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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Storing liquor in the home bar
Storing liquor in the home bar
uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 2275
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2010-06-13 1:15 pm   Permalink

I couldn't find a thread that fit this topic so sorry if it's a rerun. A general thread to field questions and answers about the care, storage and upkeep of arguably the most important investment in any home bar. Questions about using old and new decanters. What to do with old worn out cork stoppers and how to care for them or where to get new ones. How long certain type of liquor will last or if it should be refrigerated. Should you drink that fifty year old rum you found at grandmas. I see different questions like these now and then all over the threads but it might be good to have them in one thread. Thanks

Well here's my questions to start off with. How long will plastic capped liquor bottles keep the contents good? Does the plastic liner inside the cap dry out over time? I have an unopened thirty year old bottle of Jim Beam under the bar that looks fine. I have over fifty bottles of hooch in the bar and about once a month I turn each one upside down just to give the corks and caps a good wash down. Is this once a month ritual a good thing or even necessary or just strange. I know the number one answer to storing any liquor is drink it before anything can happen to it but I have a lot of liquor that will hopefully last a long time. Thanks
"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2277
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2010-06-13 3:16 pm   Permalink

Basic storage rules for booze:

Store in cool dark places like under the bar or in a cabinet. Don't let your product get hot, or cycle through hot and cold and hot and cold like you would get on the outside bar.

Sealed containers should be OK for a good long time. Plastic caps, so far, have stored as well as cork. In some cases the plastic will outlast the cork.

Opened containers have a clock and the alcohol content will dictate how long it will be 'good.' The higher the Proof, the longer it should be OK.

Once opened, the ingredients start to oxidize which will alter the taste (eventually) and evaporation starts which begins to reduce the alcohol content further shortening the shelf-life. Mostly Full bottles will last longer than Mostly Empty bottles.

As for corks and their care, follow the rules of wine makers and drinkers. For long term storage, place corked bottles on their side so the corks stay wet. This prevents them from drying out and shrinking allowing air in to corrupt the ingredients. It also prevents anything in/on/around the cork from growing and corrupting the product inside. Even with that, corks are really only good for about 10 or so years (average).

You can ask the internets for specifics on how and when to replace corks in bottles, but the basic senses will tell you what needs to be done. If the cork looks bad, replace it. If it smells bad, replace it and check the bottle contents. As to where to get them, again you ask the internets for reliable sources and sizes.

As with all things bar and bar related, your mileage will vary. Here in South Florida we have to add a humidity concern to most storage evaluations that most in the desert never will.


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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 2275
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2010-06-13 4:23 pm   Permalink

Nicely done. I guess that about covers it and thanks!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1107
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2010-06-13 7:08 pm   Permalink

This may relate to some recent discussion on this topic about whether to expect older mini bottles to still be drinkable. I posted a link on that thread, to a very interesting post by Ed Hamilton over at the Ministry of Rum, that probably bears repeating here (so I just repeated it now!). Fascinating, and somewhat alarming discussion of what happens to that bottle of fine rum after you open it and the oxygen starts doing it's thing. Some of the people over there even have the backgrounds to get, like, all technical with the chemistry stuff. Far out.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 464
From: Penna
Posted: 2010-09-02 2:02 pm   Permalink

This thread leads me to a question on orgeat syrup. I have an opened plastic bottle of this. How long will it keep? Thanks for any info.
Make mine a mai tai!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1784
From: Orlando
Posted: 2010-09-02 4:04 pm   Permalink

By "plastic bottle", I take it that it's a commercial brand? Here is what I can tell you Sonoma syrups (good quality, highly recommended, but somewhat high price) told me about the shelf life of their products some time ago:


Our product is shelf stable without refrigeration because of its density and
because we add ascorbic acid, a natural preservative. If you refrigerate
our syrups they get clumpy much like honey when it is refrigerated. Once
open we suggest the product be used within 6 months. We have found that it
is around that time the infusion starts to loose its intensity.

So, it's likely your orgeat won't go "bad" for a very long time, but it will lose some flavor over time.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 18, 2010
Posts: 432
From: Miami
Posted: 2010-09-22 02:47 am   Permalink

To minimize the effects of oxidation, I STRONGLY suggest investing in Vac-U-Vin stoppers and manual pump. Pretty cheap and available pretty much anywhere.

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