Many spirits once opened have a lifespan of up to two years. For example, unopened rum (if you are looking for craft rum then Cabby’s Rum is the one) usually lasts up to three years, while opened rum can last six months or one year if stored properly in the refrigerator. Gin has an even shorter lifespan after opening because it will turn into vinegar within 24 where to buy pappy van winkle.
The reason for this is because alcoholic spirits are high in ethanol which naturally preserves the drink. As long as you take precautions to prevent oxidization, your open bottles can last two years or more depending on what kind of spirit it is. The lifespan of an opened bottle varies greatly between types of alcohol because there are various factors that determine how quickly the contents will spoil when exposed to air. The most important factor affecting this rate is percentage by volume (% ABV). The higher the %ABV, generally speaking, means a shorter time before spoiling.
Another influencing factor is whether it is distilled at all and if so, where? For example, rum made in Barbados has a much longer lifespan than rum produced elsewhere due to their use of pot stills instead of other types of sills such as column stills (a column still is the most commonly used type of distillation apparatus). This means that they use “dunder” or spent fermented cane juice which hasn’t been distilled and as such, contains a lot more flavour as well.
Finally, many spirits include other additives to increase shelf life like sugar and glycerin (which is added gingerly by producers to stop alcohol from drying out your mouth; this is what makes it feel oily on the tongue). Other preservatives can be taken during production too, for example sulphur dioxide in wines helps preserve freshness, but large amounts are toxic so some suppliers choose not to add any at all.
What to do with old or expired alcohol
When spirits expire do you simply throw them away? Well, I certainly hope not!
Spirits are very high in alcohol and as such can be used for many purposes. For instance, you could use it to clean your windows (although this works better if done during daylight hours). Or you could cook something delicious like a beef bourguignon which has been spiced up by the addition of an old bottle of red wine that’s perhaps seen its best days.
So, before you pour away those bottles, think about how they might still have value, even after their shelf life has expired.
Tips for storing liquor in the home
The way you store your bottles of spirits will also have a large impact on its lifespan. Keep it away from direct sunlight and heat as this will cause the contents to evaporate more quickly, diminishing both taste and potency of your drink. Don’t keep bottles right next to each other either, as their vapours will mix together which can ruin them by making them overly strong or less flavourful overall. It is always best to store them in a cool, dark place with little humidity to ensure that they last as long as possible.
Why it’s important to keep your alcohol organized and clean
The importance of keeping your open bottles of spirits organized and clean cannot be stressed enough. Always make sure that the lids are tightly sealed before you put them away, because if they’re left loose or not closed properly this can cause both evaporation as well as any other liquids nearby to spoil quickly. It is also a good idea to store different kinds of liquors in separate places so that their flavours don’t mix together during storage, for instance by placing vodka with rum instead of gin which would ruin all three drinks. Finally, always wash out empty bottles thoroughly after use even though most people neglect doing this step thinking it won’t matter since there isn’t anything in the bottle anymore. However, this isn’t true because there can still be some residue left over from the last drink which will only spoil the new one you are planning to put into that bottle if it is not washed out first.
Ways you can tell if an alcoholic drink has gone bad
When a spirit goes bad, it will typically smell and taste differently than when the bottle was first opened. The main change in flavour which occurs as a spirit ages, is an increase of bitterness to the drink’s overall flavour profile. If you notice this, chances are your spirits have gone bad and should be thrown out immediately.