Does gin go off?

Written by Rebecca Wellwood

If you’re anything like us and love a good gin, you likely have a plethora of bottles in your collection at home. There's definitely nothing wrong with a collection to tailor your G&T to perfection, or cater to your guest's particular preferences. Like anything, variety is the spice of life and it’s rare you will stick to just one bottle at a time and consume that forever. 

For the odd straggler lingering in the back of your liquor cabinet you may start wondering if your gin will ever spoil or expire. How long does gin last? Does it go off? How should I store my gin? Well, we have answered all your burning questions and they should hopefully put your mind at ease!

While it looks great for a photo, don't leave your gins by the window!

How long does an unopened gin last?  
Like other spirits, gin is a shelf stable product. Unopened, and stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, your gin bottle may last for a decade – or longer! If you’ve ever dabbled with colour-changing gins and left the bar cart too close to a window, you’ve definitely seen the effect that sunlight can have when a deep violet spirit turns clear, or worse, yellow!

Keeping the sun at bay, and minimising how much air, or oxygen, gets into the bottle, you’ll have plenty of time to use it before any noticeable change in appearance or flavour! 

A point worth noting is unlike wine, gin doesn’t “get better with age”. So don’t bother with keeping it aside for ageing’s sake. If your heart desires, crack open your gin now and enjoy that G&T! 

How long can you keep gin once the bottle is opened? 
Similarly, an opened gin bottle if stored in optimal conditions can last about one to two years or longer though there are some ‘buts’ (see Do’s and Don’ts below). 

Your gin won’t go “off” like traditional non-alcoholic drinks; it just may not taste as good or over long periods of time. Some of the alcohol may have evaporated and so the ABV may be lower, depending on storage conditions. 

Do's and Don'ts

How and where should you store gin?  
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to store a bottle of gin for a longer period of time with the least disintegration of quality: 

✔ Do seal the bottle tightly 

✖ Don't leave the bottle open or with a pourer attached as an unsealed bottle may reduce the ABV of the gin and faster oxidation occurs 

✔ Do store upright 

✖ Don't store on its side if it has a cork stopper – like with wine, they interact with the alcohol over time and dissolve 

✔ Do keep in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight 

✖ Don't leave near direct or indirect heat such as that from sunlight, radiators or stoves. Oxidation occurs faster and degrade the quality of the botanicals

✔ Do consider pouring the remaining gin into a smaller sized bottle or in the fridge if you have less than half left

✖ Don't leave small amounts of gin on the shelf - the emptier the bottle, the faster oxidation occurs 

✔ Do store gin in the freezer in warmer temperatures. This can be the only cool dry place to store gin in tropical areas or summer/spring months, plus chilled gin is perfect for instant cocktails! 

Note: While gin can last a while, some types such as gin liqueurs or some flavoured gins may have natural ingredients added that degrade much quicker. 

How can I tell if my gin has gone off? 
We doubt you’ll have your Garden Street Gin bottles long enough to go off! But … just to make sure you can tell easily if it will be enjoyable to drink. Have a look and sniff. Does it smell strange compared to what you remember it smelling like new or what it should likely smell like? Are there particles floating inside the liquid? 

No one wants bad gin. You deserve better too! Buy a new bottle if you suspect it’s degraded too much to enjoy. Here at Garden Street Gin Club you can subscribe to our monthly boxes and leave us anytime or buy one-off bottles or gift packs

Can you keep gin in the freezer? 
The freezer is a great place to store gin, and here’s why: 
• It's dark 
• It’s cold 
• Gin doesn’t freeze at the temperature most household freezers are set to
• It's perfectly chilled for martinis, G&Ts and more! 

You’ll probably find in most household freezers you need to lay the bottles on their sides – which is ok! However, gin bottles with cork lids as mentioned above, shouldn’t be stored horizontally as the alcohol causes the cork to dissolve over time and will spoil the look and taste of your gin.  

We hope the information and these tips help you get the most out of your gin. Plus, we have plenty more gin topics on our blog to help you wade through any other burning questions you might have!  

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