Does Sake Go Bad?

Does sake go bad or not? How do you tell if sake has gone bad and how long can it usually last? Here's a simple guide with all the answers.

Sake is a Japanese wine made from fermented rice. Maybe you have some sake collecting dust where you usually keep your liquor. You might be thinking to yourself: Has my sake gone bad? How long does it last?

Here’s what you need to know about sake’s shelf-life. If the bottle remains unopened, sake can last two years. However, when you open it up to enjoy it, you’ll want to finish the same day for the best quality. If that’s not possible, it should still be okay for 2-4 weeks in the fridge.

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How To Tell If Sake Has Gone Bad

pouring sake into glass

These are the signs you should look out for if you think your sake may have spoiled:

  • Color: Sake is generally clear, so when it has a yellow tint, this means that oxidation has taken place. The oxidation process has probably done some damage to the alcohol, causing the color change. Toss it out if this is the case.
  • Appearance: If you see any particles in the sake, it has probably a sign it has gone bad. These particles may be floating or on the bottom of the bottle.
  • Smell: The sake will give a rotten and pungent smell once it spoils. If it does, discard it.
  • Taste: Once you’ve checked all the other signs and it seems okay. Drink a small amount to check the flavor. If it has an off taste, toss it out.

How To Store Sake

four sake bottles

Sake should be stored the same way you store wine. An unopened bottle should be stored in a cool and dark place, away from sunlight and heat sources. Room temperature is great for your sake.

On the other hand, unpasteurized sake should be stored in the fridge.

Similar to wine, once you’ve opened the bottle of sake, keep it in the fridge and tightly sealed.

The Shelf-Life Of Sake

sake cheers

Sake usually doesn’t come with a best-by date because it isn’t required in its area of production. So you might be completely confused about how long your sake will last.

Sake isn’t meant to be aged, unlike other types of alcohol. It should be consumed as fresh as possible to ensure the best quality. You should drink it within a year or 2 of buying it. This is because sake degrades in quality the longer you store it.

When you open your sake bottle, things will be different. To get the best quality, drink it within one day. If that’s not possible, you can keep it in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.

Unpasteurized sake can last in the fridge for six months, whereas opened, unpasteurized sake lasts 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

The Bottom-Line

If you’re unfamiliar with sake and would like to know more, here are a few facts to get you better acquainted.

Regarding its shelf-life, sake is not a long-lasting alcoholic drink. It’s meant to be enjoyed quickly and within one day of opening it. If you’re planning on keeping it a little longer, chuck it in the fridge for a few weeks.

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Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.