Vodka is a popular spirit all over the world. If you favor the one or two premium vodka bottles you have at home, you’re among the masses who prefer this drink over other liquors.
When those bottles have been untouched for months or years, however, you might be wary about drinking them. You’re left wondering whether vodka can go bad. I looked into it and here’s what I found!
Does Vodka Go Bad?
Vodka is made with stable chemical components that prevent it from going bad but it may lose its flavor, alcohol content, and overall quality over time. However, when packaged and stored correctly, vodka can last for decades in excellent condition.
If you want to know what storage conditions, brands, and flavors affect vodka’s integrity and longevity, keep on reading!
Does Vodka Go Bad When Opened?
Opened vodka can last for at least two decades. Since the seal becomes weaker after its initial removal, the vodka becomes subject to rapid oxidation and evaporation.
Oxidation makes vodka lose its flavor and alcohol content, but this process takes several years before it becomes noticeable.
Having a glass of vodka from a bottle that was opened ten to twenty years ago is generally safe, and it could still be flavorful.
Does Vodka Go Bad If Left Open?
Vodka can evaporate even through a corked lid, and it will do so faster when left open. This affects its flavor, and after a year or so, it could taste awful.
Additionally, your vodka could become weaker, and its proof could go down from 80 to 25 or lower.
Low proof increases the likelihood of yeast and bacteria breeding in the bottle and affecting your vodka. While rare, vodka that has survived in these conditions could induce food poisoning.
Does Vodka Go Bad If Opened And Not Refrigerated?
Vodka that has been opened and left sitting in a cabinet won’t go bad. Even when you leave it there for several years, you may find that it still tastes exactly the same.
In fact, hard liquors like vodka are often not refrigerated. Their high alcohol content suffices to preserve their quality, even after they have been opened.
Does Unopened Vodka Go Bad?
Unopened vodka can retain its integrity for decades, and it could take about a hundred years before it’s considered expired due to oxidation.
With regards to safety, you can consume it worry-free, but there’s no guarantee you’ll like it if you wait four to five decades to drink it.
Does Vodka Go Bad In Heat?
On rare occasions, heat can make vodka go bad. The higher the temperature, the faster the vodka will weaken and lose its integrity.
Heat causes vodka’s alcohol content to evaporate, and without alcohol, harmful microorganisms can breed in the liquid or in the container.
Vodka heated or kept in temperatures higher than 61°F has a shelf life of about three years. The same goes for vodka with continuous sun exposure.
Does Vodka Go Bad In Room Temperature?
Room temperature is anywhere between 68–72°F. While Vodka won’t go bad immediately, leaving it at room temperature for years will degrade its quality.
If the average temperature in your home or storage is between 41-61°F, then the vodka can easily last for about thirty years.
Does Vodka Go Bad In The Freezer?
Vodka won’t go bad in the freezer, but radical changes to its flavor could happen.
The chill would also obscure the flavor and scents of high-quality vodka kept in the freezer, thereby making it less pleasurable to drink.
Does Vodka Go Bad In The Fridge?
Vodka kept in the refrigerator won’t go bad, and the temperature is also unlikely to affect its scent, flavor, and overall quality the way a freezer does.
That said, keeping vodka in the fridge has no benefit for its quality and shelf-life.
Does Vodka Go Bad In Plastic Bottles?
Vodka stored in plastic bottles will have a shorter shelf life, but it won’t go bad. It would take around three full years for it to begin losing its best traits due to oxidation.
Does Vodka Go Bad If Left In A Hot Car?
Vodka left in a hot car for a short period won’t go bad, even if it has been opened.
Exposure to high temperatures would speed up the evaporation and impact its alcohol content and flavor, but not in a matter of hours or days.
It would generally take around three years for its integrity to be compromised enough that it becomes unsafe and unpalatable.
Does Vodka Go Bad With Age?
Kept in the right conditions, vodka won’t go bad with age. Vodka that is fifty years old or more would be less powerful and flavorful, but drinking it won’t make you sick.
Factors like exposure to direct sunlight, packaging, and flavoring could affect how vodka tastes through the years and whether it could be unsafe to drink.
Deciding whether or not old vodka has gone bad requires a bit of investigation regarding its storage and infusions.
How Do You Know When Vodka Is bad?
Often, the worst-case scenario is that vodka loses its flavor and strength. It simply doesn’t have the same traits as when you first opened it.
However, when poor storage and packaging enter the picture, vodka has tell-tale signs of going bad.
This includes off-putting odors and scents, and any contaminant floating in the liquid. Odd growths and discolorations to the container should also be considered.
Does Flavored Vodka Ever Go Bad?
While flavored vodka could lose its aromatic flavors over time, the plain vodka left behind won’t go bad.
Brands include expiration dates on flavored vodka as this helps customers enjoy the added flavors for a limited period after the bottle has been opened.
Expiration depends on the brand, but generally, flavored vodka can retain its taste and consistency for two years after purchase.
If your vodka doesn’t have an expiration date, checking its alcohol by volume (ABV) will help. Vodka with higher proof or alcohol content lasts longer.
Vodka with a proof of 80 is considered “full-proof” and doesn’t expire due to its 40 percent alcohol by volume content. This prevents the spirit from spoiling.
Keeping it in ideal storage conditions is critical in maximizing its shelf life. After that, the vodka could be “bad” depending on your preferences in taste and scent.
Does Pineapple Infused Vodka Go Bad?
Pineapple infused vodka won’t go bad, but it does require cool and airtight storage for the pineapple flavor to last.
Alcohol will prevent the pineapple and other fruits from going bad while they’re mixed with vodka.
To be sure, check the ABV of the vodka used. Vodka with higher alcohol content makes for a longer-lasting infusion, and it will remain safe even after the fruity flavors are gone.
Does Candy Infused Vodka Go Bad?
Candy infused vodka won’t go bad, provided that your vodka has a proof of 80. Even with a lower ABV, it could last for a long time.
Moreover, since candies have lots of sugar, they also provide an additional preservative to the drink.
Does Vanilla Vodka Go Bad?
Vanilla Vodka may lose its flavor much faster than plain vodka, but it won’t go bad. The additives of vanilla vodka simply cause it to oxidize faster.
It’s best to consume vanilla vodka within two to three months of opening in order to enjoy its flavor. At about six months, vanilla vodka could go bland depending on storage conditions.
Does Absolut Vodka Go Bad?
According to Absolut, their vodka can last for several years given the right conditions. Their flavored vodka, however, won’t last as long.
They recommend that their flavored vodka be consumed within two years for an optimal drinking experience.
Does Deep Eddy Vodka Go Bad?
Deep Eddy Vodka does go bad, primarily because it uses natural instead of synthetic ingredients.
Deep Eddy recommends that customers consume their products within one year.
Does Smirnoff Vodka Expire?
Smirnoff vodka doesn’t expire. The bottles have no expiration dates, just the brew dates and the alcohol content. Like most other vodkas, a properly stored Smirnoff can last indefinitely.
Vodka’s high alcohol content prevents it from going bad, with most vodkas having a proof of 80, which is equivalent to 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).
Over time, vodka will lose its flavor and quality, which would make it less pleasurable to drink. Technically, however, it doesn’t expire.
When kept in a cool, dry place, even opened vodka will still taste good after two to three decades. To enjoy it, however, it’s best to consume it within a couple of years from opening.