Does Liquor Go Bad?

standard March 31, 2016 Leave a response
Does Liquor Go Bad?

You’ve made a substantial investment in stocking your home bar, but after a couple months a dust-covered bottle spurs the question: Does Liquor Go Bad?

Surely a question for the ages… but unlike Can You Cry Underwater? What Disease Does Cured Ham Have? And Why Does a Round Pizza Come in a Square Box? this post should be able to help you answer the question How Long Does Liquor Last?

Health Hazard vs. Flavor Deterioration

Liquor Does Go Bad?Although most people assume that liquor will last indefinitely, that’s not necessarily true. Sure wine famously get’s “better with age,” but there’s an important distinction to be made: Getting Ill vs. Tasting Crappy.

Generally you won’t get ill from expired alcohol, but it can taste really bad. Liquor deteriorates when exposed to light, temperature fluctuation and oxygen, so if you want a delicious cocktail the answer to Does Liquor Go Bad? is Yes.

Ok, But How Long Does Liquor Last?

How Long Will LIquor Last?Unopened and properly stored spirits should last indefinitely, but unless you’re a survivalist awaiting the apocalypse you’re bar is probably full of open bottles. Then things get complicated…

But as soon as the seal is broken the clock is ticking… So before you go out to Chug Your Liquor Before it Goes Weird you may want to simply prevent that from happening by storing it correctly.

Tips for Storing Liquor

Interested in keeping your booze collection fresh and tasting good? Here are some tips to store liquor and avoid a bad taste experience:

  • Store Liquor in a Cool, Dark, Dry Place
  • Liquor Does Not Get Better with Age
  • Spirits Maintain Their Flavor Up to 1 Year After Opening
  • Storing Liquor at Room Temperature is Fine
  • Store the Liquor Bottles Upright
  • Preserve Flavor by Transferring Liquor to Smaller Bottles
  • Liqueuers Less Than 17% Spoil More Easily
  • Cream-Based Liquors Will Last About 2 Years
  • Store Vermouth in the Refrigerator
  • Signs of Deterioration Include
    • Discoloration
    • Accumulation of Crystals
    • Flat or Off Taste


Proud Canadian, sports fan and accidental cocktail connoisseur, Arvind has been known to tinker with the mixological arts deep in the heart of his basement bar.