Remember that bottle of vermouth you bought for that martini-themed party on your birthday?
Are you deliberating whether the vermouth is still good for making some other mixed drinks after all these months?
The good news is that vermouth, being fortified wine, will last longer than wine and has a pretty extensive shelf-life.
If you want to find out the best way to store vermouth, its shelf life, and how to tell if it has gone bad, please read on.
What is the Best Way to Store Vermouth?
Unopened vermouth should be stored in the same way that you would store wine. This includes keeping the bottle in a dark and cool place away from heat sources and direct sunlight. A cabinet or pantry will be perfect for this.
If you plan to buy a liquor cabinet to keep the vermouth and your other selected beverages, we recommend that you opt for one that doesn’t have a glass door. While it is great to display your collection of liquors, the sunlight can affect the quality and taste of your booze.
But just like with wine, once you open the bottle of vermouth, you should store it in the fridge.
Make sure to seal its cap tightly every time to limit the contact with air and oxygen, which will affect its alcohol structure and its flavor.
Even if you decide to keep it out of the fridge, you don’t have to worry about vermouth going bad. But keep in mind that its quality and taste will deteriorate faster when left at room temperature.
How Long is Vermouth’s Shelf-Life
Even though vermouth is a fortified wine, unlike the wine, vermouth doesn’t improve much over time.
Vermouth is better when enjoyed fresh. Still, it can last for long in your cabinet or pantry as long as you don’t open it too. For the best quality and freshness, try to consume the vermouth within 3-4 years after it has been bottled.
Add 2-3 years to the best-by date on the bottle, and you will get the shelf life of your preferred vermouth.
Even if you forget about the bottle and let it sit in the pantry or cabinet for longer, you don’t have to worry about it going bad. The problem is that over time, the quality of the vermouth will gradually begin to deteriorate.
Once the bottle is opened, make sure to keep it well sealed and in the refrigerator to slow down the deterioration of its taste and quality.
You can expect the opened vermouth to taste good and last in the fridge for up to several months.
To make sure that your vermouth is at its best quality, check the best-by date and the manufacturer’s suggestions for storing it.
Some manufacturers, such as Noilly Prat, suggest that you drink the vermouth within three weeks of opening the bottle.
These terms can vary from a single week up to several months of the opening.
In general, sweet vermouths will retain their best quality longer than dry ones.
While unopened vermouth has a long shelf-life of 3-4 or more years, once it is opened and kept in the fridge, dry vermouth will be in peak quality for only 1 month, and sweet vermouth will last for up to 2 months.
How To Determine Whether the Vermouth has Gone Bad?
While vermouth going bad is pretty rare, you should still remember that it may spoil and become unpleasant or dangerous to drink.
So, if you have an old bottle of vermouth that has started changing its color, or is contaminated with mold, or has developed an unusual smell or taste, then it is safest to pour it down the drain.
But the chances are that even if you forget your opened Martini in the fridge for months, nothing will be wrong with it, and it will still be safe and delicious to drink.
Then again, you can expect the vermouth to start losing some of its taste and aroma over time and start tasting dull and cheap.
If you find that your vermouth is no longer at its peak quality, you can either throw it away or use it to make mixed drinks where it is not a number one ingredient.
Or you can use it for cooking. In fact, using dry white French vermouth instead of dry white wine for making different meals is a preference that Julia Child has mentioned in her “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom” book. According to her, the reason is that it is not as acidic as white wine and that the quality and the strength of the vermouth keep nicely!
Related: Foods with Longest Shelf Life that Last for the Long Term