In a home bar, the rate of consumption is (in theory at least...) a lot less than for a commercial bar. This means proper storage of ingredients becomes a much more important question, as bottles will stick around for months or years.

What's the best way to store liquor to ensure each bottle does not go bad?

What impact do light, temperature, humidity, and other factors play in this?

Are there any particular alcohols (e.g., vermouths) that should be stored differently?

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Does hard liquor keep forever?
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 16:43
  • 1
    I agree it's a duplicate. Only two things I'd add. If you use speed pours at home, pull them at the end of the night and cap the bottles. Vermouth changes flavor for the worse within a couple months once opened, it should be kept in the fridge and if you go through it slowly buy the mini bottles.
    – Montijello
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 6:37
  • Yup I agree, having read through the other question. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 8:10
  • 2
    While there is certainly overlap, the other question and its answers deal specifically with "hard liquor" and make no mention of vermouths or other lower alcohol bottles.
    – David
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


Some tips:

  • Protect your bottles from sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • If your bottles have cork tops, make sure to keep the corks moist so that they don't disintegrate (just turning the bottles upside down every month or so for a few seconds does wonders).
  • As the level in each bottle drops, consider transferring the contents to a smaller bottle. This prevents volatiles from leaving the liquid and also excludes oxygen from the bottle (though whether you're mixing in extra oxygen during the transfer is perhaps a worry). If you know beforehand that you will take your time on a certain bottle, I'd rebottle it at the outset.
  • If you already own it for wine (or are otherwise serious about keeping half-empty bottles for a long time), you could also use something like an inert gas wine preserver (e.g. PrivatE PreservE or Winesave PRO) to add a layer of what is basically Argon over the liquid. I haven't tried this.

Vermouths and other alcohols ~20% ABV don't keep well for long once opened. Treat them like wine: drink them faster or open fewer of them. They will lose their aromas, then oxidize, and finally turn to vinegar.

Liqueurs with low water activity (read: lots of sugar) will probably stay safe to consume for quite a long time (years), but they are still prone to oxidization leading to off flavors. Re-bottle at the outset if you must, or consume faster, or discard and buy new.

Consider storing your bitters in the fridge.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.