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Añejo Tequila Cocktails

Tequila—that sweet, sweet Mexican agave nectar from the Gods—is as diverse in origin as it is in taste, and we’re here to tell you that if you’ve only dabbled in the classic clear stuff,  we’re about to show you a whole new world. There’s an encyclopedia of different tequilas, and an entire anthology for the various ways to pour ‘em, mix ‘em, and swig ‘em to your heart’s delight. Tequila old fashioned, classic margarita, bloody maria, so many tequila cocktails with so many different tequilas.

Instead of running through the whole book, though, we’ll skip right to the most important chapter: añejo tequila. 

Añejo tequila is the silver fox of the spirits world. Its the vineyard-owning, stallion-riding, deep-voiced-with-gray-haired sugar daddy of the alcoholic atmosphere, and the epitome of age making something great even greater. The best part about it? Its versatility allows you to drink it straight or mix it into a handcrafted cocktail. Cue the mariachi band and keep reading to see exactly why we love añejo tequila cocktails and how you can best enjoy them.

What Is Añejo Tequila?

Añejo, translated from Spanish, simply means old or mature. Named for its distillation process, añejo tequila is tequila that has been aged from one to four years in oak barrels. This aging process creates a rich spirit boasting notes of honey, vanilla, and spicy cinnamon.1 

Añejo’s nuances of flavor are best enjoyed when sipped straight. However, if you’re feeling bold, it makes for a sumptuous base in whiskey-centric cocktails.

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Añejo vs Blanco Tequila: How Do They Compare?

We know we’ve got you hooked already, but we figured we’d double back to explain. That crystalline liquid that livens our margaritas and our moods is known as Tequila Blanco. Its clear color and spicy pepper taste make it the face of tequila—and the one we are most familiar with. Blanco tequila is always compared to other in its family, reposado vs blanco, blanco vs anejo, etc. Although Blanco and Añejo derive from the same agave plant, their distillation processes yield wholly different flavors. The main differences between the tequilas come in the forms of their:

  • Distillation process – While añejo tequila is the seasoned veteran of agave liquors, tequila blanco is like the newborn baby in the family. Tequila blanco is completely unaged. It’s processed straight from the agave plant to the liquor bottle. Añejo tequila, on the other hand, takes up to four years to mature into its spiced flavor.
  • Taste – Tequila blanco is considered agave’s most undiluted expression. Since this type of tequila is not aged, its bright, punchy, mineral taste is pure and straight-from-the-earth. Añejo tequila is a rich, spicy liquor infused with notes of honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. While blanco’s flavor complements citrusy cocktails such as the margarita or paloma, añejo is a lone wolf who typically likes to work alone.2
  • Color – Blanco tequila, otherwise known as silver tequila, is completely clear. Añejo liquor is characterized by its dark, amber color, making it blanco tequila’s older, tanner (and dare we say sexier?) brother.

Though tequila blanco has asserted its dominance as the fan-favorite tequila for mixed drinks, añejo’s contributions to the cocktail world should not go unnoticed. Its deep flavor and slow-burn make it perfect for neat sipping, but for those unafraid to be bold with their cocktails, añejo tequila promises to reward all of your risks.

Life favors those who dare to dive headfirst into the unknown. With no risk, there is no reward, and mixing things up with añejo tequila will certainly make the risk worthwhile. Ditch the ordinary standard, if only for a day, and be bold by trying our three favorite tequila añejo drinks. Trust us; with the addition of these stellar cocktails, your tastebuds will thank you later.

The Añejo Manhattan

The Manhattan was once the most famous cocktail in the world—and rightfully so. Its opulent mix of whiskey and Italian vermouth is enhanced with the addition of aromatic bitters. This balance rocketed the cocktail to fame and helped maintain its position as one of the cornerstones of craft cocktails.3 

For our remixed recipe, swap the whiskey for añejo tequila and get to mixing! All you’ll need for the Añejo Manhattan is:

Bar Equipment

This classic tequila cocktail is simple to make and requires little bar equipment to produce the perfect product. For the Añejo Manhattan, make sure to grab a:

  • Pint glass – A pint glass has a cylindrical shape that widens from bottom to top. The glass typically holds 16 fluid ounces. Although it is most commonly used to hold alcohol such as beer, it also makes the perfect mixing glass.
  • Jigger – Cocktail recipes often require liquids to be proportioned into ounces, and the standard tool with which to do so is a jigger. With its hourglass shape, most jiggers measure 1.5 oz on one side of the hourglass and 0.75 oz on the other.
  • Bar spoon – The bar spoon is a long-handled spoon designed to simplify the mixing process when making cocktails. Forged from stainless steel, its material is both durable and won’t compromise the flavor of the cocktail it’s used to make.
  • Martini glass – Though this drink can be served up in any vessel, the standard glass for a Manhattan is the martini glass. Plus, one sip from the rounded rim will have you feeling oh so fancy.

Ingredients

Otherwise known as the elements that matter the most:4

  • 2 ounces Añejo tequila
  • 0.5 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 0.25 ounce Licor 43
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Dash of orange bitters
  • 1 fresh or maraschino cherry
  • Ice

Instructions

The instructions for this drink are as simple as the cocktail is classy. 

  1. Once you’ve gathered the required goods, fill two-thirds of a pint glass with ice.
  2. Next, add all of the remaining ingredients—save for the cherry.
  3. Stir the ingredients briskly to allow them to chill, then strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Garnish with the cherry, and enjoy.

Thai Basil Grapefruit Cocktail

For the people that enjoy the little things in life, this one's for you. Two simple flavors—Thai basil and grapefruit—meet añejo tequila to create the punchy explosion of flavor you didn’t know you needed in life. 

Drooling a little bit already? Us too. 

For the Thai Basil Grapefruit cocktail, make sure to grab:

Bar Equipment

This classic cocktail is conventionally simple to make, and it requires little bar equipment to produce the perfect product. For the Añejo Manhattan, make sure to grab a:

  • Cocktail shaker – Most stores stock a range of cocktail shakers, but the most employed type is the cobbler shaker. It’s an all-in-one device featuring a tin, cap, and built-in strainer. Made to streamline the cocktail-making process, it makes life a little easier by mixing up drinks a little faster.
  • Muddler – A muddler is a tool used to lightly mash fruits, herbs, and spices in order to release their essence into cocktails.
  • Jigger – You should (hopefully) have this one on hand from the last recipe.
  • Rocks glass – Also known as an old fashioned glass, a rocks glass is short and wide with a sturdy bottom. It’s typically used for serving spirits neat or on the rocks.

Ingredients

We think you’ll really like these:4

  • 5 Thai basil leaves
  • 0.5 ounces of lime juice
  • 1.5 ounces Añejo tequila
  • 0.5 ounces of green chartreuse
  • San Pellegrino - Pompelmo (grapefruit) flavor

Instructions

A little muddling goes a long way in this recipe.  

  1. In a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the Thai basil leaves together with the lime juice.
  2. Next, add the tequila, green chartreuse, and shake all four ingredients together.
  3. Fill a rocks glass with ice, then strain the mixture from the cocktail shaker into the rocks glass.
  4. Once strained, top the glass with San Pellegrino pompelmo, and garnish with both a lime wedge and a sprig of Thai basil.

Añejo Mash

In an illustrious remix of the zesty margarita, the Añejo Mash mixes aged tequila with grand marnier, lemon, and mint to create a killer combo. Whether you're looking to try different types of margaritas or a twist on a classic margarita, we dare you to try it. 

For this tequila cocktail recipe, you’ll need:

Bar Equipment

You know the drill. Grab a:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Rocks glass

Ingredients

Next, grab the goods:

  • 1.5 ounces of Añejo tequila
  • 0.5 ounces of Grand Marnier
  • 0.75 ounces of agave syrup
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Crushed ice

Instructions

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for. 

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients with ice.
  2.  Shake, then strain the mixture into a rocks glass packed with crushed ice.
  3. Garnish with a sprig of mint leaf, and be amazed at the punch of bright flavor.

Mix the Old With the New with DRXNMYTH

Drinking añejo tequila is all about appreciating the depth that age brings to its flavor, and for those bold enough to mix it up, añejo’s strength powerfully enlivens any cocktail it’s lent to. Add a twist of anejo to any tequila cocktail. Get creative with anejo tequila sunrise, mix it with fresh lime juice, or fresh lemon juice, or relax and sip.

At DRNXMYTH, we know what magic happens when you take on alcohol with a twist—and even if you’re afraid to mix up the flavors of your favorite cocktails yourself—we’re brave enough to try it for you. Dip your feet into the waters of an aged tequila with añejo-esque cocktails such as our Bourbon Berry Smash, or test the waters of a remixed Manhattan with our Apricot Rye Smash. 

Whether you’re experimenting with the flavors of añejo tequila during Cinco de Mayo, or toasting it up with DRNXYMYTH’S premade mixes, know that we’ll be cheering you on—glasses in the air—to be bold enough to seize your day. 


Sources: 

  1. A Couple of Cooks. Types of Tequila: Blanco vs Reposado vs Añejo. www.acouplecooks.com/types-of-tequila-blanco-vs-reposado-vs-anejo 
  2. Vinepair. A Guide to the 5 Different Types of Tequila (and Cristalino). www.vinepair.com/articles/guide-5-different-types-tequila/ 
  3. Liquor. Manhattan. www.liquor.com/recipes/manhattan-2/ 
  4. Haskell’s. Five O'Clock Somewhere: 3 Must-Try Extra Anejo Cocktails. www.blog.haskells.com/five-oclock-somewhere-3-must-try-extra-anejo-cocktails