For those of us who enjoy the occasional glass of white wine, there is an option that can add a bit of excitement to our wine cabinets.
Vermouth is a white wine that has been flavored with herbs, spices, flowers, roots, and fruit and fortified with various spirits. It is unlike any other beverage.
If you are looking for a refreshing, unique drink, you will enjoy vermouth, but if you find a forgotten bottle in the back of your cabinet, you might wonder whether vermouth goes bad.
Does Vermouth Go Bad?
Most people make the mistake of believing that all alcoholic beverages last forever, but they don’t. In fact, vermouth can go bad surprisingly quickly.
This is because vermouth has a slightly higher proof than wine, so in the same way that wine doesn’t last forever, vermouth doesn’t either. So the minute you open your bottle of vermouth, and it starts to oxidate, the quality of the beverage begins to deteriorate.
Therefore if you want to enjoy a nightly glass of vermouth, you will need to know how to store and get the most out of your new favorite drink.
How Long Does Vermouth Last?
There are a few different brands of vermouth available today, all offering different levels of quality when it comes to this beautiful beverage.
However, they are all the same in one area, oxidation of vermouth. If your vermouth is unopened, it can last for up to four years from when it was bottled because the liquor hasn’t come into contact with oxygen.
Therefore you can easily add two years to the best by date printed on the unopened bottle, and the contents inside will still be acceptable and enjoyable to drink.
However, once you open that bottle, oxidation starts, and your vermouth’s quality will begin to decrease rapidly. There is a slight difference in the kind of vermouth your drink.
If you enjoy a bottle of dry vermouth, you have less time to finish it because it goes bad in a shorter time. If you enjoy drinking sweet vermouth, you will be pleased to know that your vermouth will last longer than dry vermouth.
It is recommended that you keep both your sweet and dry vermouth in the fridge after opening the bottle. An opened bottle of sweet vermouth will last up to eight weeks in the refrigerator, whereas an opened bottle of dry vermouth will stay fresh for up to four weeks.
How Long Does Vermouth Last?
|Opened (Dry)||4 weeks|
|Opened (Sweet)||8 weeks|
3 Tips to Tell if Vermouth Has Gone Bad
Many of us love vermouth, but no one wants to take a big gulp of a liquor that has gone rancid. Therefore it is very beneficial to know how to tell if your vermouth has gone bad. Here are a few ways to know if your vermouth is still fresh and suitable for enjoyment:
As with all alcohols, a dramatic color change is not a good sign. Therefore, if you notice that your vermouth has gone a few shades darker or lighter, it is probably time to get a new bottle.
Likewise, if you see that your vermouth is cloudy, it is also past its best time for enjoyment.
Lastly, if you notice any tell-tale signs on the bottle, such as mold spots or organic growths, your vermouth has gone bad. It is best to avoid drinking it since it won’t have its usual pleasant refreshing taste.
However, if you see any sediment forming at the bottom of the bottle, this is normal, and you don’t need to panic. This is a natural occurrence with wines and isn’t an indication that the vermouth has gone bad.
Vermouth has a very aromatic and pleasant smell because of all of the spices and herbs added during the making of it. If your vermouth suddenly has a bad smell, it is time to let it go.
Likewise, if your vermouth has lost all of its aromas, it isn’t fresh anymore. Although you won’t get sick from it, it probably won’t taste as nice as you’d hope.
Vermouth has a very flavorful taste that can be dry or sweet. If your vermouth tastes flavorless, it isn’t good anymore. Vermouth is known to taste pretty dull when it has gone past its best.
Likewise, if your vermouth tastes sour or rancid, it has gone bad. Vermouth that has passed its best time for drinking as an alcoholic beverage tastes quite vinegary, and therefore you shouldn’t throw it away but rather use it in your cooking. Most people find that it makes a pretty decent white wine vinegar substitute.
However, when it comes to your vermouth for drinking purposes, it is best to get a fresh bottle if your vermouth doesn’t taste the way it should.
2 Tips to Store Vermouth
When it comes to getting the most out of your vermouth, how you store your vermouth is very important. A significant difference in storing comes at the moment you open your bottle of vermouth.
Storing your unopened bottle of vermouth in your pantry
An unopened bottle of vermouth can last for years. So you can store it in your pantry, preferably in a dark and cool spot, like a wine cabinet, for example.
However, it is best to store your vermouth away from areas where it will receive direct sunlight. Likewise, it is best to keep it away from heat elements in your kitchen.
Therefore, storing your vermouth close to a window, stove, or oven isn’t ideal. It is much better to place the bottle in a cupboard where it will be surrounded by darkness and constant temperatures.
Storing your opened bottle of vermouth in the fridge
Once you have opened your bottle of vermouth, you need to store it in the fridge. Keeping an opened bottle of vermouth in your pantry isn’t advised because it will increase the oxidation of your vermouth, resulting in an even shorter shelf life.
Instead, keep your open bottle of vermouth in your refrigerator and use it within four weeks if it is dry vermouth or eight weeks if it is sweet vermouth.
However, if your vermouth has gone past its best for drinking purposes and you decide to use it as a white wine vinegar substitute, you can store it in the pantry like you would store your vinegar.
Keeping it in the fridge would be acceptable, but since most people prefer to cook with ingredients at room temperature, keeping your vermouth white wine vinegar substitute in the pantry is entirely satisfactory.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Vermouth
The odds of you getting sick after drinking expired vermouth is extremely rare unless you have an allergy or you are sensitive to alcohol. The most considerable risk when it comes to drinking expired vermouth is that you might not enjoy your sundowner.
Other than that, there isn’t much risk to drinking vermouth that has gone past its best. In fact, it can still be used as a cooking ingredient after it isn’t enjoyable as a drink anymore.
Therefore, don’t throw it out if you feel that it suddenly tastes like vinegar, because there are many great uses for it while you cook your meals.
People who enjoy beverages with a considerable amount of fermentation in the taste, like kombucha, might even love the taste of vermouth that has gone bad, and they will be happy to hear that there aren’t any health risks to enjoying this vinegary drink.
Can You Freeze Vermouth?
It isn’t recommended that you freeze vermouth in the same way that you shouldn’t freeze your wine. The process of freezing and thawing your vermouth will result in a great loss of flavor and a decrease in the quality of your vermouth.
If you would like to enjoy an icy glass of vermouth, it is a much better idea to keep your open bottle of vermouth in the fridge and add a few ice cubes to bring the temperature down even more.
That being said, some people enjoy freezing their vermouth to make slushies with it. They feel that the quality of the thawed vermouth is just fine and that they love the slushie that it makes after giving it a good shake.
So I guess it depends on how much you care about the taste of your vermouth. If you want those delicate and lovely flavors that you love about your vermouth, keep it in the fridge only.
However, if you wish to have a slushie with a bit of a kick, then trying a vermouth slushie is an option. Whichever you prefer, enjoy your vermouth within a reasonable timeframe to avoid being disappointed in the taste.
Kicking back after a long day and relaxing with a glass of aromatic and flavorful vermouth is a great way to unwind. Keep your vermouth well-stored so that you can enjoy it whenever you feel like having a glass of it.
A cold glass of vermouth is a treat to the tastebuds. Keep your vermouth properly stored so that you can avoid your vermouth from going bad.