Does expired alcohol get you drunk? Can Alcohol Go Bad?

Does expired alcohol get you drunk? Can Alcohol Go Bad?

You might have wondered if that alcohol has gone bad or if will you get drunk at all with those seasonal drinks in your fridge long past the dates on their labels or save top-of-the-line options for special occasions very long.

So, Does expired alcohol get you drunk? Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to this question.

There are different types of alcoholic beverages, each made of different ingredients, hence each with different expiry dates. Some don’t have expiry dates, they last indefinitely like distilled spirits but may start to lose potency after opening. Most drinks must be used within 2 years after opening, beyond that they lose color and taste. Those drinks probably can not make you drunk!

You’ll need to know how long alcohol last, when it can go bad and how to tell if alcohol is bad. Let’s dive in!


Vodka, whisky, rum, and tequila are all examples of distilled spirits. Unopened, sealed bottles of distilled spirits (vodka, rum, whisky, tequila) will not spoil. The liquor will not react with oxygen and remain nearly the same as when it was bottled. This is true even after a number of years or decades. The shelf life of the liquor is indefinite.

However, once the liquor has been opened, oxygen interacts slowly with the liquor over time. It may lose its flavor or become less strong as the alcohol evaporates.

So less interaction with oxygen makes it stay longer. To reduce the amount of oxygen exposure keep liquor in the smallest, most tightly fitting bottle you have. If you have less than 1/4 of a large container left, you can pour the contents into a smaller container.

Does alcohol go bad after opening? Distilled spirits don’t go bad after opening but their potency reduces over time.

Liqueurs and Cordials

Cordials and liqueurs will eventually go bad. There are many factors that can affect the shelf life of liqueurs.

Dairy-based products such as Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream usually have the shortest shelf life (12-18 months) and are labeled with a date. These products should be consumed within one year of their opening. If you have ever wondered “does alcohol expire?” then liqueurs or cordials do.

How long can liqueurs and cordials keep good?

Most sugar-based liqueurs last for at least one year. Some even last several years. But, eventually, they will go bad. A liqueur is bad if it has crystallized sugar, discoloration, or curdling (these are usually visible at the bottom of the bottles).

High-proof liqueurs, such as Triple Sec, can last for many years. The shelf life of liqueurs varies based on their ingredients.

Before mixing the contents with other ingredients, taste-test any bottle that has been opened for a while.


There are three types of beer, so there are three possible answers to the question “Can beer go bad?”

Vintage beers should be kept for long periods. These beers are popular in countries like the United States, where ales and stouts with higher alcohol levels are more common. They are best stored for many years in cool, dry places.

Unpasteurized beers are mainly made from microbrews that have been brewed locally. They are the only type of beer that can spoil like spoiled milk and rotten veggies. These products should be labeled with this information by the producers. Throw away any bottle that has a bad odor or mold growth.

Can, bottled, and mainstream beer does not spoil in the traditional sense, but it can become unpalatable if it is improperly stored or gets old. It is safe to store Mainstream beer in an airtight container or bottle that has been pasteurized.

However, decomposition can affect the beer’s flavor and odor. This beer is safe to consume but can be unpleasant. It can also taste dry or stale.

Many mainstream beer brands now have a “best before” date that indicates when the beer starts deteriorating. Applies to properly stored ones! This can be accelerated by temperature change. For example, if you buy cold beer, keep it out warm and then re-cool it. Beverages in bottles should not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. To reduce the sun’s impact, most bottles are made of brown.

Beer should be kept in a cool, dark place such as a refrigerator or cellar. Beer will usually stay fresh for six to twelve months if stored in this manner. Warming beer will speed up the “skunking effect”.

So, Can alcohol go bad? It all depends on the type of alcohol you are talking about. Distilled spirits can last for an indefinite amount of time if they are stored correctly. Liqueurs and cordials have limited shelf life and they go bad later. And beers going bad absolutely depend on the type of beer.