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Storing alcohol

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've never cared for any kind of alcohol I've tasted until I started culinary school, and had some strawberry shortcakes made with Grand Mariner. So far, it's still the only stuff I can tolerate (okay, adore) the taste of, and I've been looking into getting a bottle to experiment with at home.

 

I've already seen how expensive the stuff is, and so I was looking into getting one of the 750s I found for $30 (I think that's a good price?), but given that most home-scaled formulas call for 10-15mL, and I won't be drinking it, I know I'll have it on hand for a good long while. This presents a problem, as I know next to nothing about how to store it; does it need to be refrigerated after opening? How long will it keep after opening?

 

Any general advice or things that an ignorant alcohater should know?

 

Thanks!

"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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post #2 of 13

Use the stopper that comes on the bottle.  It will keep for years.  No refrigeration necessary.

 

L'Chiam,

BDL

post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Use the stopper that comes on the bottle.  It will keep for years.  No refrigeration necessary.

 

L'Chiam,

BDL


I second this, hard alcohols are not like wine, you can open them and use them whenever.  I have a bottle of GM that is about 3 years old.

post #4 of 13

Alcohol is a preservative - as others have said liquor can keep for a long time.

 

Some years ago we hosted a couple of high school kids from Croatia or some

such place.  They provided us with some gifts one of which was a small plastic

bottle of their father's fruit brandy.  It was not my favorite, though I did take a nip

now and again.  More of it was lost to evaporation through the plastic than actually

consumed.  Glass makes a much better container for the stuff.

 

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 13

I had a bottle of Basil Hayden last me 1.5 years stored in the cabinet above my microwave and it was just fine. I don't drink hard alcohol that often...unless it is Glenfiddich.

post #6 of 13

Find an airline bottle of it. At 50ml per bottle, you'll still get multiple uses out of it.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #7 of 13

I'm not quite sure what an airline bottle is, Greg, unless you're referring to miniatures?

 

But virtually all liquors, and most spirits, are available in smaller bottles, ranging from 50ml miniatures (the most expensive way to go) to half-pints, pints, etc., or their metric equivilents.

 

Grand Marnier, for instance, is available in a 375ml mid-sized bottle. And there's a smaller one than that before you hit the miniature size. So, while it's true that a properly sealed bottle lasts two days longer than forever, there's no need to make a massive investment in something that will sit around for years.

 

Most of the time the smaller sizes are kept behind the counter, rather than on the shelves with the big bottles. So, if you can't find them, just ask the clerk.

 

BTW, Magic Cake Lady, if you like the Grand Marnier you might experiment with other orange-flavored liquors, many of which are considerably less expensive. The major difference is that GM is cognac based, which is why it's so costly.

 

You might consider, too, as you discovered with the Grand Marnier, that the flavors spirits bring to cooking are not the same as when you drink it. I'm sure if you give them a fair chance you'll discover many other applications, both sweet and savory, that appeal to you.


Edited by KYHeirloomer - 5/15/10 at 2:55pm
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

I'm not quite sure what an airline bottle is, Greg, unless you're referring to miniatures?


Here in Utah they were called mini-bottles.  The often strange and illogical liquor laws in Utah were written by people who do not drink.  It used to be that in a restaurant you couldn't order a mixed drink.  You would order a setup and a mini-bottle and mix it yourself at the table.  Of course, the legislature didn't realize that a mini-bottle contains nearly twice as much alcohol as a mixed drink with a 1 oz. pour.  Go figger.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #9 of 13

Grand Marinier will keep forever. as will most spirits.  Keep your vodka in the freezer - doesn't freeze, tastes all the better for it.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all the feedback, everyone! I feel a lot better about this purchase now, but I do think that, as KYHeirloomer said, I'll go with a smaller bottle like a 200 or 375. I really appreciate all your input!

"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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post #11 of 13

Funny episode with those mini-bottles...

 

My son, who partied his way through the University of Iowa some years ago, went with six or eight fraternity brothers to a weekend in Chicago. They stayed at a hotel on north Michigan Avenue, and, getting ready to check out, noticed that the suite's mini-bar refrigerator was... empty.

 

Consulting the inventory sheet/ price list, they calculated that they owed the hotel about $400.

 

My son, the highly-qualified Social Secretary of his fraternity, remembered there was a Walgreen pharmacy a couple doors up the street. He took the inventory list there and found an extensive stock of the mini-bottles as part of a well-supplied liquor department. He completely restocked the mini-bar for about $45, smuggled the shopping bag upstairs,  filled the 'fridge, and everybody went home happy. 

 

Mike

travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #12 of 13

Geez Mike, that sure is a huge mark up in price.  That's absurd.  Good thinking on his behalf.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #13 of 13

"...Mike, that sure is a huge mark up in price."

 

Well... yes.  That's what those mini-bars are all about. 

 

I always bring my own booze to hotels.

 

Mike

travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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