Although you may have gone through a whole bottle in a couple of nights at university, you’re here now because you’ve found a half-empty bottle of vodka in your cupboard, and you’re wondering:
“Does vodka go bad? How are you meant to store it anyway?”
Here’s the good news: vodka is one of the most durable alcoholic drinks that can remain drinkable indefinitely.
But this is only true if it is kept in a sealed bottle, away from direct sunlight and in a cool, dry place.
How To Tell If Your Vodka Has Gone Bad
Unless you drink it off, it can be quite hard to tell if your vodka has gone off but remember: alcohol evaporates faster than water, which means the alcohol will become weaker as the days go by.
Since vodka is odorless, if it develops a smell, then you are better off getting rid of it, especially if it wasn’t stored in the right storage conditions.
More on that in a minute.
How Long Does Vodka Last?
Vodka can keep for many decades (basically forever) if left unopened or for 5+ years if kept in good condition. That’s because a sealed bottle does not allow air in, meaning oxidation won’t cause a change in taste.
In contrast, an opened bottle will not be fully airtight, meaning some air can get into your bottle of vodka. You’ll notice changes in color, smell, and taste if this oxidation has occurred.
The best way to avoid oxidation? Reseal your bottle of vodka tightly.
How To Store Opened & Unopened Vodka
Store vodka as you would any other hard liquor.
Hint: that means a cool, dry, dark place away from heat and light sources. Think pantry or, failing that, a kitchen cabinet that’s not near the oven or stove.
You should keep alcohol away from direct sunlight so that the UV rays don’t cause oxidation – UV rays speed up the oxidation process.
Summary On Vodka
Vodka has a long shelf life if kept in the right conditions, is not exposed to direct sunlight or direct heat, and is in a sealed container.
When the bottle has been opened, keep it away from direct sunlight, store it in a cool dark place, and make sure the bottle is tightly sealed to reduce oxidation.
Remember: alcohol evaporates faster than water, meaning the alcohol will become weaker over the years if it is constantly exposed to air.
Vodka Recipes To Try
- Bloody Mary – vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and ice.
- Moscow Mule – vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and ice
- White Russian – Vodka, coffee liqueur, cream, and ice.
- Sex on the Beach – Vodka, cranberry juice, peach schnapps, orange juice, and ice.