Is there a bottle of vodka that is sitting in the counter for years? Can’t remember since when it has been there? Can you still drink it? Does vodka go bad? If you are bombarded with these questions, this post is for you. Keep on reading and I will share with you some insights about vodka, including how to tell if it has indeed past its prime.
As one of the favorites from the long list of liquors, I am sure that many of you are guilty on stocking vodka, to the point that some bottles have been left untouched for a while. In this post, you will learn more about its shelf life. Impress your friends with new knowledge the next time you go drinking. Share with them the things that you can learn from the discussion below.
Does Vodka Go Bad?
First and foremost, it is important to keep in mind that vodka is one type of stable distilled spirit. It has undergone a distinct production process, which is perhaps one of the reasons why you can expect this to be a long-lasting product.
Now, let us go back to the main question. If the bottle of vodka is sealed, its shelf life can be indefinite. Meaning, it can withstand many years. It will not go bad if it is not immediately consumed, but this will depend on a number of factors, such as the quality of the vodka itself and the environmental conditions or the way it is stored.
Once it has been opened, on the other hand, this is where the problem comes in. It will be prone to penetration of air and other external elements. It is highly possible that there will be oxidation, and hence, at such point, it would be safe to say that indeed, vodka can go bad.
What Happens When Vodka Goes Bad
One of the good things about vodka is that it can be perfect even for long-term storage. If you open the bottle today or four decades from now, there will be no change in its flavor. This, of course, is provided that the bottle is handled and stored properly throughout the years.
Evaporation is one of the things that can happen when vodka goes bad. This is basically because of the changes in the properties of the cork. However, do not expect the evaporation to be visible within a month or two. It will take several years before this can be noticeable.
Within around the first decade after vodka has been opened, there will be minimal changes in its taste and texture. However, past such date, it will be terrible. This will also increase the likelihood that you will be suffering from food poisoning.
Flavored vodka will spoil quicker compared to their regular counterparts. Always check the label from the manufacturer so that you will know. More often than not, however, this will take about two years after the bottle has been opened.
Another thing that happens when vodka has been kept for a long time and exposed to air for an extended period is that the level of alcohol will drop. After several decades of storage, the alcohol content can be lower than 25%, which will also make it more prone to yeast and bacterial growth.
You should also pay attention to the changes in its appearance. If the color is darker than the usual and if you can see that there are unusual particles floating in the liquid, this is an obvious indication that it has gone bad. The smell and taste will also most probably be off.
Best Ways to Store Vodka
Like in the case of food and drinks, for liquors like vodka, one of the most important is storage. If you keep it at the right place, you can be confident that even if the bottle has already been opened, it will not be easily prone to damages that can be caused by external factors.
Among others, one of the most important is to have consistent temperature in the place where you intend to store vodka. Ideally, the temperature should be anywhere from 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid storing it in areas with extreme heat, such as the attic. The basement is a better option for longer storage.
Do not keep your bottled vodka in a place that can be reached by direct sunlight. Most vodkas have clear bottles, which means that heat can easily penetrate, and hence, can speed up evaporation, specifically if the bottle has already been opened. You can also consider wrapping the bottles in cloth with dark color to protect it from light.
Lastly, refrain from opening a bottle of vodka if you know that you do not need it. Buying in smaller quantity or sizes is better. Once it has already been opened, this will make it prone to spoilage, although it will still take many years before it can completely go bad.
If you store your vodka correctly, you can easily make delicious cocktails that will surely be loved by everyone. Here is one video that shows some of the recipes that you can give a shot:
Now, I hope that the discussions above have enlightened you. Does vodka go bad? What happens if it has spoiled? What is the best way of storing vodka? If in case you need to be reminded, here are some of the most important things that we have discussed above:
- Vodka, when left unopened, will have an indefinite shelf life. On the other hand, when it is already opened, there is a possibility that it will go bad, but it will take years before this happens.
- When vodka has gone bad, evaporation will most likely happen. Also, the level of alcohol can drop below 25%. The latter will make it prone to bacterial growth and yeast infestation. The color, taste, and smell will also most likely go bad as the quality of vodka deteriorates.
- To keep the drink at its best quality even after a long time, make sure to keep it in a cool and dry place that has consistent temperature. It should be away from direct sunlight. Do not open the bottle unless you are ready to drink it.