St Germain's Elderflower Liquor: how to prolong life?
I just read that the makers of the St Germain suggest finishing an opened bottle within 6 months. We do not drink enough of it for that to be feasible--any thoughts on how to keep it optimal? Let it live its life in the fridge? Vacuum seal it?
One of the primary reasons any booze/wine looses it's flavor is oxygen. Rather than vacuum seal, an even better way to cut down on 02 is to just decant as much as possible to a smaller bottle. Ideally made of brown or green glass (light also degrades many flavors). A 350ml wine bottle is a great choice, but use a synthetic cork or use a small dark booze bottle. Fill as high as you possibly can. Some small soda bottles work. Saratoga mineral water uses nice small resealable blue bottles. Also as the other poster says below, the fridge also helps a lot.
Use the Nitrogen spray sold for wine and just keep the pretty bottle in the fridge and not fuss with decanting (which adds oxygen as you decant).
Here's one source, but you can buy it at most fine wine stores.
I always have a container in play in my bar and kitchen--it's my go-to anti-oxidant for any liquid (1/2 bottles of vermouth, etc.) as well as guacamole and pesto (with the appropriate citrus juice). One warning--the bottle feels empty, so be careful not to throw it out too soon (and warn your help, who will mindlessly toss it!).
I always keep my St Germain in the refrigerator--it's cold and dark and since the flavor is so astonishing, I prefer it cold straight up. But it makes a great martini with gin (Hendrick's) and you can add elderflower presse and make it a summer cooler.
We have a 3 year old bottle (bought Sept 2007) and it still tastes similar. A little less sharp. But it looks darker and casted a sediment. Haven't done a side-by-side comparison with our new bottle but it doesn't taste bad like 4 month old vermouth will.
With that said, refrigeration and/or out of direct sun light will help.
I've got an 10 month old bottle, which still tastes, from what I can tell, the same. I only use it in small amounts, so it'd have to be pretty skunked to make a difference. Still, I'd like to finish it before the one year mark.
Chambord has a similar 6 mo "expiration", but I've also kept that around for a year or so.
It is kept in the dark, but not the fridge.
I go through a bottle a month (martinis with Blackwood's Gin highly recommended).
But I keep it in the freezer anyway, and put wine nitrogen in the bottle.