Great on its own or as a mixer, cranberry juice is a tasty, albeit bitter, fruit juice. If you have a partially used bottle in your fridge, you may find yourself wondering, “Will this juice go bad?”
If you find yourself in this situation, it is good to know how to check for signs of spoilage.
Here’s the deal: Made from fruit and high in sugar content, cranberry juice will go bad. By ensuring storage in ideal conditions, you can extend the life of cranberry juice, but its time in your kitchen will not be a long one.
Benefits Of Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is made from fruit, so it has to be healthy, right? Cranberry juice is packed with nutrients and can boost health in a variety of ways.
Nutrients in cranberry juice include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, and copper. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that can boost your immune system and promotes good health.
Cranberry juice can also help ward off infections and prevents inflammation. Improved digestive health is another benefit of cranberry juice, given its anti-inflammatory properties.
When looking for cranberry juice, it is best to look for one with less added sugar and sweeteners. This will ensure you are getting not only a tasty beverage but all of the added nutritional benefits as well.
Shelf Life Of Cranberry Juice
Bottles of cranberry juice are typically kept at the grocery store at room temperature and can be kept this way until opening.
There will be a “best by” date included on the packaging of cranberry juice. This is a good recommendation, though when stored properly, cranberry juice can be kept for months past the recommended date.
Bottled cranberry juice is typically pasteurized and tightly sealed, so it has a long shelf life when remaining unopened and stored in ideal conditions. Though it may lose some of its flavor and quality after the recommended “best by” date, it will likely be perfectly safe to consume.
Once opened, however, the clock begins ticking on the shelf life for your cranberry juice. When opened, a bottle of cranberry juice will only be good for 2 to 3 weeks, even when stored properly.
Proper Storage Of Cranberry Juice
To ensure your cranberry juice remains good for as long as possible, it should be kept in ideal storage conditions. Unopened cranberry juice can be kept at room temperature and stored in a cool, dark location. A pantry or cabinet is ideal. The cranberry juice should be kept away from any sources of light or heat.
Once opened, cranberry juice cannot be kept at room temperature and should be refrigerated. It should always be sealed tightly after use.
If you do not think you can drink an entire bottle in 2 to 3 weeks, you can freeze cranberry juice to prolong its life. Although this may change some of its flavor quality, it will keep your juice good for longer.
To freeze cranberry juice, you can pour it into ice cube trays or even make it into popsicles. Keeping it in the bottle can risk the juice expanding too much and cracking the bottle, causing a mess in your freezer.
Has This Cranberry Juice Gone Bad?
Cranberry juice does go bad, but how can you tell? Some signs of spoilage can be found in taste, appearance, and smell. If it has been a few weeks since you opened the bottle and you are unsure of its quality, you will need to check for any appearances of it having gone bad.
If the color of the cranberry juice has changed drastically or if anything seems off, you will probably want to throw it out. Any visible signs of spoilage, such as mold, means it should absolutely be thrown out.
Cranberry juice can also ferment, which is another way cranberry juice can go bad. Signs of fermentation include small bubbles in the juice, an expansion or bulging of the bottle, or a sharp, sour scent.
If there is a sour smell (stronger than typically cranberry juice), it may be a sign of fermentation or having gone bad. This smell can be comparable to the smell of wine or vinegar and means the cranberry juice should not be consumed.
If the cranberry juice’s appearance and scent are normal, but it has been several weeks since you opened it, you may want to take a small sip before pouring a whole glass. If the flavor seems fine and is still palatable, it should be fine to drink.
When cranberry juice has passed its shelf life, it may begin to lose some of its flavor or quality but will probably be perfectly fine to drink.
Bottom Line: Trust your gut. If something seems really off about the cranberry juice, it is best to throw it out and not risk it.
- Cranberry juice, like all juices, will go bad.
- Stored unopened and in ideal conditions, cranberry juice will remain good for many months.
- Once opened, cranberry juice will be good for 2 to 3 weeks, though it can be consumed after, as long as there are no signs of spoilage.
- You can tell if cranberry juice has gone bad if there is a sour smell, a change in appearance, or a bad flavor.
Cranberry juice is a delicious and healthy beverage, but you will want to ensure it has not gone bad before indulging.