Mixed in with Kahlua, hot chocolate, or on the rocks, Irish Cream is a delicious alcoholic beverage.
However, Irish Cream might be one of those occasional treats for you.
Therefore, you need to know how to store your Irish Cream, how long it lasts, and whether your open bottle has gone bad.
You’ve come to the right place.
Want the lowdown and fast?
Irish Cream won’t last forever, like vodka or gin, but it should last at least 2 years from when you first open it. Check for changes in smell, appearance, and taste, and bin your bottle if it’s been open for over 2 years!
How To Tell If Your Irish Cream Has Gone Bad
Because of the high alcohol content, your Irish Cream is unlikely to go bad, unless you’ve completely forgotten about it for a decade. Instead, you may find that your bottle has degraded in quality.
Check for a weird odor and any changes in texture. If those are both fine, feel free to give your Irish Cream a taste. Provided it tastes normal, you’re good to go.
One caveat to that: if your bottle has been open for over 2 years, you should throw it out to be on the safe side.
How To Store Irish Cream
Store unopened Irish Cream like other liqueurs. That means in a cool, dry pantry, away from high or changing temperatures.
If you don’t have a pantry, you can also store your unopened Irish Cream in the kitchen cabinet. Just be sure not to store it near any heat sources, like the oven or stove. Being too close to heat sources can cause the liquid to heat up and cool down, potentially damaging the seal and encouraging bacterial growth.
You can also store unopened Irish Cream in the refrigerator – if you live in a warm state, this is a good shout.
Once you’ve opened your Irish Cream, make sure you reseal it tightly and put it in the refrigerator. You need to transfer the bottle to the refrigerator at this point because it contains a dairy product.
On the rocks or in a cocktail, Irish Cream is best served chilled, so the refrigerator has this added benefit. That said, you can always pour the drink over ice for a fast chill.
For warm drinks, pour a portion’s worth of Irish Cream in an airtight container and leave to warm to room temperature for half an hour. This will avoid your hot drink from cooling when you add the Irish Cream. Don’t leave the whole bottle out at room temperature, as this will cause huge temperature fluctuations.
How Long Irish Cream Lasts
Unlike hard liquors, like vodka and gin, Irish Cream goes bad relatively quickly (for an alcoholic drink, that is). Every bottle should have a best-by date, but the drink should be good for at least 2 years after this point, as long as it’s sealed.
But remember: the longer you store your Irish Cream, the more the quality degrades.
Once your bottle is open, air will get in, so you should keep your bottle in the refrigerator and finish it within 6 months.
Beyond this 6-month mark, take caution and check if your Irish Cream has degraded in quality, according to the instructions above. Remember: once the bottle has been open for 2 years, don’t bother checking it. Just chuck it!
The Rundown On Irish Cream
Here are the key takeaways on Irish Cream:
- Worried about your Irish Cream? If it’s 2 years past its best-by date or it’s been open for over 2 years, it’s time to go. Otherwise, look for changes in smell, look, and taste (in that order).
- Unopened Irish Cream is good to be stored in a cool pantry or cupboard. Once it’s opened, your best bet is the refrigerator.
- Want top quality Irish Cream? Reseal your bottle tightly, put it in the refrigerator, and finish within 6 months.