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Feb 19, 2007 01:30 AM

keeping qualities of alcohol based drinks

I'm not sure I have the correct board for this question, but as I mainly have these items for cooking with rather than for drinking, I thought I'd try here first

Can anyone advise on the keeping qualities of the following once opened (they are stored in a cool cupboard in the garage, but are not refridgerated

1 Vermouth
2 Cassis
3 Sherry
4 Maderia

Am I correct in thinking that pure spirits such as vodka, gin, scotch etc have a more or less limitless life?

Thanks for your help


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  1. Can't speak to Madeira, but have personal experience with the others.

    1)Dry Vermouth lasts in my cupboard for a good year. I haven't really had it go off. If you buy it for Martinis, you may notice more of a flavor difference. I snagged a bottle of sweet vernouth that my mother had for a least a year and it works fine too.

    2) Cassis. Again, my bottle is at least a year old. I'm sure it won't keep indefinitely--evaporation and all, but creme de cassis has so much sugar in it, it's more like a syrup or liquer.

    3) Sherry. I buy cheap sherry for cooking and it does fine in a cupboard for a year or so. Fine sherry lasts longer than regular wine, but for best taste, should be drunk within a week or so of opening. But if you're talking about Taylor or Fairbanks--don't worry about it.

    Nothing can kill pure sprits, IMO. You do get evaporation. We cleaned out my grandmother's liquor cabinet when she moved--threw out the sticky and scary, parceled out the vodka and scotch with no ill effects.

    1. I keep both sherry and Maderia in the cabinet for cooking. They easily last a year or more without a problem.

      1. Thanks, both, for the info - I appreciate this

        1. vermouth should be refrigerated as its qualities do diminish over a relatively short period of time (months)...its simply not a high enough proof....think about goes bad in a day.

          1. For the purposes of COOKING ONLY, you won't really have a *serious* problem. For drinking, the answer is "don't." Vermouth goes off fairly quickly, so does Sherry (depending upon the type, some more rapidly than others). Madeira is the most stable of the wines you mentioned. Creme de Cassis is a liqueur and so -- like Vodka or Gin -- relatively limitless in terms of lifespan.