ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Help with my liquor collection
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help with my liquor collection

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I have several open bottles of liquor that are require occassional dusting.  I'm not a drinker, I use wine and liquor for cooking and hubby indulges every once in a while.  Is there anything that spoils or needs to be thrown out after some time?  Here's a list of opened bottles in my cabinet:

 

-vodka (all kinds)

-raki

-vermouth

-creme de cassis

-whiskey (all kinds)

-grand marnier

-kahlua

-baileys irish cream

-sherry

-seagram's 7 crown

-red wine (opened)

-Commandaria dessert wine

 

I just saw that the bottle of sherry says "store in the refrigerator" in big letters oooops, but there's no expiration date so....???  Any hints on how to store properly and when to throw out are appreciated.

 

Also, is there anything missing that I should have?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #2 of 10

The red wine is probably no good by now. Depending on the exact varietal, appellation, etc., I don't recommend drinking red wine that has been open for more than a few days. Not that it is bad for you, but it can become extremely oxidized and taste terrible. If you must keep red wine opened for more than a few days, get a vacuum sealer like a Vacu-Vin to seal it. It will keep air out and keep the wine fresher for longer, but still won't help it last more than 10 days or so.

 

Most of the other "hard liquors" should be fine.

 

And as far as your collection, you have more than I have. My typical cooking alcohols are red and white wine, port, madeira, and cognac.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
post #3 of 10

Here is a guideline for the shelf life of different types of alcohol that I have found:

 

Cream based liquors- these types of liquors can curdle from the heat, so normally do not last very long after being opened. You should always check to see if your Bailey's has curdled before drinking it and usually you should toss it out a few months after being opened and unused.

Bourbon- Since it has so much alcohol in it, normally you can keep it for years even if it has been opened. Normally the spirits that are pure alcohol can all stay in your cabinet for many years without going bad.

Rum, Scotch, Whiskey, and Vodka- These all have a long shelf life because of the high alcohol content in them. They will be even better if they are left unopened, but normally you can keep these for a few years once opened.

Wine- Once wine is opened; it is best to keep it for at most a week. Wine ages gracefully, however not once it is opened. It will have a very stale taste once it hits the one week mark, so it is best to toss it then.

 

A thing to always keep in mind is that the liquor with the higher alcohol content will have a longer shelf life because it doesn't have a lot of other ingredients that will cause it to go bad such as grapes, sugar, hops and cream. So the type of alcohol will determine whether or not it will go bad overtime once it has been opened. However, you should always remember the best way to keep your alcohol from going bad is to store it in a cool and stable place. Instead of moving your bottles around, keep them confined to one place and make sure they are not directly in the light. 

 

Finally, one item I keep in my cabinet for cooking is Calvados Apple Brandy.

post #4 of 10

Suggest you ship everything to me, I'll "test it", and return any I deem suitable for your pantry. As a courtesy to a fellow ChefTalk member, there will not be a charge for my services, though YOU will have to pay for the shipping both ways (the return shipping is expected to be FAR less than the initial shipping)

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Haha, funny.

 

I was thinking of getting a marsala wine and a medeira - how well do these keep?  The apple brandy sounds good too.  Maybe some frangelico.  Thanks Iroqois, very helpful guidelines.

 

Port - that's definitely missing!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #6 of 10

Madeira, Marasala, Sherry, Port are all "fortified" wines.  They keep better than regular wines -- which can actually sort of fortify themselves in a process carlled madeirizing -- but they will not keep forever.  Figure six months tops, after opening.  Same thing for Vermouth, Lillet, etc.  The spoilage process usually involves oxidation, and the lighter colored wines will noticeably darken as they turn bad.

 

Not to repeat Iroqois, but...

 

Bourbon is no different from other hard liquors.  All will keep indefinitely if tightly sealed after opening. This includes anything 60* or stronger, even ouzo, raki, etc.  Your bottle of "7" is safe. 

 

Sweet and/or herbaceous, medium-proof liqueurs like Franglico, Grand Marnier, Tuaca, Sour Apple Schnapps (yuck), Campari, etc., will keep almost as long.  Years.  Dust off the bottles and put them back.

 

Cream liqueurs, like the Irish creams, cream limoncello, etc., won't keep as long.  I can't give you a time frame on account of ignorance, but six months is reasonable.

 

If it goes bad it will smell and taste bad.  If unsure, about any of these things, assume the hard liquor is good.  For the others, if you like the taste, taste and be sure.  If you're still unsure after a little sniff and taste -- throw it out.  It's not worth worrying about.  If you're unsure about something you don't like anwyay, get your husband to test it. 

 

BDL

post #7 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Madeira, Marasala, Sherry, Port are all "fortified" wines.  They keep better than regular wines -- which can actually sort of fortify themselves in a process carlled madeirizing -- but they will not keep forever.  Figure six months tops, after opening.  Same thing for Vermouth, Lillet, etc.  The spoilage process usually involves oxidation, and the lighter colored wines will noticeably darken as they turn bad.

 

Do you know if it's ok to use those "bad" wines for cooking, or will they not perform as well either, even when cooking them? I had no idea those wines were spoiling after 6 months, and I have some bottles that are more than a few years old... Still taste fine to me, but maybe they don't have the depth of flavor they originally had?

post #8 of 10

If they taste fine, they are fine.  But after they've been sitting around opened long enough make sure to taste before using.   

 

BDL

post #9 of 10

Great. Thanks BDL. Some of them taste just fine, as for some others... I'm not entirely sure how they're supposed to taste anymore. Lack of practice I guess.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post


 

 

Do you know if it's ok to use those "bad" wines for cooking, or will they not perform as well either, even when cooking them? I had no idea those wines were spoiling after 6 months, and I have some bottles that are more than a few years old... Still taste fine to me, but maybe they don't have the depth of flavor they originally had?



The general rule in using wine when cooking is don't use something you wouldn't drink. This is also true when dealing with potentially oxidized or stale wine. If you wouldn't drink it, why would you cook with it?

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Help with my liquor collection