Over time, you may have accumulated more than a few different gins, not to mention the various gin-based liqueurs that are also available, and now wondering; will my precious gin collection go bad?
There have been whispers in the gin community asking… does gin need to be refrigerated? The stories aren’t entirely wrong, nor are they right. So the Drinks Geek takes a deep dive to put these gin rumours finally to rest!
Does Gin Need To Be Refrigerated?
Like most distilled spirits such as vodka, gin does not need to be refrigerated due to its high alcohol content (approx 40% ABV – 80 Proof). Even if you enjoy sipping gin neat, it does not need to go in the fridge. A couple of ice cubes is all you need, and you are good to go.
I contacted Hendricks Gin customer care for their expert advice. They said that their gin can be kept at room temperature, but for best results, keep out of direct sunlight at temperatures between 55° and 60° F.
Serve Gin Straight From The Fridge?
Gin is fashioned from a spirit base and infused with juniper and a wide range of aromatic botanicals. Many flavours will be lost to your palate, even from the best gins, if you serve your gin overly chilled, straight from the fridge. Even the fanciest bars don’t store their gin in the fridge.
What About Drinks Chillers?
If you have a little extra cash to spare, investing in a drinks chiller such as these on Amazon is an especially good idea if you live in a country with hot summers and no air-con. Drinks chillers can be set for the optimal temperature to store your chosen wine or spirit.
Best Temperature To Store Gin
Gin is best kept in a cool place at temperatures between 55 and 60°F, like a basement, but room temperature out of direct sunlight is also acceptable if that is not possible.
High temperatures may cause your gin to oxidise, changing the taste of the alcohol. It will still be safe to drink, but not at its best.
Does Gin Ever Go Off?
Gin will not go bad in the sense that it will go ‘off’. It may, however, change in taste according to how you keep and store your bottle. I honestly think you will finish it long before it gets a chance to be undrinkable.
Like most distilled spirits, gin has a long shelf life, and you can easily keep it at room temperature for years. Flavoured gins, such as lemon gin, will lose more of their taste when compared to standard juniper led gins.
How Long Will Gin Last If Unopened?
An unopened bottle of gin can indefinitely, and most brands state 10 years if unopened. Keeping it sealed for years will not make it mature into a superior spirit.
The quality and taste of your gin will not vary much over time as long as the seal remains unbroken. It should be stored out of direct sunlight between 55 and 60°F.
How Long Will Gin Last Once Opened?
The key to an opened bottle of gin is not safety but quality. Gin can be stored for years to come, although most barmen will advise you to consume your opened bottle of gin within 2 years.
Once opened, your gin will gradually change as it reacts with oxygen, but if stored with its cap sealed tightly, there should be minimal variation.
Keeping it out of direct sunlight will definitely help prolong the life of your favourite gin, as sunlight can further cause your gin to oxidise. Therefore keeping it in a cool dark place is essential for the best quality.
How Best To Store Gin?
The best way to store your gin, whether opened or unopened, is in a cool dark place, between 55 and 60°F, and ensure the screw cap is tightly sealed.
Never place your gin near hot surfaces, like stoves, radiators, the top of your fridge, or in direct sunlight for extended periods. These conditions cause gin to oxidise and lose its flavours.
Gin vs Oxygen
The more you sip away at your gin, the more space is in the bottle. As gin reacts with oxygen, leaving half full or less bottle for long periods can deteriorate your gin’s taste quality. It is advisable to transfer any gin left into a smaller bottle that can be tightly closed to maintain the integrity of your gin.
Can Gin Evaporate?
Leaving the lid off your gin or a pourer connected to your bottle is not recommended. Alcohol evaporates faster than water, so leaving your bottle exposed to the air for extended periods will cause your gin to become weaker in ABV and taste over time.
5 Alcoholic Drinks To Refrigerate After Opening
When it comes to understanding which alcoholic drinks should be refrigerated and which shouldn’t, you need to understand the two categories they fall in.
If you are ever unsure when an alcoholic drink needs to be refrigerated, an easy rule to remember. Anything with 15% or less ABV is better kept in your refrigerator once opened.
As wine has the lowest ABV of 11% on average, storing them in the fridge once opened is the best way to ensure your wine stays good for a few extra days. Even red wines will benefit from being stored in the refrigerator to prevent oxidisation from happening too quickly.
Vermouth is technically made from a base wine infused with botanical herbs and wormwood. It is invigorated with a hit of high-proof alcohol bringing the ABV to 15% in general, meaning that it will not oxidise as fast as wine and can last a few months in the fridge before having off-flavours.
3. Fortified Wines
Included in fortified wines are ports and sherries. Once again, the higher ABV of between 17% and 20% keep these wines suitable for longer but will not save them indefinitely like your hard liquor. However, storing them in your fridge will preserve them for a couple of months, with the sweeter selections lasting longer.
4. Sweetened Liqueurs
Although liqueurs are generally processed with a 20% ABV and the combination of the sugar contents, they can be pretty stable. Keeping them refrigerated will prolong the life of your creamy nightcaps.
5. Beers & Lagers
Since the alcohol content of most beers and lagers is 3-8% ABV, it would be beneficial to store them in your fridge once you open a bottle or can. Cans can be re-sealed with handy can covers for sale on Amazon.
Refrigerated or not, your gin will not be adversely affected as long as you store it correctly. Minimising contact with oxygen and heat, plus keeping it out of direct sunlight, will be hugely beneficial in retaining its flavours.
The good news is that knowing when to refrigerate your spirits will save you a great deal of space in the refrigerator. I personally don’t refrigerate my gin, but it’s up to you if you want to chill your gin or not.