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Feb 24, 2008 01:10 PM

Alcohol for cooking--how long does it keep?

I cook with all sorts of alcohol but I don't drink so it stays around for a long time. I live in Chicago, where there is an annoying law that prohibits buying small bottles (with the exception of wine).

Some of the alcohol I have on hand is: port, brandy, vermouth, whisky, ameretto, vermouth, calvados, rasperry liqueur, vodka, grand marnier and sherry. How long do these keep?

I'm not refrigerating any of these--should I be? I've been afraid to puchase coffee liqueur since I'm afraid it won't last long at all.

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  1. Indefinitely - I have all those things on hand as well and they won't go bad anytime in the near future; no need to waste space in the frig, the cupboard is fine.

    4 Replies
    1. re: azhotdish

      Okay, thanks. What about coffee liqueur--how long does it last?

      1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

        After reading another thread on a similar issue the other day regarding vermouth, I looked into it a bit more and found the following in Wikipedia: "Dry Vermouth should be refrigerated and keeps for about 6 months. Other vermouths generally keep for about 1 year when stored in a cool dry place or refrigerated." I generally have never refrigerated it and have never run into an issue - I use it in Manhattans, risotto and a variety of other cooking uses.

        Regarding the coffee liqueur, I don't know if I have a solid answer. According to what I've read, creme liquors will last around 18 months, but non-creme liqueurs should presumably last longer (if around 15-30% ABV), and probably best consumed within a few years. If it's still around in a few years, well, I'd taste it first.

        1. re: azhotdish

          I've got a bottle of Kahlua that's at least five years old, I pull it out every so often and it tastes fine.
          However, the OP mentioned port, and although it takes me six months or so to go through a bottle, I've been told that normally it should be consumed within a few weeks. I believe port has a much lower alcohol content than all the other ones mentioned.