Does Vodka Go Bad ?

Vodka, a spirit, gives a sense of freedom to your spirit. Call it Smirnoff and Absolut Just Hand me the Vodka and watch me get fabulous! 

Well, if you can relate to that,I am certain you are one more Vodka fan  who just can’t see its wastage and wonder if you can save it for later just saving a date! So, let’s know more today about its shelf life and ways of preserving it.

Does Vodka Go Bad?

Thank God! a bottle of vodka doesn’t go bad. Its shelf life is said to last decades. But, conditions applied.

Vodka doesn’t go bad only if it is not opened. According to experts, if the bottle is still closed then the expiration is considered to be indefinite. Whether you open it immediately after purchasing it or open it years later after storing it, it will still taste as good as new. 

Infact, sometimes, a bottle stored for years will taste way better than freshly made vodka. Vodka is in demand base liquor for bottom-up drinks and one of the most requested spirits. But if you are wondering how it remains good even after so many years of storing it, then it’s alcohol, after all.

Well, If you close it with a cork it can evaporate, and it can get mixed up with the plastics of a bottle. As a result, It can go bad once it is opened. But this process takes decades means it takes decades for a bottle of vodka to go bad. So, this gives sigh of relief, but with a curious question added in my next section

does vodka go bad

When Does Vodka Expire?

Well, luckily decades means decades! It starts losing its colour and flavour in 40 to 50 years. This happens due to contact with air which causes oxidation as it is not properly sealed. But to your surprise sometimes it can take 100 years to be declared expired but it can not last long. But I’m sure, you won’t be saving it for 100 years at least!

Furthermore, as a base spirit it doesn’t have much weight in it. A bottle of vodka tends to go bad once it’s opened, they are expected to lose its prominent flavour and quality in some years. If you see that a bottle is near its expiry date then you can always use it for a joyful moment or maybe you can sell it to save your expensive bottle of vodka from getting wasted. 

Now let’s give some credit to the researchers and find out what they have in store for vodka people, they say “less liquor in the bottle, the quicker it is to expire”, which means if most of the bottle is empty then it will get filled with more oxygen-rich air which will fasten oxidation and degradation. So, keep a record of how much vodka is left in the bottle to savour it later.

How To Tell If Vodka Is Expired?

If a bottle of vodka is expired then it will be quite obvious as it will give off a stinking odour which will be different from the usual smell of vodka, it will develop a weird flavour and it will also change its colour.  

  • If you notice any changes in your vodka like the colour, taste, or odour then you should dispose of it to avoid any kind of food poisoning. 
  • If the bottle reaches past the expiry date, the proof may dip below 25%, which increases the probability of bacteria and yeast may develop in the bottle.
  • But these things will not happen in a year or two. This process will take years and more so you should take good care of your inventory.
does vodka go bad

How  To Store The Vodka To Keep It Fresh?

If you are a fan of storing liquor or specifically vodka. Then you must find ways to store vodka without affecting its essence. So, if you want to store your vodka here are simple steps which will help keep it safe:

  • First thing to keep in mind is to keep your vodka away from light and for that you can use a cabinet or closet which is closed and light could not enter in it. 
  • Second thing to keep in mind is to keep it at a neutral temperature. Do not expose it to any type of extreme temperature and put them away from heating or cooling appliances and make sure to keep it away from water or any other liquid.
  • Third and very important thing is to seal it with its original cap and make sure you seal it properly before storing it and to avoid changing containers keep it in its actual glass bottle.

 A Protip To Extend The Self Life Of Vodka

If you store your vodka properly and follow all the precautions then it will stay fine longer than you can expect it to be, maybe 20 years or more. Don’t ever store vodka in a bottle pourer and seal it tight. 

does vodka go bad

Does Opened Vodka Go Bad?  

I know, storing it is even difficult when you can drink. But then  the answer is Yes, it tends to go bad once it’s opened, they are expected to lose its actual flavour and quality after a few years, but those years can be a decade or two so no worries you can finish it before the year end. 

Although once opened it will still take decades to change its effect as its seal will get weaker and its shelf life is considered 10 to 20 years after being opened. 

does vodka go bad

What Happens To An Unopened Vodka?

An unopened bottle of vodka tends to have a long shelf life but after a few decades, it will not exactly go bad, its effect will get weaker, and it will lose its flavor or maybe taste awful but this will happen possibly after 40 to 50 years. 

The time near a bottle is usually when it’s opened so there is not really a thing to worry about an unopened bottle but do keep a track of the date on the bottle or where you store it.

What Happens If You Drink Old Vodka?

If you drink an old vodka or an expired vodka then it will not exactly make you sick.

  • If you drink an expired vodka then you will only experience a vodka with a taste that is not its actual taste.
  • It will not really affect your health but if you have a sensitive stomach then you may get an upset stomach. 
  • So it is not really unsafe to drink an old vodka but if it stinks or changes its flavour way too much for your liking then you can dispose of it for the purpose of avoiding food poisoning.


Q1. What happens if you leave vodka open?

Ans. It will lose its fragrance and the alcohol will get weaker. 

Q2. Can you drink vodka after 20 years?

Ans. If it is unopened then sure you can drink it even after 40 years but if it is opened then the taste will be awful and will develop a weird odour.

Q3. Does flavoured vodka go bad?

Ans. As flavoured vodka has a less shelf life than the original vodka and that is due to added flavours. If you notice a strange smell in your vodka that means it is old or expired.

Read More:

Does Rum Go Bad?