Does Vodka Go Bad? 8 Tips You Should Know

That’s what we are going to find out today!

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Does Vodka Go Bad

Vodka is one of the most popular alcohol drinks in the world. It is used in multiple cocktails and in a pure state, that is why consumers often wonder how long this drink can remain drinkable.

Can vodka go bad?

So, how long does vodka last? Unopened vodka lasts for around 30 years in the 41-61°F in the dark place. Opened vodka will last for around 15 years, if vodka has some flavors or additives in it will last for 6 months because of quicker oxidation. It is better to drink opened vodka bottle in 2-3 months after opening.

That’s what we are going to find out today!

Related: At What Temperature Does Beer Freeze?

Vodka Shelf Life

How Long Can You Keep Vodka

It is well known that alcohol drinks must be treated with attention when they are being kept for quite a long time. Besides, not everyone knows for sure whether it is safe to keep alcohol long enough and how to do it correctly at all.

Vodka expiration term hangs upon many factors that include both conditions of the storage and the specifics of the drink.

Since vodka is an alcoholic drink, it has the same qualities and nuances that other liquids of this kind possess. Nevertheless, vodka is among the most durable alcohol-containing drinks and it can remain drinkable for years if stored correctly in the unopened bottle.

However, once the bottle is unsealed, it begins evaporating, so the lifespan of vodka reduces rapidly and it won’t taste the same in, let’s say, something like ten years.

Vodka Shelf Life

Related: Does Wine Freeze?

As for the shelf life of vodka, people usually have plenty of questions regarding this issue.

  • How long does vodka last?
Does Alcohol Go Bad, Stale or Expire?Does Alcohol Go Bad, Stale or Expire?

If the bottle is unopened, feel free to keep it for years (under the proper conditions, of course!). But once it’s unsealed, you’d better drink it within two years, otherwise, the drink will start losing its qualities significantly.



How long does vodka last
  • How long does opened vodka last?

An opened bottle of this liquor, like Kahlua liquor, is able to remain drinkable for two years without losing its taste and other characteristics.

How long does opened vodka last
  • How long does vodka last unopened?

Unopened vodka last for 30 years if it does not contain any additional flavors in it. At the 41-61°F in the dark place in the glass bottle, it will usable for 30 years and longer.

Well, there is no precise term set for this but people say that this drink will stay consumable for many years if stored under the correct conditions in the unopened bottle.

How long does vodka last unopened

Of course, those who deal with alcoholic drinks on a regular basis know the nuances very well but what about the ordinary consumers?

How do they know what storage rules to follow?

Related: An Answer to the Most Thrilling Question: Does Campari Go Bad?

Storing Vodka Recommendations

Storing Vodka Recommendations

Does vodka go bad in a heat? Vodka can go bad faster if the temperature is more than 61°F. Its shelf life will be 3 years if the vodka was heated and has access to the sun raise exposure. The shelf life of vodka if is stored in a 41-61°F in the dark place is 30 years.

Proper storage conditions guarantee the longest lifespan of the product, that’s what everyone knows.

Alcohol-containing drinks and vodka, in particular, are not the exceptions.

To make sure that the liquor will stay drinkable to its longest, follow the recommended tips precisely.

  • Always keep it cool.

Can vodka stay warm, many of you ask? The answer is no. By no means, to be precise! Of course, there is a common belief that the distilled spirits including vodka feel perfectly well when stored at room temperature but experts insist on storing them at 55-60 F since storage in a relatively cool place extends their shelf life.

Remember that, when alcohol is in a warm surrounding, it evaporates faster and will change the taste sooner than it should.

How long does opened vodka last
Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash
  • No sunlight allowed!

Vodka is afraid of the sun! Yeah, this vampire-like trait is common for many spirits. When exposed to direct sunlight, these drinks lose thair qualities faster even though it won’t make them literally spoiled or dangerous to drink.

  • Keep it upright

Yep, storing vodka requires a vertical position. Unlike wine, liquors tend to ruin the cork which can seep into the drink if the bottle is kept on its side.

Another frequent question is: how to store opened vodka? In fact, it’s not a big deal! Just make sure that the bottle is sealed tightly and is hidden in a cool and dry place away from the direct sunlight.

Does Vodka Go Bad?

Does Vodka Go Bad

Of course, an issue of old vodka bothers many consumers. Does vodka expire? Does vodka go bad after opening?

Let’s figure this out.

So, does vodka go bad? Yes, vodka can go bad if the bottle was open in 15 years. If it was in the plastic bottle or in tetra packs, vodka will go bad in 3 years. But vodka in the glass bottle and if it was stored in a 41-61°F in the dark place can last for more than 30 years.

In fact, it is nearly impossible to make this drink turn bad not saying about spoiling. What must indeed be considered is that vodka will evaporate with time and become less strong but that doesn’t mean it’s spoiled.

To make the liquor really harmful to people, it must be stored in the improper conditions, exposed to direct sunlight in a bottle that is not tightly sealed. 

In such a case, harmful bacteria and yeast strains will start developing which may lead to food poisoning after consuming such a drink.

So if the liquor tastes or smells bad, or it has contaminants inside the bottle, discard it without regret.

Is Vodka Bad For You?

And here comes the most thrilling question: is it bad to consume vodka at all?

Everyone heard that alcohol is bad for our health but people still keep on drinking it! So is there any harm in drinking vodka?

  • Excessive consumption of this spirit leads to intoxication which results in the decrease of fine-motor control and coordination.
  • Of course, an uncontrollable consumption may lead to the developing of alcoholism.
  • Consuming vodka regularly may lead to health problems with the liver since alcohol is a great stress for it.
  • Some people note that the common vodka-drinking aftermath is a severe headache.

So, taking this information into account, it would be wiser to reduce the consumption of this spirit to the most or, in the best case, to refuse to drink it at all.

Is Vodka Bad For You

For sure, there is a lot of misinformation regarding vodka, and people are confused about what to believe or not. 

Here are the questions that are asked frequently and the answers that’ll help you to figure everything out.

What Is Vodka?

We bet you have asked yourself this question at least once in your life! And indeed, what sort of alcoholic drink is it? It’s not like wine since vodka is totally transparent which means it’s not made of grapes. But it’s also not like beer or whiskey…So what is it?

Well, you will be surely surprised if we say that during the Middle Ages, this spirit was only used as a…medicine! Yes, back then, people used to drink vodka only for medical purposes.

As for the process of its manufacturing, to produce vodka, you need to ferment any foodstuff that contains sugar or starch first. Then, the product has to be distilled in order to increase its alcohol content.

What is fermentation, you are asking? It’s when you feed sugar to yeast so that the yeast can produce the required amount of alcohol.

What Is Vodka (2)
Credits: simonlees, via

Nowadays, most sorts of vodka are made of fermented grains, such as corn, rice, rye, sorghum, or wheat.

However, nobody forbids you to use potatoes, fruits, and even plain sugar! Once the product is fermented, it needs to undergo distillation which implies heating it in a special container.

Thanks to this, the fermented product that has sixteen percent alcohol turns into a mighty spirit with thirty to forty percent power in it!

There are even bands that produce vodka with 95 percent alcohol!

What Is Vodka
Credits: niolox, via

What Happens When the Bottle Of Vodka Is Opened?

One of the reasons why this spirit can go bad is that it is being stored in a bottle that was not tightly sealed. However, we must admit that even in this case, it will take this beverage really long before it becomes useless! See, even if opened, vodka is able to last from ten to twenty years!

However, certain processes or degradation do take place once the seal is broken.

Oxidation becomes more rapid because of the seal that gets weaker. As a result, the contact with air and thus with oxygen will be closer.

In addition, an improperly sealed bottle of vodka is an easy target for bacteria which can easily get into the vessel and start their “dirty business” leading to the weakening of the spirit in future.

What Happens When the Bottle Of Vodka Is Opened
Credits: igorr1, via

Does Vodka Get Weaker After Opening?

Shortly saying, yes, this spirit does become weaker once opened. However, there is no need to feel sorry! Vodka is the one durable thing and nothing can make it lose its potency that easily!

Even after you open the bottle, the spirit will become noticeably weaker after a decade at least.

Neither evaporation nor oxidation can influence its alcohol content that much.

Does Vodka Get Weaker After Opening
Credits: a_namenko, via

How To Tell If Vodka Is Bad

Probably, the most thrilling question that can be heard from those who truly enjoy this spirit!

And even though vodka does not belong to the spirits that can easily be spoiled, it is still good to know what will show you that you’d better not take a sip of it.

  • off odor
  • contaminants inside of the bottle
  • bad taste

Any of these signs indicate that your vodka became bad and it is time to discard it.

Otherwise, if you drink such a spirit, there is a high possibility that you will get food poisoning!

How To Tell If Vodka Is Bad
Credits: Helena Lopes, via


Well, now that you know that vodka doesn’t actually go bad or expire, it just loses its potency and flavor, you will hardly fall into panic when finding a bottle of this spirit dwelling in your bar for a couple of years.

However, to be able to enjoy this drink fully, we still recommend you keep vodka according to its storage rules (luckily, they are not difficult!).

This way, your beverage will be still the same mind-blowing as it was the day you bought it!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Does vodka need to be refrigerated after opening?

That would be the best option since this drink likes cool and dry places for storage. Only make sure that the cork is sealed tightly to prevent evaporation.

⭐Does unopened vodka go bad?

Normally, an unsealed bottle can remain drinkable for many years, however, when kept under the wrong conditions, there’s a risk of spoilage so be careful.

⭐Can old vodka make you sick?

Bad vodka may indeed cause food poisoning so check the bottle by sniffing and examining it for contaminants inside the liquor.

⭐Does alcohol go bad in the heat?

Alcohol does evaporate faster under the impact of heat which leads to the reduction of its qualities. However, if kept warm too long, it may indeed go bad

⭐Does vodka have an expiration date?

Normally, an opened drink must be consumed within two years since after that term it starts losing its qualities. 

⭐Does vodka go bad in the heat?

Like any alcohol-containing drink, vodka may spoil if we keep the bottle under the wrong conditions e.g. constant heat and direct light.

Read next: What Is Vodka Made From? 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Vodka

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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