Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Oct 24, 2009 10:30 AM

What do I toss from the liquor cabinet?

While trying to squeeze another bottle of some sample booze dh brought home into my cabinet, I realized there is probably some really old stuff in there. For example, a bottle of opened Pims that may be ten years old and then an unopened bottle that may be 7-8 years old. Is there a rule of thumb about how old long something can be kept before it's toxic?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The more alcohol in it, the longer it keeps. I'd toss any opened beer or wine, but anything stronger should be fine, as long as it's been kept closed and reasonably cool. I have 30-year-old liqueurs (the sugar helps too) that are still going strong.

    1. If they are cloudy, check them out. The opened Pimms is probably no good by now, the closed one is fine.

      1. If you haven't used it in 7+ years, chances are you're not going to use it. With the exception of high-end spirits (XO cognacs, single barrel whiskeys, and the like), I would ditch everything that you haven't touched in more than half a decade. If you want some later you can buy a fresh bottle. Chances are good that you won't.

        1. All of your liquor has gone bad. You need to send it to me for proper disposal by a licensed professional. ;-]

          1 Reply
          1. When I was younger I'd attend parties given by older friends/co-workers, and notice that some of the bottles in their bars would be dusty, and perhaps of a different design than currently offered at the time. I *swore* I'd never have old, dusty, evaporating bottles in my bar.

            Oh, boy. Now I'm older and wiser. This post impelled me to get rid of three bottles of exotic tequila brought back from Mexico by well-meaning friends (I don't drink tequila except in a margarita), a bottle of Pimm's cup that was last drunk by an uncle who's been dead for ten years, the ubiquitous (small) bottle of Galliano, some red-hot-cinnamon schnapps from when that was a novel idea, a couple of bottles of Chinese bei-jio (Sorghum spirits -- smells like formaldehyde, tastes worse). The prize winner was probably a bottle of Lillet, from 1987!

            (I *love* the post from John E O, who suggests sending "bad" liquor to him for "disposal by a licensed professional." I just love that!)

            5 Replies
            1. re: shaogo

              wish i could take all these unwanted bottles of Pimms off your hands, my wife and i love the stuff.

              1. re: wormwood

                Yes, my first reaction to these posts keeps being "Who on earth sn't drinking Pimm's?" We go through at least two bottles of the stuff every summer!

                1. re: wormwood

                  Oh, i still love a good Pimm's Cup. I just forget I have the stuff. Such a classy drink but hard to find in bars around here (Yorktown, VA).