Some older wines last one to two days once they’re opened, while younger wines can last up to two weeks in the fridge. This one is more about taste than anything. So if you leave a bottle on the shelf too long, do what I do and give it a taste. Tips. Again, no. If it's still good, awesome! Is tequila actually an upper instead of a downer? Like vodka, whiskey has an almost indefinite shelf life if you leave it unopened and store it in a cool, dark place, but once you open it the rules of the game change. Get our free book when you sign up for our newsletter. Is Your Beer, Wine, and Liquor Safe in the Freezer? Your bottle of two buck chuck, six-pack of craft beer, and handle of whiskey have all been produced differently. The shelf life of opened fortified wines like dry and sweet vermouth is much longer than regular wines. You’ll want to drink your beer within the three months of that date. As a rule of thumb, take a sniff of whatever bottle you accidentally aged. Follow the recommended expiration date on the labels of all juices, bottled cocktails (e.g., margarita, daiquiri, and bloody Mary mixes), and similar mixers. The answer to that question is a matter of quality, not safety, assuming proper storage conditions - when properly stored, a bottle of raspberry liqueur has an indefinite shelf life, even after it has been opened. There are a few general rules regarding the shelf life of liqueurs: Cream liqueurs that contain dairy, cream, or egg, are a different story. Thus, they’re going to react differently to things like light, temperature, and exposure to oxygen. Bourbon is so high in alcohol that it's even more stable than whiskey or scotch (the alcohols to which it is most frequently compared). Avoid exposure to extreme heat or cold. Unlike some wines, distilled spirits don't age (or mature) in the bottle. If it doesn't look, smell, or taste right, it's probably best to throw it out. Tequila degrades quickly (as do I when I drink it) when it’s opened, so you’re going to want to drink it in the first two months after you crack it open to avoid oxidation and evaporation. After months or years, almost any distilled spirit in an opened bottle can lose some of its character, "punch," or flavor. Keeping it in the freezer the whole time, while a waste of freezer space, probably does slow the decline of the flavor as colder temperatures tend to do in most cases. Unlike some wines, distilled spirits don't age (or mature) in the bottle. It seems almost counterintuitive that alcohol should go bad, especially since the older an alcohol gets, the more expensive it tends to be. If the alcohol percentage is high enough, it will kill bacteria or mold, so it's pretty safe for long term storage. If the bottle is unopened, however, your champagne will last a solid decade provided it’s stored somewhere dark and cool. Use the original cap, a replacement cork, or a wine stopper that also takes the air out of the bottle. Drinking something bubbly? The shelf life of a liqueur (e.g., schnapps, amaretto, and triple sec) is more temperamental. Many companies, like Absolut, will recommend consuming vodka within two years of purchasing it. All rights reserved. Most beer is sensitive to light and temperature. properly executed on your creative ideas-set. That date is more a recommendation of optimal use than a warning that you’ll get sick if you drink it a day too late. Typically, you can store vermouth in an open bottle for at least a few months. An unopened bottle should actually stay the same, flavor-wise for many years. Even in unopened bottles, these liqueurs may spoil and be undrinkable after a year and a half or more. However, that's also what makes it a highly stable alcohol that will keep almost indefinitely. Or like a skunk.) Liqueurs Most liqueurs like Grand Marnier, Campari, Chartreuse, and St. Germaine can be stored at room temperature and last for a very long time, provided they have around 20 percent or more alcohol by volume. You can store these bottles for a very long time. On the flip side, a liqueur with a higher proof contains more alcohol, which should protect it for a little longer than lower proof liqueurs. If you find yourself wasting a lot of soda when making only a few drinks, buy packs of miniature bottles. There's no point in adding soda to your drink when there's no fizz left. Once you begin to see any sugar crystallizing on the bottom, discoloration, curdling, or other changes, throw the bottle away. Actually, yes — booze does go bad, so contrary to popular belief, you don't have forever to finish off that bottle of sherry you inexplicably have stashed away in the back of your liquor cabinet. Remember how much Bailey’s you drank because someone convinced you it would taste like “spicy chocolate milk”? picture alliance/picture alliance/Getty Images, wines last one to two days once they’re opened. These spirits contain sugar and other ingredients that can spoil, and some are more worrisome than others. For instance, liqueurs with a high concentration of sugar (e.g., crème liqueurs) will deteriorate faster. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about alcohol, which can lead to questions about drinking safely. But alcohol can go bad, in that it can start to taste like the devil. Not sure how long your favorite booze will last? Even opened, bourbon can taste pretty much the same after 10 years if you keep it out of the sunlight. Explore Irish Cream Liqueur and Discover Drink Recipes. Your unopened bottle of scotch that's been on the shelf for 20 years will taste the same as it would have the day it was bottled. Probably best not to drink it. You’re going to want to drink it once it’s opened. Will I really never get sick as long as I stick to one color of liquor? It’s the variation in temperature that’ll make your beer go back quickly. Most opened (and well-sealed) liqueurs should last for months and even years, depending on the alcohol content and preservatives. If you’re into savoring it, I recommend keeping your bottle in the refrigerator and using it within a couple of months. Think of rum like whiskey in terms of oxidation. So, what's all this about it going bad? When people tell you that alcohol doesn't go bad, what they mean to say is that it won't make you sick (I mean, at least not for bacterial reasons). The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. What Is the Shelf Life of Distilled Spirits? Discard open bottles after about 18 months. The more alcohol they contain, the longer the shelf life. Refrigerate these after opening. Bourbon However, like beer, certain liquors can "go bad." So, if you buy your beer chilled, you’ll want to make sure you store it in your fridge when you get home. And, while there are some storage guidelines you can follow, your instincts are the best indicators of freshness. Do a smell and (small) taste test before drinking any questionable liqueurs.