Most people enjoy a casual drink after dinner when a long day at the office has ended. People enjoy alcohol that is versatile enough to be enjoyed in several different ways. That is why vodka is such a popular product these days.
However, we can’t help but wonder whether vodka goes bad.
Does Vodka Go Bad?
The good news is that the high alcohol level in vodka makes it an unfavorable environment for microbial growth. Therefore, your vodka won’t go bad because of bacterial contamination. This is a significant relief since so much of the food and drinks we enjoy end up going to waste because of contamination.
However, the quality of vodka decreases with time, especially if it hasn’t been stored properly. For example, if your vodka container is damaged or you use a pourer, you might find that bugs have spoiled your vodka. But, of course, seeing some tiny bugs floating in your vodka is enough to put anyone off, and it is a clear sign that your vodka needs to be thrown out.
Fortunately, people who enjoy good quality vodka and go through the trouble of storing their vodka effectively can enjoy it for years to come.
How Long Does Vodka Last?
Good quality vodka that has remained unopened can last for up to an astonishing 20 years without losing any of its quality. However, the unopened bottle needs to be kept in safe conditions.
Unflavored vodka that has been opened can last for up to 15 years if it is stored correctly. The only thing that could affect the shelflife is that it might evaporate slightly, influencing the amount of vodka you have over a long period. However, if you don’t mind the amount of vodka in the bottle decreasing somewhat over the years, you will be able to enjoy it for a surprising amount of time.
Since the quality of vodka decreases over time, it is often recommended by manufacturers that you enjoy your vodka within two years of opening. However, this timeline doesn’t necessarily mean that the vodka is unfit for consumption after two years.
Flavored vodka often contains artificial flavorings that can affect the shelflife of the alcohol. Therefore, it is recommended that you enjoy your flavored vodka within six months of opening. If your flavored vodka is unopened, it can keep its quality for up to two years.
How Long Does Vodka Last?
|Unflavored, Unopened||20 years|
|Unflavored, Opened||15 years|
|Flavored, Unopened||2 years|
|Flavored, Opened||6 months|
3 Tips to Tell if Vodka has Gone Bad
Although vodka can last for many years, no one wants to experience vodka that has gone off in a cocktail. Therefore it is beneficial to know how to tell if vodka has gone bad.
As with most food and drink products, the most effective way to tell if it has gone off is by the product’s look, smell, and taste. For example, by examining your vodka before mixing and consuming it, you will avoid drinking rotten vodka.
Here are the ways to tell if your vodka has gone bad:
Examine the alcohol
Flavored and unflavored vodka should never be cloudy. If your vodka has become cloudy or discolored, it is best to avoid it. In addition, if there are any signs of insects or dirt in your vodka, don’t drink it.
Although it is uncommon, if you notice that your vodka shows signs of oxidation by forming crystals in the corners of the bottle, it is past its best. The reason for this is not necessarily that it has gone off, but somewhat that it has lost its quality.
Lastly, if your vodka shows any signs of mold contamination, you should throw it out. Likewise, it is a good idea to avoid consuming products that show signs of mold contamination.
Smell the alcohol
Often your nose will be able to tell you if a product has gone past its best, and vodka is no exception. So by smelling your vodka, you might be able to know if it is still suitable for consumption.
Vodka should always have no smell or a light fragrance since vodka doesn’t have a strong scent. Therefore, if your vodka doesn’t have a scent, it is still suitable for consumption. On the other hand, if your vodka smells rancid or vinegary, it has gone past its best.
Flavored vodka often smells like the flavoring used to create the taste. Therefore the vodka will smell like the flavor made. If your flavored vodka smells sour or awful, don’t drink it. Although the flavored vodka won’t make you sick or offer any risks to your health, it is best to avoid flavored drinks that smell foul.
3 Tips to Store Vodka
When it comes to getting the best shelflife and quality from your vodka, storing makes a massive difference. By keeping your vodka correctly, you can prolong the time you have to enjoy it by years. Conversely, vodka’s quality considerably declines if it comes into contact with high temperatures, unfavorable storing conditions, and uncontrolled airflow.
By understanding how to store vodka correctly, it is possible for everyone never to need to throw a bottle of vodka away again. Here are three tips for storing your vodka most effectively:
Keep the container properly sealed
Although it is tempting for most, it is best not to store your vodka with the attached pourer. Likewise, it is best not to keep your vodka in an open container. The reason for this is that the constant airflow in the bottle will create conditions where your vodka can evaporate.
It is also easier for tiny bugs to infest your vodka if the pourer is still attached, making it unsuitable for future use. If you prefer to pour your vodka into a particular container instead of keeping it in the original bottle, that’s fine as long as your preferred bottle is properly sealed.
Store the bottle away from heat elements
Like most alcohol, vodka loses its quality when it comes into contact with heat elements. Therefore, you must keep your vodka away from your oven or stove.
It is also best to store your vodka in a way out of direct sunlight because exposure to direct sunlight can dramatically decrease your vodka’s quality. It is best to keep your vodka in a cool, dark place, like a cupboard or a liquor cabinet that doesn’t receive any direct sunlight or isn’t close to heat elements.
Keep your vodka in the fridge or freezer
Since vodka is great alcohol for mixed drinks, most people prefer to keep it in the fridge or the freezer. However, people enjoy adding cold alcohol to their drinks, and it is excellent that vodka keeps well in the refrigerator and freezer. Although it isn’t necessary to maintain the quality of your vodka, it is acceptable to do so.
By storing your vodka in the fridge or the freezer, you make it easier to control the temperature, keep it away from heat elements and sunlight, and avoid bug infestations. Therefore, consider storing it in the fridge or freezer if you don’t mind a cold glass of vodka.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Vodka
The good news is that there is no real risk to consuming expired vodka. Fortunately, the high alcohol content in vodka makes it unfavorable for bacteria, so you won’t get sick if you drink vodka that has gone past its best.
The worst thing that will happen if you drink expired vodka is that you might feel disappointed by the taste, smell, or quality. Therefore, if you are unsure whether your vodka is still fit for consumption, smell and examine it first before taking a sip. This might save you the discomfort of tasting bad vodka.
Can You Freeze Vodka?
Although keeping your vodka in the freezer is outstanding, the high alcohol content will prevent your vodka from freezing. For that reason, a lot of vodka drinkers enjoy storing their vodka in the freezer. As a result, they can enjoy cold vodka without the fear of frozen vodka.
Similarly to keeping your vodka in the fridge, the freezer creates an excellent environment for your vodka since there is no contact with heat elements, direct sunlight, or bugs.
It isn’t necessary to keep your vodka in the freezer if you prefer it at room temperature. Vodka stored at room temperature, in the fridge, or the freezer can last the same duration as long as the container is sealed and there aren’t any heat elements involved.
Anyone who appreciates alcohol with great versatility will adore vodka. It can easily be mixed to make beautiful cocktails or enjoyed as it is. With people from all over the world enjoying vodka, it is no surprise that we get incredible variations of vodka from countries like Sweden, Poland, and Russia.
Best of all, if we keep the tips for storing our vodka in mind, we will always enjoy great-tasting and high-quality vodka. There won’t be any reason to wonder whether your vodka has gone bad.