If you have ever had a bottle of whiskey go bad, then you know that this can be an expensive mistake.
While most people think that liquor goes bad because of heat, humidity, or other environmental factors, it might actually be due to poor storage.
Here’s what you need to know about how liquor can go bad so you don’t make the same mistake again.
Does liquor go bad?
Liquor doesn’t really “go bad.”
It becomes spoiled through oxidation, which happens when oxygen reacts with certain chemicals.
The process of oxidation is called rancidity, and it causes the alcohol to turn into vinegar-like compounds.
There are two types of oxidation: autoxidation and alloxanization.
Autoxidation occurs naturally over time, but alloxanization often happens as a result of improper storage conditions.
Here are some examples of how liquor can go bad from improper storage:
- High temperatures
- Humid and damp areas
- Light exposure
- Poor ventilation
- Unclean containers
When liquor is exposed to any one of these things, it will begin to oxidize and spoil.
Once the liquor starts to smell like vinegar, it’s best to throw it out.
How long does liquor last?
Liquor has a shelf life of between three to five years when stored correctly.
This means that if you buy a bottle of liquor at a store, you should be able to drink it within that time frame without any issues.
However, if you are storing your liquor improperly, it could go bad much sooner than expected.
When purchasing liquor, you will want to look for a seal that indicates whether the product was sealed by the manufacturer.
Look for the “sealed” logo on the bottle, which means that the product was sealed before being sold to the public.
The seal should stay intact until the expiration date on the label.
Then, once the product reaches its expiration date, it can no longer be used safely.
When you purchase liquor from a store, you may notice that some bottles are cheaper than others.
You can usually determine the price difference by looking at the bottom of the bottle.
The cheapest liquor will have a sticker with the word “unbranded” underneath.
This is because they are made by companies like Diageo or Pernod Ricard, who do not put their own brand name on their products.
These brands are known as “unbranded” because they sell to anyone who wants to buy them.
How to use unbranded liquor
Unbranded liquor can be very good quality, but you should still treat it like any other liquor.
Since it is not branded, you cannot really take it out of the bottle and pour it into a glass.
Instead, you must pour it into another container that you plan to drink from.
This way, you can control how much you drink and make sure that you do not overdo it.
Also, since there is no label on the bottle, you will not know exactly what type of alcohol it contains.
Some types of liquor contain more sugar than others, so you must check the ingredients list on the back of the label to find out.
What causes liquor to go bad?
Liquor can go bad for several reasons.
The first reason is because it was exposed to too much heat or humidity.
For example, if your liquor is sitting out on the counter at room temperature or in a hot car, it can start to spoil.
This is especially true if it is stored in a glass bottle with a cork stopper.
Corked bottles are more susceptible to heat damage than bottles with screw caps or corks that fit tightly into the bottle opening.
Another cause of liquor going bad is exposure to moisture.
If your liquor has been stored in a humid location like a basement or closet, it can start to ferment.
The third reason is contamination.
If your liquor contains any foreign objects such as dirt, dust, or insects, they can contaminate it.
Finally, some types of liquor can go bad even when you store them correctly.
For instance, bourbon may start to sour after a few months if the barrel from which it came was previously used to age wine.
How can you tell if liquor has gone bad?
Liquor can go bad for a number of reasons, but one of the main causes is improper storage.
The best way to store your liquor is in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.
When storing liquor, keep it in its original container (if possible) and avoid shaking bottles.
You should also try to keep it out of reach of children and pets as well.
If you want to keep your liquor longer than two years, then you should consider purchasing a good quality airtight sealable container.
This will protect the liquor from light and oxygen which can cause it to go stale quickly.
Keep all containers tightly closed when they are not in use.
When you open them, put them back together with the cap on tight to prevent any leakage.
Also, never leave liquor unattended while it is open.
The best way to tell if liquor has gone bad is by tasting it.
If it has a strong odor that smells like vinegar or mold, then it probably has gone bad.
If it tastes sour, then it may have developed bacteria or yeast over time.
Is it safe to drink bad liquor?
Liquor can go bad for many reasons, but the most common reason is improper storage.
This includes storing your liquor in direct sunlight, in a hot place, or in a damp area.
A lot of people also think that a bottle of liquor will spoil if they open it too soon after purchase.
However, it is true that opening a new bottle of liquor right away can cause it to go bad faster than if it was stored properly.
But there are some ways to avoid this issue.
Keep in mind that any time you store something, you should use proper care.
For example, when you buy a bottle of liquor, make sure you put it in a cool, dark location where it won’t get damaged by light.
When you do want to open a bottle of liquor, make sure you do it as soon as possible after purchasing it.
The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the alcohol will begin to degrade.
It’s also important to keep in mind that different types of liquor taste better when first opened, so you may want to try to save them until you’ve tried several bottles.
Why is it dangerous to store liquor in direct sunlight?
The sun is a big part of why liquor can go bad.
When exposed to direct sunlight, the chemicals in the alcohol break down over time and turn into harmful substances like acetaldehyde and methanol, which are both toxic.
Acetaldehyde is one of the main components of the smell of spoiled wine, while methanol is a known poison found in the gas that comes out of car exhausts.
If you’re worried about this, you can always store your liquor in the fridge.
Some liquors, such as scotch, can even be kept in the freezer for a few months without going bad.
If you have a large collection of liquor, however, it’s best to store them all together in a single container so you don’t risk ruining them all at once.
Are there any other dangers to drinking bad liquor?
There are some things you need to keep in mind when drinking a bottle of liquor that has gone bad.
First, you should never drink from a bottle that has been open for more than three years.
The reason for this is that the chemicals in the alcohol break down over time, and the longer the bottle has been open, the worse the alcohol will taste.
You should also never drink from a bottle that has been opened and resealed.
If you do, the alcohol inside could seep back into the seal and contaminate the rest of the bottle.
You should also never re-use the cap on a partially used bottle.
In fact, it’s best to throw it out entirely so you don’t accidentally consume it.
And finally, you should never pour the contents of a bottle of liquor into another container since this will only dilute the alcohol content, making it less potent.
Instead, pour it into a glass or a cup and enjoy!
What are the consequences of drinking bad liquor?
Liquor can go bad for several reasons, but one of the main ones is improper storage.
The two main things to consider when storing liquor are temperature and humidity.
If liquor is exposed to extreme temperatures or high levels of humidity, the alcohol will evaporate and the flavor will change.
This is why you should never leave your liquor on the countertop.
You should always keep it in a cool, dark place like a refrigerator or cabinet.
This will help preserve the flavor and prevent any off-flavors from developing.
While some liquors may seem fine even after they have been sitting around for months, others will quickly go bad.
This is especially true with wine and hard liquor.
It’s also important to note that the longer you keep your liquor, the more likely it is to go bad.
Keep your bottles of liquor sealed tightly and away from sunlight, excessive heat, and moisture.
How can you prevent liquor from going bad?
Liquor can go bad for several reasons.
For example, if it is exposed to high temperatures, such as those found in a car on a hot summer day, it will go bad very quickly.
This is why many liquors are sold in sealed containers with airtight lids.
Another common reason that liquor goes bad is when it is exposed to too much moisture.
This includes storing it in a damp basement, garage, or even a bathroom closet.
In these cases, the alcohol may soak into the wood of the bottle, which can cause it to rot over time.
Other ways that liquor can go bad include exposure to light, improper cleaning, and bacteria growth.
For instance, if you store it in direct sunlight, it could absorb some of the UV radiation, which is known to destroy certain types of bacteria.
Also, if you use bleach to clean bottles, the chlorine gas used to kill bacteria will also damage them.
Finally, there are some types of bacteria that thrive in dark environments, so if your liquor bottles sit in a dark place, they could grow.
What are some signs that liquor is going bad?
Liquor has a shelf life of up to two years, but there are certain things you should look out for to avoid wasting your money on something that may taste terrible.
- Sourness – The first sign that liquor is going bad is sourness. This is often caused by bacteria that grows in the alcohol itself. When the alcohol starts to break down, it releases acids into the liquor and these acids will eventually cause the liquor to become sour. Sourness is often accompanied by a metallic aftertaste as well.
- Flavor loss – Another sign that liquor is going bad is flavor loss. Flavor loss happens when the alcohol evaporates from the liquor and leaves behind only the water. As the alcohol evaporates, the remaining liquid becomes more acidic and less flavorful. Flavor loss also causes the liquor to lose its body, which makes it taste thinner.
- Aging – Aging is another sign that liquor is going bad. Aging occurs when the alcohol slowly breaks down over time. This process is slow enough that it does not affect the quality of the liquor, but it can make it taste stale and flat.
- Off-flavors – Off-flavors are just as bad as having bad liquor. They occur when the alcohol begins to break down and produce different compounds that are unpleasant to drink. Some common off-flavors in liquor include vinegar, banana, and caramel.
Is there a way to salvage bad liquor?
There are many ways to save your liquor even after it has gone bad.
The best thing you can do is store your liquor in a cool, dry place where moisture cannot get inside.
The refrigerator is a good option for storing your liquor since it keeps the temperature low enough to prevent any mold growth.
You should also avoid keeping your liquor in a dark area.
Light exposure will cause the alcohol to degrade faster than if you kept it in a dark location.
A dark room is perfect for storing wine bottles as long as they are sealed tightly.
Once you decide where to store your liquor, you need to keep it away from any harmful chemicals.
For example, if you live near a paint factory, then you should probably keep your liquor in another location since it may contain some toxic fumes.
In addition, try to remove all the air from your liquor before storing it.
This will help reduce the amount of oxygen that gets into the container.
Also, avoid leaving your liquor open to the air since it can allow more oxygen into the container.
What should you do if you suspect that liquor has gone bad?
The first thing you want to do is to check your liquor inventory.
If you find any bottles with mold on them, then you need to throw those away immediately.
You also need to discard any bottles that smell like they have spoiled, as well as any that have been opened since their expiration date.
After you’ve checked all of your inventory, you need to clean out your refrigerator and freezer.
Get rid of anything that smells bad, including food.
Next, you will need to open up every bottle and pour it into a glass jar.
This way, you can see if there are any changes in the flavor or color of the liquor.
If you notice that the liquor has changed in any way, then you need to get rid of it right away.
While you’re at it, you should also label each bottle with its name, type of alcohol, and the date of manufacture.
Once you’ve done that, you should store the bottles upright in a cool, dark place, such as a basement or closet.
You should keep these bottles in the fridge unless you plan on drinking them within six months.
You should never drink from a bottle that has mold growing inside of it.
Mold can cause serious health issues, so you should always throw out any bottles that contain mold.