Made primarily from juniper berries and usually mixed with tonic water, gin is one of the most popular spirits and is often used as a component in cocktails.
Since gin is frequently stored in fancy bottles, you might be wondering whether gin goes off. In short, you’ll be pleased to hear that, thankfully, gin has a long shelf life and rarely goes off.
That being said, gin should be stored in the right conditions. Below, you’ll find a full guide on how best to keep your gin.
How To Tell If Your Gin Has Gone Off
As mentioned, the chances of gin going bad are pretty slim. It is most likely to go bad if kept in a place too warm, if the seal has broken, or if it has oxidized. To tell if it’s bad, simply give it a sniff.
If it smells strange, your best bet is to pour it away. Also, if you see any particles floating around the liquid, this means it most likely has gone off.
How Long Does Gin Last?
The shelf life of an unopened bottle of gin can last several years—and possibly longer! As long as the seal or bottle hasn’t broken, exposing it to air, your gin will taste just fine when you do open it.
Bear in mind that gin is not like some wine in that the taste does not improve with age.
Once opened, the oxidation process begins, meaning the taste will degrade over time. However, the shelf life extends for a while — it is recommended that you try to finish the bottle within a year. After a year, although it won’t have gone bad, the taste will have changed — and certainly not for the better.
How To Store Gin
If the gin bottle has a cork, ideally, you don’t want to store it lying down as the alcohol may cause the cork to dissolve slightly into the gin.
You want to avoid this, as corked gin will not taste pleasant! If the bottle has a lid, ensure it is sealed tight to keep any gin from evaporating or being exposed to air.
To get the most out of your drinking experience, store it in a cold, dark place like your refrigerator. You can keep it in the freezer if you have space.
It gets better! You won’t be at risk of dealing with an exploded bottle because, due to its high alcohol volume level—usually at least 37.5%—gin will not turn to ice when frozen.
If you don’t have room in your fridge or freezer and want to display that fancy bottle your gin is being kept in, you can store it elsewhere, so long as it is placed in a cool, dark cupboard or shelf out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.
When it comes to an opened bottle, always make sure the lid is screwed tight shut and, like with an unopened bottle, is kept in a cool, dark place.
Want a tip to help you slow down the oxidation process? If you have a half-drunk bottle, pour the gin into a smaller bottle to decrease oxidation by leaving it less exposed to air.
How To Serve Gin
Gin served cold is refreshing – the texture is much silkier, and the general experience is more pleasant. In other words, the colder the gin is, the better the flavor. You can do a couple of things to get your gin to an icy temperature other than storing it in your fridge or freezer. For example:
- Pour your gin into a chilled glass.
- Add lots of ice cubes. Most people tend to think a lot of ice cubes dilute the gin more, as opposed to using less ice, but this is actually a myth. In fact, more ice in your drink keeps it colder for longer, and so the melting process is therefore hindered, meaning your gin is less likely to get diluted.
The main thing you need to avoid when drinking gin is serving it at room temperature. Warm gin does not taste good, so it’s best to ensure you have ice cubes at the ready if you know you’ll be drinking gin soon.
Lastly, add the tonic water and a fresh lime segment—or slice of cucumber—and your ice-cold gin is ready for consumption!
The Round-Up On Gin
Due to the high alcohol content, gin’s shelf life is basically indefinite. However, that doesn’t mean you should keep your gin indefinitely – especially if it’s open already.
That’s because your gin will oxidize over time, slowly degrading your gin’s flavor.
The good news is that this article provides a whole range of methods to slow this process. Scroll up if you missed any of that!