Don Julio 1942 Tequila: Everything You Need To Know

Don Julio 1942 Tequila has become synonymous with elegance, celebration, and status (via Don Julio). This tequila has a 40% ABV and is similar in alcohol content to most other tequilas; however, as far as taste and quality are concerned, Don Julio 1942 is anything but average (via It is distilled from 100% Blue Weber Agave in the highlands of Jalisco, a western state of Mexico (via Don Julio). After distillation, this tequila is aged in barrels for two and a half years before it is ready. 

The final product has a smoothness and a flavor profile that has bewitched many celebrities (via VinePair). Of course, a brilliant and strategic marketing campaign has also helped grow the tequila's fanbase. If you're wondering what all the buzz is about, the best way to ascertain the quality of this tequila is to take a sip yourself. At the end of the day, whether you think the Don Julio 1942 Tequila is overpriced, overhyped, or simply stellar, it's definitely worth delving into what gives this drink its iconic status. 

Don Julio is known as a luxury tequila brand

Don Julio self-describes as a luxury tequila brand (via Don Julio). So what does that actually mean? Don Julio González, the founder of this brand, developed the craftsmanship of this tequila with a detail-oriented focus on perfecting the process for a fine taste. It is this dedication to caliber that sets Don Julio tequila apart from other brands. The luxurious aspect begins with the blue agave plants themselves. These giant plants grow to at least 7 feet in both height and diameter (via Garden Beast). 

It was González's idea to plant the blue agave plants farther apart to give them all the room they would need to grow to their full potential. While this reduced the amount of tequila he was able to make, González was firmly committed to quality over quantity. The fully matured blue agave he planted ultimately resulted in the kind of smoother tequila that he was after. He would then ensure that only the best parts of the agave's piña (the heart of the plant) were selected to be slow-cooked for three days before being used to make the spirit.

Don Julio 1942 Tequila's release celebrates the brand's origins

Don Julio 1942 Tequila was released in 2002 to celebrate 60 years of the brand (via Difford's Guide). It honors the year that founder Don Julio González began a lifelong journey toward producing exceptional, high-end tequilas (via Don Julio). The bottle for Don Julio 1942 is the embodiment of this mission: The tall, slender, tapered design makes it look incredibly elegant. The bottle is based on the shape of an agave leaf and was originally released in a light shade of green. 

The beauty of the bottle, paired with its quality and the fact that it's an anniversary release makes this tequila an excellent gift for special occasions. The Don Julio company even offers a custom engraving and gift boxing service specifically for its 1942 bottle. Those in search of an impressive birthday, holiday, or anniversary gift can get a short, personalized message as well as the recipient's name etched into the bottle.

It's an aged añejo tequila

Tequila is often known as a clear spirit. According to VinePair, this type of tequila is called blanco tequila, and it is a young spirit, meaning that it is typically not aged, though some varieties are stored for two months or so. Brands like Jose Cuervo and Patrón also commonly market this type of spirit as a silver tequila (via 

Don Julio 1942 has a two-and-a-half-year aging time and therefore qualifies as an aged tequila or añejo tequila (via Don Julio). The casks for aged tequilas must contain no more than 600 liters of tequila. This storage process affects the taste; the Don Julio 1942 is often described as having warm notes of vanilla, spice, and smoke (via Additionally, aged tequilas tend to take on a more amber hue as they rest in oak barrels: Don Julio 1942 has a yellow-caramel coloring.

Other types of tequila include joven (a mix of blanco and aged tequila), reposado (barrel-aged for two months to one year), and extra añejo (barrel-aged for a minimum of three years). Cristalino is another type of aged tequila that has been filtered to the point where it becomes clear in color again. This style was actually invented by Don Julio! The world's first bottle was Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro, a 70th-anniversary edition tequila.

The tequila is a favorite among celebrities

From TV personalities to music artists, Don Julio 1942 has become the preferred tequila of celebrities (via VinePair). The bottle's status as an A-list favorite is the result of an intentional campaign by the luxury tequila brand. The company reached out to celebrities to arrange private tastings as a means of marketing the Don Julio 1942 as a premier spirit for upper echelon clientele. The brand also provided customized bottles to the likes of Michael Strahan, Rihanna, and other famous faces. 

Don Julio also made sure the 1942 tequila was a part of major events: The company threw a high-profile Super Bowl party and even created a celebrity ambassador crew for the drink. Additionally, the brand ensured the tequila was featured at events such as film festivals. All these efforts paid off: It wasn't long before one of the world's biggest celebrities and influencers like Kylie Jenner began posting pictures of her own personalized bottle of Don Julio 1942 (via Refinery29). 

Don Julio 1942 Tequila is an award-winning spirit

Don Julio 1942 isn't just popular with celebrities, it is also admired by industry professionals: After a blind tasting by master mixologists, the bottle took home a gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (via PR Newswire). Founded in 2000, the SFWSC is one of the most influential and respected competitions of its kind. It falls under the umbrella of The Tasting Alliance, which also encompasses the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and the Singapore World Spirits Competition.

Don Julio has won many awards in the past for its line of tequilas, including medals from The Global Spirits Masters (via Diageo) and The Spirits International Prestige Awards. The Don Julio luxury tequila brand is part of the larger Diageo company, which also has renowned brands such as Guinness, Tanqueray, Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, and Haig Club in its portfolio.

It goes down easy and has a complex flavor profile

Since Don Julio 1942 is an aged tequila, it has had plenty of time to develop a complex flavor profile. Like most spirits that have been aged in wooden barrels, barrel-aged tequila has an oaky flavor (via The sweetness of the agave matures into notes of caramelized sugar, as per, along with warm spice and vanilla tones. Difford's Guide offers a similar description, likening the tequila's sweetness to crème brûlée and burnt toffee. 

Don Julio 1942 also possesses notes of citrus and other fruit. All of this culminates into what both reviews describe as a long, lingering finish. Customer reviews on Flaviar are all remarkably consistent in their praise for the añejo's remarkable smoothness. For those who may be new to the world of aged tequilas, the easy-to-drink Don Julio 1942 may be a good place to start experimenting. 

The best way to serve Don Julio 1942 Tequila

The Don Julio brand recommends serving the 1942 tequila neat or on the rocks in order to fully experience its complex, nuanced flavor. A reviewer advises serving it in a Glencairn glass, which is a squat, tapered glass typically used for tasting whisky. Its wide body and narrower mouth allow the drinker to savor the aromas of the spirit, which also enhances the taste. The brand has photographed the 1942 tequila as being served in a subtly tapered champagne flutes, which is another option

This añejo, unlike the average blanco, is not meant to be thrown together with mixers such as juice or soda (via VinePair). Any cocktail made with Don Julio 1942 should still allow the drinker to really savor the tequila. For this reason, VinePair recommends going the route of the old-fashioned cocktail and mixing the 1942 tequila with agave simple syrup and some bitters. The cocktail is then garnished with an orange peel, making it ideal for the inherent citrusy notes of the Don Julio 1942 Tequila. 

The quality justifies the price

When deciding whether or not to splurge on the Don Julio 1942, you may find yourself wondering if the brand is simply jacking up the price because of the hype and visual appeal surrounding this tequila. However, while the bottle does look quite lovely, that's definitely not the only driving factor behind the $140 price point (via

As mentioned earlier, this tequila is stored in oak barrels. Aged tequilas, and most aged spirits, are always going to be more expensive than younger tequilas (via The Spruce Eats). Only the highest quality spirits are selected for aging (via Alkypal). Once barreled, aged tequilas spend fairly long periods of time at the distillery. This process means that companies often don't get a return on their investments for a while, leading to a pricier product. 

Additionally, aged tequilas such as añejos and extra añejos also tend to be more well-rounded and refined as compared to their younger counterparts, which is another factor that drives up the cost. Additionally, Don Julio 1942 is aged in the distillery's smallest still, which only produces three barrels per cycle. Since this tequila is made in smaller batches, the limited production and release capacity makes each bottle more expensive than the average tequila.

It's mentioned in several hit songs

Celebrities don't just post about Don Julio 1942 on their socials, they also sing songs about it: A number of high-profile artists mention the popular añejo in their lyrics, including rapper Meek Mill, who even titled his song "1942 Flows" after the tequila. In it, he says, "They told 'em pop Mollys, I told 'em to be kings / Sipping 1942 like it's lean." In keeping with the Don Julio brand's emphasis on luxury, Mill equates the smooth tequila to status and regality.

Kid Ink and RMR also name-dropped the tequila in their song "Party," singing, "Where the party at? / 1942, she drive the boat with that." (For the record, absolutely no one should drive any kind of vehicle with a bottle of Don Julio 1942 in their hands). And, in his remix of Drake's "One Dance," Justin Bieber sings, "I need a one dance / 1942 in my hand." Clearly, some of today's most well-known artists love to celebrate and have a good time with Don Julio 1942!

The tequila was featured at the 2022 Oscars Governors Ball

Don Julio 1942 never misses a good party! Four different types of Don Julio cocktails, including the 1942 tequila, were served at the Governors Ball following the 2022 Academy Awards (via Good Morning America). Each cocktail was used in specially designed cocktails crafted by World Class Global Bartending champion and mixologist Charles Joly. Don Julio 1942 was notably served neat and was paired with a spoonful of layered chocolate ganache, mushrooms poached in oloroso sherry, and caviar.

This rich, sumptuous bite, which was suitably dubbed "The Class Act," expertly combines sweet and savory and thereby lending extra umami to the tequila, which is precisely the flavor pairing that wrote might best compliment Don Julio 1942. And, since legendary Chef Wolfgang Puck worked with Ghetto Gastro culinary collective to serve elegant bites for the evening, the night sure does sound like it was a feast for the senses. 

WeWork founder Adam Neumann stocked his plane with Don Julio 1942

WeWork founder Adam Neumann has attracted criticism for dubious work practices: According to Esquire, it was Neumann's M.O. to constantly drink alcohol and also encourage his employees to drink beers and tequila at work. Don Julio 1942 was ordered for WeWork events (via New York Post). Neumann also kept his private jet fully stocked with Don Julio 1942 at all times.

Neumann reportedly served shots of tequila at the office following a mass layoff of his employees. He pressured a woman interviewing for a position at the company to take shots with him during her interview. She later sued the company over allegations of sexual harassment.

The Apple TV+ series "WeCrashed" starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway delves into the chaotic inner workings of the shared space startup. While tequila most certainly should be accompanied by fun, it probably shouldn't take place in a work environment that many considered toxic (via Refinery29).

Don Julio began working with tequila at the age of 10

For Don Julio González, tequila truly was a lifelong endeavor (via Business Wire). He first became familiar with the spirit when he began working at his uncle's distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, at the age of 10. He earned 9 pesos a week by selling and distributing tequila on horseback over long distances (via Don Julio Tequila). During the time he worked at the distillery, he gained the experience which would lead to the birth of an extraordinary tequila years later. 

Over the years, he developed the know-how, passion, and tireless work ethic that would ultimately lead him to break into the business on his own. His years of experience and his confidence gave him the daring he needed to ask a wealthy businessman he knew for a loan to kickstart his now-legendary distillery (via YouTube). At first, he was completely on his own. He handled every aspect of the tequila-making process, from planting to harvesting to distilling, until one day, he had built something an incredibly successful business endeavor that became an icon of the tequila world. And today, years later, his legacy continues.