8 Must-Try Añejo Tequila Cocktails

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 smoldering twinkle in its eye—100% delicious and always extraordinary. So, let’s take a look at celebrating this stellar liquor and how to make añejo tequila cocktails that will leave a lasting impression every time.  

Introduction to añejo tequila

A sweeping view of a plantation of Blue Agave plants

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 aging process imbues the tequila with a rich, complex flavor profile, making it perfect for sipping or mixing into sophisticated cocktails. 

The aging 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 flavors of vanilla, caramel, and sometimes even a hint of chocolate or spice. This makes añejo tequila a favorite 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 flavor. Reposado tequila undergoes a brief aging 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 flavor profile of the three. 

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

1. Añejo Old Fashioned

Two Añejo Old Fashioned Cinco de Mayo 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 flavors.  

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

Two Añejo Tequila Margarita cocktails in a Mexican style kitchen

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 2 oz añejo tequila, 0.5 oz orange liqueur, 1 oz lime juice, and 0.5 oz 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

Two Añejo Tequila Manhattan cocktails with a bowl of Luxardo cherries next to it

The magnificent Manhattan is always a showstopper, and this spin-off of the time-honored sipper will have your guests coming back for more. To make a Tequila Manhattan, combine 1 oz añejo tequila, 1 oz 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 a Añejo Tequila Sour with foam on top

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, simple 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 an even more delicious depth of flavor and silky mouthfeel.  

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

Make it with: Home-made simple syrup 

5. Spiced Añejo Mule

Two Spicy Mexican Mule cocktails for Cinco de Mayo

This daring adaptation of the Mexican Mule balances citrus, herbal liqueur, and sparkling ginger beer in a beautiful bouquet of complementary flavors. To make a Spiced Añejo Mule, muddle one slice of jalapeño chili with 0.5 oz of agave syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add 1.5 oz añejo tequila, 0.75 oz lime juice, and 0.5 oz Averna along with ice, and shake well. Strain the mixture into a mule mug over fresh ice, top off with 1 oz of ginger beer, garnish with a slice of jalapeño, and serve. 

Want 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

Two Anejo Tequila Highball cocktails served with a Mexican-style lunch

Easy, breezy, and delicious, an Añejo Highball comes together effortlessly, making it ideal for busy hosts. To make one, simply add 1.5 oz añejo tequila to a Collins glass with ice. Top it off with club soda, give it a very gentle stir, garnish with an orange twist, and serve. 

7. Añejo Smash  

An Anejo Smash tequila cocktail served in a lowball glass on crushed ice, garnished with a fresh sprig of mint

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 0.75 oz agave syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add 1.5 oz añejo tequila, 0.5 oz 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 Añejo Spicy Margaritas with sliced jalapeños on black slate

This spicy spin on the classic Margarita combines chipotle chili and ultra-smooth añejo for a well-balanced drink with an extra kick. To make an Añejo Spicy Margarita, combine 1 oz añejo tequila, 0.5 oz orange liqueur, 0.5 oz lime juice, 0.25 oz simple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of chipotle chili 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. 

Top tip: 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 pave 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 flavors 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 color, well-balanced profile, and harmonious aroma of roasted agave and earthy wood, accented by a hint of butterscotch. Medium-to-full-bodied and velvety smooth añejo tequila encapsulates rich notes of caramel, vanilla, dried fruit, and chocolate, setting the scene for a unique and unforgettable 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 mezcal being poured into glass

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

Choosing glassware

Three empty margarita glasses in a modern kitchen setting

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 flavor. 

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 flavors 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 flavors. For a touch of sweetness, go with a cinnamon stick garnish 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 flavor. Properly stored, añejo tequila maintains its rich, complex profile for years.

Absolutely! Añejo tequila is perfect for sipping neat. Its rich, smooth, and complex flavors, developed through aging, 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 savor 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 flavors. Try it with classic options like ginger beer, fresh lime juice, or agave syrup. For a twist, mix it 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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