Why Tequila Tastes Better In A Champagne Flute Than A Shot Glass

Most people who drink would admit that when first dabbling in the world of liquor, there's no flavor that comes through more than the shocking, sharp punch of the alcohol itself. No matter the drink of choice, it takes time for our tastebuds to adjust to the bitterness of the alcohol. And in the beginning phases of drinking, many people will opt to mask the flavor of alcohol in a sweet, fruity cocktail, or just shoot it back to try to avoid the flavor altogether. 

Eventually, though, our tastebuds adjust and may even seek out the notes each liquor variety has to offer. Distilleries add personal flair and care to their products, and being able to taste the qualities can bring the drinking experience to a new level.

Amplifying these flavors requires more than just drinking slowly, though. Even self-proclaimed booze buffs may be surprised to know that the glass holding the spirit plays a vital role in the tasting experience.

The science of smooth-tasting tequila

When it comes to tequilas, switching up the glass is one of the best way to optimize the drinking experience. Though its high alcohol content takes a considerable amount of getting used to, at a certain point it becomes easier to recognize and appreciate the unique aspects of a well-crafted tequila. However, knock back a top-shelf tequila in a shot glass, and you'll likely miss out on the smooth, cool magic the high-quality spirit has to offer. Instead, the expert consensus is that tequila tastes best when sipped from a Champagne flute.

Though this drinking method may seem out of place, the reasoning behind it makes it worth a try. Antonio Rodriguez, the director of production at Patrón Tequila, told Departures in 2020 that "the benefit of sipping tequila out of a tequila flute is its ability to retain the aromas at the top of the glass, making it perfect for nosing." 

As the tequila, is poured it mixes with more oxygen than when it's poured into a standard shot glass, thanks to the elongated shape of the glass. The aerated tequila makes for a more aromatic, smooth sipping experience.

Appearance matters

There's more to the aeration and aromatic properties that the Champagne flute brings to the table, though — it also makes for a beautiful drink. As visual creatures, we taste with our eyes as much as our noses and mouths. A sweet or savory cocktail recipe tastes especially good (on top of feeling especially classy) when it's served in a tall fancy glass and garnished with fresh herbs and fruit. The same principle applies here. 

When served in a flute, the tequila is subtly implied to be of higher quality and deserving of an attentive tasting experience. A shot glass, on the other hand, implies that the tequila's only job is to be tossed back without any hesitation. The less it can be tasted, the easier it is to get down.

No matter your tequila-tasting style, whether it be via flute, shot glass, red plastic cup, etc, what matters most is that you drink responsibly and enjoy.