beefeater gin orange pink london dry bottles aspect ratio 16 6

DOES GIN EXPIRE?

Does gin go off? It’s a very good question. The last thing you want when you go to make yourself a refreshing gin cocktail after a long day is to find that your gin is past its best.

Wasting a drop of precious gin is a sin in our eyes, so we recommend you read our guide on storing gin. It’ll help make sure your G&Ts, Negronis and Perfect Lady’s always taste top notch.

How long does gin last?

We all know someone who keeps dusty bottles of liquor in a cupboard for decades, only opening them every year at Christmas. But can you do the same with gin?

 

Once you’ve cracked open your bottle of gin, it can be kept for many years before going off. That said, oxidation does begin as soon as you twist off the lid. In layman’s terms, oxidation is a process where a substance starts to change once its exposed to oxygen, so when your bottle of gin is opened.

 

Oxidation will alter the taste of your gin over time, but it won’t do so in a hurry. As long as you get to the end of the bottle in around a year, you’re all good. Drinking the gin after a year won’t do you any harm, as gin doesn’t technically “go off”, but it won’t taste anywhere near as crisp as it should.

 

How can you tell if gin has gone bad?

Unsure on how long a bottle of gin has been open? Then give it a sniff to check for any musty or acidic smells. And if you’re in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. We know it’s painful to pour gin down the drain, but sometimes needs must.

 

If you’re wondering how long gin lasts when unopened, well, the answer is indefinite. Gin doesn’t expire and oxidation shouldn’t happen if you don’t open the bottle. That means unopened gin could last for years, even as long as ten. We can’t see a bottle of Beefeater lasting that long without being opened and enjoyed however!


WHERE SHOULD YOU STORE GIN?

To avoid any gin casualties, it’s important to store it in the right way. Storing your gin with a bit of care and attention will help it taste better for longer.

 

Both unopened and opened bottles of gin should ideally be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. That cupboard next to the oven may seem tempting, but it’s not the best place for gin storage. 

 

And if you prefer to display your gin on a decorative bar cart or on an open shelf, pick a dark corner away from too much natural light where possible.

 

Be sure to remove any pourers after the party and screw lids back on as tightly as possible to slow down that oxidation process. To slow it down further, we recommend decanting half full bottles of gin into smaller bottles, so your gin is exposed to as little air as possible.


SHOULD YOU KEEP GIN IN THE FRIDGE

If you don’t have a bar cart, shelf or cupboard for your gin, how about storing it in the fridge?

 

While the fridge won’t make your gin last longer, it’s a great place to keep it, with many gin experts insisting it’s the greatest place of all.

 

Gin should be served as cold as can be. The fresh, crisp, citrussy flavours of gin are even more delicious when thoroughly chilled. Gin fresh from the fridge is ready to be enjoyed even if you don’t have ice on hand.

 

So if you have space in the fridge for your gin, go for it.


WHAT ABOUT THE FREEZER?

Haven’t got room in the fridge but have a gin-shaped gap in the freezer? Great. 

 

Lots of people assume that storing their gin in the freezer will affect the flavour, or make it freeze, but you’ll be pleased to know that neither are true. 

 

The alcohol level of gin, including our flavoured gins, means it won’t freeze in household freezers. They simply aren’t cold enough to give you a gin slushie, so it’s safe to store your beloved Beefeater next to your frozen peas. 

Again, this is a fab option for those who want to whip up a tasty and fruity gin cocktail such as a Gin Bramble or a White Negroni in a flash, without waiting for your gin to chill or your ice to freeze. Having said that, we always prefer at least a few cubes of ice in our gin creations, even if the liquor is super cold.

 


TOP TIPS ON HOW TO STORE GIN

That brings us to the end of our guide to storing gin. The most important gin storing tips to takeaway are:

 

  • Gin doesn’t go off, but oxidation can affect its flavour over time
  • Keep your gin in either a dry, cool and dark place, or the fridge/freezer
  • Decant half-drunk bottles of gin into smaller airtight containers to slow down the oxidation process
  • Gin can last for a really long time when unopened, but what’s the point in having a bottle of gin and not drinking it? Beefeater isn’t just a pretty bottle, it’s gin that’s been made to be sipped for almost two hundred years!

The bottom line is this: look after your gin and your gin cocktails will taste even better. Eager to know more of the science behind this lovely liquor? Find out how gin is made and don’t miss our favourite gin mixers.