageing period, typically ranging from two to twelve months, which balances the freshness of agave with subtle oak influences Añejo, on the other hand, is aged the longest, allowing it to develop the most complex and rich flavour profile of the three. 

Read next: A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Tequila 

1. Añejo Old Fashioned

Two Añejo Old Fashioned cocktails with orange and rosemary garnish

Crafted with aged añejo tequila, agave syrup, and a few dashes of bitters, the Añejo Old Fashioned is a delightful twist on the classic Old Fashioned that delivers a captivating combination of flavours.  

You can serve this drink two ways: as a welcome drink paired with freshly roasted nuts, or as an after-dinner drink paired with dark chocolate. Simple and delicious. 

Make it with: Espolòn Añejo Tequila. 

2. Añejo Margarita

Three Añejo Margarita cocktails with salted rims and lime garnish

The Margarita is a classic tequila cocktail, and the addition of an añejo tequila takes it up a level. To make an Añejo Margarita, combine 60 ml añejo tequila, 15 ml orange liqueur, 15 ml lime juice, and 15 ml agave syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with a salted rim over fresh ice and serve. 

Make it with: Grand Marnier 

Learn more: Your Guide to the Best Tequila for Margaritas 

3. Tequila Manhattan

Close up of two Añejo Tequila Manhattan cocktails with a bowl of Luxardo cherries

The magnificent Manhattan is always a showstopper, and this spin-off of the time-honoured sipper will have your guests coming back for more. To make a Tequila Manhattan, combine 30 ml añejo tequila, 30 ml sweet vermouth, and 3 dashes of bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir for 10 seconds, and fine strain into a chilled serving glass. Garnish with a luxardo cherry to serve. 

Make it with: Cinzano Vermouth Rosso 

4. Añejo Tequila Sour

Close up of an Añejo Tequila Sour

The classic Tequila Sour boasts the perfect balance of sweet and sour with a delicious tequila kick. Made with just a few simple ingredients, including fresh lime, sugar syrup, and egg white, it’s a great drink for just about any occasion. Typically made with reposado tequila, the swap for añejo tequila gives it ab even more delicious depth of flavour and silky mouthfeel. 

For a vegan-friendly version, replace the egg white with 1.5 tablespoons aquafaba. 

Make it with: Home-made sugar syrup 

5. Spiced Añejo Mule

Two Spicy Mexican Mule cocktails served in copper mugs and garnished with sliced jalapeños and lime wedges

This daring adaptation of the Mexican Mule balances citrus, herbal liqueur and sparkling ginger beer in a beautiful bouquet of complementary flavours. To make a Spiced Añejo Mule, muddle one slice of jalapeño chili with 0.5 ml of agave syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add 45 ml añejo tequila, 20 ml lime juice, and 15 ml Averna along with ice, and shake well. Strain the mixture into a mule mug over fresh ice, top off with 30 ml of ginger beer, garnish with a slice of jalapeño, and serve. 

For the perfect serve, use ginger beer that’s made with real ginger and without any artificial sweeteners.  

Make it with: Amaro Averna 

Party time! 13 Best Mexican Cocktails to Make at Home 

6. Añejo Highball

Close up of two Añejo Tequila highball cocktails with lime garnish

Easy, breezy, and delicious, an Añejo Highball comes together effortlessly, making it ideal for busy hosts. To make one, simply add 45 ml añejo tequila to a Collins glass with ice. Top it off with soda water, give it a very gentle stir, garnish with an orange twist, and serve. 

7. Añejo Smash

An Añejo Smash cocktail with fresh mint garnish

If you’re looking for a frosty drink to serve on a hot summer’s day, you’ve got to try an Añejo Smash. To make this riff on the classic Mint Julep, muddle 6 fresh mint leaves with 20 ml agave syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add 45 ml  añejo tequila, 15 ml orange liqueur, and fresh ice, and shake until frosty. Pack a rocks glass with crushed ice, and fine strain the mixture over it. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve. 

8. Añejo Spicy Margarita

Two Spicy Añejo Margarita cocktails with sliced jalapeño garnish

This spicy spin on the classic Margarita combines chipotle chilli with ultra-smooth añejo for a well-balanced drink with an extra kick. To make an Añejo Spicy Margarita, combine 30ml añejo tequila, 15ml orange liqueur, 15ml lime juice, 10ml sugar syrup, and 1 teaspoon of chipotle chilli powder (or chipotle hot sauce) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a salt-rimmed rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve. 

A perfectly made Spicy Margarita should be a harmonious balance of sweet, tart, sour and spicy. 

Benefits of using añejo tequila in cocktails

A bottle of Tequila in a kitchen setting

Añejo tequila cocktails are perfect for a variety of occasions. They add a touch of elegance to upscale gatherings and will most definitely leave a lasting impression at dinner parties. Their rich and smooth profile also makes them ideal for intimate celebrations or a relaxing evening at home. Whether you’re toasting a special event or simply enjoying a quiet night with a few friends, añejo tequila cocktails paves the way for a luxurious and memorable clinking experience. 

When it comes to pairing añejo tequila cocktails with food, the possibilities are deliciously diverse. The complex flavours of añejo tequila complement rich and hearty dishes such as grilled steak, roasted lamb, or braised short ribs. For lighter fare, consider pairing it with smoked salmon, aged cheeses, or dark chocolate desserts. The versatility of añejo tequila ensures it can enhance a wide range of delicious dishes making each meal even more enjoyable. 

Host like a pro: 15 Perfect Cinco de Mayo Cocktails for Your Festivities 

Our favorite añejo tequila to try at home

Espolòn Añejo Tequila is our go-to aged tequila. It’s a tequila that captivates with its vivid reddish-gold colour, well-balanced profile, and harmonious aroma of roasted agave and earthy wood, accented by a hint of butterscotch. Medium-to-full body and velvety smooth añejo tequila encapsulates rich notes of caramel, vanilla, dried fruit, and chocolate, setting the scene for a unique and unforgettable añejo drink experience. 

Insider tips for crafting añejo tequila cocktails

Mastering the nuances of tasting, glassware selection, and garnishing enhances both the presentation and enjoyment of añejo tequila cocktails. Here are a few top tips: 

Tasting & appreciating añejo tequila

Shot of tequila being poured with worm in bottom of shot glass

To truly appreciate añejo tequila before you use it in a cocktail, start by examining its colour and clarity in the glass. Swirl it gently to observe the legs, which indicate viscosity. Next, take a moment to inhale deeply and savour the complex aromas of vanilla, caramel, and oak. When sipping, let it linger on your palate to enjoy its full, rich flavour profile. Notice the smooth, velvety texture and the intricate balance of flavours, from the initial taste to the lingering finish. 

Choosing glassware

Three empty Margarita glasses

Choosing the right glassware can elevate your añejo tequila experience. To enjoy it neat, use a snifter or a tequila-specific glass, such as a copita, to concentrate the aromas. When making cocktails, use a rocks glass for drinks served over ice, or a coupe glass for a touch of elegance. Choosing the right glass enhances the visual appeal, aroma and flavour. 

Garnishing with care

Two Grapefruit Thyme Spritzer on a table inside a modern home lounge with sunlight streaming in through large windows

Garnishes add visual appeal and complementary flavours to your añejo tequila cocktails. Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme can enhance the drink’s earthy notes. Citrus twists, such as orange or lemon peel, add a bright contrast to the rich flavours. For a touch of sweetness, go with a cinnamon stick or dark chocolate shavings. These thoughtful additions not only make your cocktails look stunning but also enrich the overall tasting experience. 

Back to basics: 14 Best Tequila Mixers (What to Mix with Tequila) 

There you have it—8 amazing añejo tequila cocktails and a few top tips on making memorable drinks that allow this sensational spirit to shine. Visit the Espolòn website for more cocktail inspiration and remember to tag us when you share your creations on Instagram! We’d love to see your classy clinkers out in the wild. ¡Salud! 


To store añejo tequila, keep it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, which can degrade its quality. Ensure the bottle is tightly sealed to prevent oxidation. If you have a collection, a liquor cabinet or dedicated shelf works well. Avoid extreme temperatures, as they can affect the flavour. Properly stored, añejo tequila maintains its rich, complex profile for years.

Absolutely! Añejo tequila is perfect for sipping neat. Its rich, smooth, and complex flavours, developed through ageing, make it a delight to enjoy on its own. Pour a small amount into a snifter or a tequila glass to appreciate its aromas and savour each sip slowly. Neat añejo offers a luxurious experience, highlighting notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak, making it a favorite among tequila enthusiasts.

Añejo tequila pairs wonderfully with mixers that complement its rich and complex flavours. Try it with classic options like ginger beer, fresh lime juice, or agave syrup. For a twist, mix with coffee liqueur or dark chocolate bitters to enhance its depth. Citrus juices like orange or grapefruit can add a refreshing contrast. Experimenting with different mixers allows you to create a variety of delicious cocktails that highlight the unique profile of añejo tequila.

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