When we think of liquors, we all feel that liquor gets well with age. But, unlike some wines, that is not the case with distilled spirits which don’t get well with age. That means, you 18 years old bottle of Scotch would taste the same like it would have 18 years back. Actually, there are some distilled spirits which go bad as time passes. You can take an example of beer. But to really know how distilled spirits get with time, we need to break distilled spirits into various categories first.
The following are the main categories of distilled spirits:
1. Base Liquors: It includes brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey. They are more stable spirits which can be stored for a very long period of time. These spirits have an extra ordinary shelf life, only if they are not opened. But once opened, they may begin to lose their flavor with time.
2. Liqueurs and Cordials: The shelf lives of liquors are more moody than the base spirits because they contain sugars and other mixtures which can spoil it with the passing time. Most sealed bottles can last for a long time depending on their ingredients and alcoholic content. But, yes, opened bottles can lose their flavor and buzz due to exposure to air. Once you see the crystals of sugar at the bottom of the bottle, you should throw away the bottle, as these are the signs of it getting spoiled.
Cream liqueurs, those that contain dairy, cream or egg, should be consumed within 18 months of manufacture.
And the cheaper versions of such liqueurs should be consumed within an year. Even unopened bottles of such liqueurs will spoil and, thus, would become undrinkable after an year. These liqueurs contain an expiration date, and thus you should consume it within that date.
3. Fortified Wines:
Fortified wines have a longer shelf life, even when they are opened, than any other type of wines. Vermouth (a type of fortified wine) can be stored for a few months, once it is opened. But, if they are stored for too long, they would lose their flavor. Some people like to store it in refrigerator while others don’t like to do that. But, it doesn’t make any difference.
4. Mixers: Follow A lot of people love mixes instead of going for base liquors. Margarita and Bloody Mary mixes are the most popular mixes, which people like to drink. Do read the expiration date on the bottles of these mixers, and these drinks should be consumed before their expiration dates. Moreover, these drinks should be refrigerated in order to increase their shelf life.
And now for your basic knwoledge - Club soda, ginger ale and tonic water should be consumed immediately (when they are opened). There is no need of telling you all about this, as I am sure a lot of people use their common sense while opening these bottles. If there's no fizz in the bottle of soda, why would you use it? In case if you are concerned about wasting too much soda, especially when making only a few drinks, then you should buy miniature bottles of soda, instead of thinking about ways to improve their shelf lifewhich typically come in packs.
Some tips to increase the shelf life of liquor:
- After consuming the liquor, seal the bottles tightly. And while capping them back, use their original cap instead of replacement caps.
- Never store liquor with speed pourers until you are actually using them. These speed pourers let the air pass inside the bottles easily.
- You should avoid keeping your liquor bottles in extreme temperature. Make sure to build your home bar away from your home’s exterior wall
- Store your liquor bottle in a dark and damp room where temperature should not be too high.
- Don’t place your liquor bottles under direct sunlight. If there is no place in your house to avoid your bottle’s contact with direct sunlight, then you should cover your liquor bottles with damp cloth.