Does Gin Go Bad – Things to Know After Opening A Bottle of Gin

By Last Updated: January 10th, 2023Categories: Alcohol

“I’ve recently bought a bottle of gin and opened it, but I could only finish half of it. I’d like to drink the other half some other time. But I wonder, does gin go bad? How long does an opened bottle last?”

Like many consumables, liquors like gin also get bad at some point, especially when they’ve been exposed to oxygen and other external factors. However, alcoholic beverages don’t go off as easily as regular drinks. It’s a matter of how long they last and how you store them after opening.

So, if you can’t finish a bottle of gin and you’re wondering whether you should throw it away, hold your horses and read this article first. We will tell you everything about what happens and what you should do after you’ve opened one. Read on!

Part 1: Does Gin Go Bad

Unopened and sealed, a bottle of gin can be stored virtually forever without loss in quality and taste. However, once you’ve opened it, that’s where the time starts ticking. It would take years before it gets bad with proper storage, and before long, you will have already finished drinking it.

And even if it takes you a year or two to finish one bottle of gin, you won’t have to worry about bacteria and other microorganisms thriving in it as they really don’t do well in beverages with high alcohol content. The chances of you getting diarrhea or any similar sickness is rather low.

Pouring Gin

But the flavor, the smell, and other qualities of the gin may change over time, depending on the storage conditions. Yes! And that’s when you can say it’s gone bad.

How Long Does An Opened Bottle of Gin Last

Since gin does go bad eventually in terms of taste and quality, it’s advised that you finish a bottle of gin within two years, considering that you’ve stored it properly

What if You forgot Your Glass of Gin

If you forgot your glass of gin for a day or two, it may be safe not to drink it. It may be drinkable, but prolonged exposure to the air can cause evaporation which can compromise the ABV, quality and taste of the gin.

Moreover, you wouldn’t know what happened to the glass of gin while you were away. Bugs and or even tiny lizards may have bathed in the drink already, which makes it contaminated and unsafe to drink. If that’s the case, discard the gin and just pour another one to a different, clean glass.

Part 2: How to Tell if A Gin Has Already Gone Bad

In case you are unsure whether your bottle of gin has gone bad, below are the ways you can do to double-check it.

Method 1: Observe the Bottle

Given that the bottle of gin has been sitting around for quite some time, take a look and observe it first before opening. There should be no dark particles floating in it or any other solid material. If you see some, that’s an indication that the gin has already been contaminated. The safest way to deal with it is to throw it away.

Method 2: Take A Sniff

Before you even attempt to take a drink of an old bottle of gin, check if the aroma and the way it smells now significantly differs from the first time you’ve opened it.

If the smell is quite awful, it’s safe to assume that it has already gone bad, and that the taste and the flavor of the gin has been compromised. Our advice is to throw it away before someone clueless gets a sip of it. However, if the smell is still the same, there’s a higher chance that it’s still drinkable.

Sipping Gin

Method 3: Take A Sip

If you’ve found that the smell is still tolerable, you may try tasting it. Just take a sip to taste the flavor and the quality. See if it tastes like pine or anywhere far from when you first took a sip from the bottle. That’s when you know that it has already passed its drinkability.

But if the taste is still good, it’s a sign that you can still have it for a few months or a year.

Part 3: How to Store Gin Properly

Sealed or opened, a bottle of gin should be kept in a dry place. It should be stored away from any source of extreme heat such as sunlight, stove, etc. This is because high temperatures can use alcoholic beverages like gin to evaporate and oxidize. This can negatively impact taste and flavor. And that’s every drinker’s last wish.

Also, make sure that the cap of the bottle is sealed tight. You see, alcohol evaporates more quickly than water does. So, don’t let the air or any small opening get into the bottle. This can make the ABV of your gin go weaker over time.

And as mentioned, gin reacts to oxygen. If your bottle is half empty, the chances of air getting inside are pretty high. So, it’s recommended that you transfer the liquid to a smaller container. That way, you can ensure that your gin will last longer than it should. However, you have to do it quickly so the gin won’t be exposed to open air longer than it should be.

Gin Fridge

Is It Okay to Keep A Bottle of Gin in The Freezer

Yes. It is safe to store a bottle of gin in the freezer. In fact, it’s one of the recommended ways to do it, especially when you’re concerned with the preservation of the spirit’s quality.

Keeping the gin cold can also soften the alcohol, which is good for those who don’t want to experience its full strength. In addition, if you want it neat, storing it in the freezer 1 to 2 hours before drinking it is one way to avoid using ice.


Gin doesn’t go bad so easily like most other drinks out there. It doesn’t even have an expiration date when unopened. And when opened, you will have at least 2 years to relish it. The only thing that matters is that you are able to preserve its quality and flavors over time. And that can only be achieved if you know how to store your bottle of gin properly.


Drinking expired alcohol doesn’t really pose risks as far as your health is concerned. However, you may not like the taste and the quality anymore, as certain properties of the beverage have already been exposed to air or evaporated.

Yes! It’s recommended to keep your gin in the fridge. You can even store it in the freezer. This makes the gin cold even without rocks, making your drinking experience afterward smoother and softer to the mouth and throat.

You can drink gin neat or on the rocks, dispensing on your preference. However, if you do it with ice, it’s recommended that you add lime to improve the taste further.

If you are going to serve the gin, it’s best that you serve it in a crystal clear decanter so it can be seen without the labels and whatnot. However, if you are just going to store it, using a decanter is not going to be a wise idea. Gin has properties that quickly evaporate when exposed to air. Some decanter stopper leaks, which may let the air in.