It’s a hot summer day, and all you can think of is a yummy ice coffee that will refresh you instantly. In search of milk, you found some opened Baileys in the fridge, which could be a great addition.
The bottle is half full, and it is sitting in your fridge door for quite some time now. Could it be that it went bad? Does Baileys Go Bad?
That is why many people don’t know and don’t think of it since Baileys is an alcoholic drink, and those are not likely to spoil any time soon. We were intrigued by this topic since this liqueur is found regularly at our parties and family gatherings.
We decided to examine this topic a little more to bring you the best possible answers about the shelf life of your favorite Irish cream drink and some storage tips, so read along!
Does Baileys Go Bad?
Well, we have to disappoint you. Baileys can definitely go bad, unlike some other liquors that can last indefinitely.
You may be thinking – but Baileys contains alcohol (whiskey) that can never go bad, so how could this be? Well, Baileys also includes a fair amount of dairy in the form of heavy cream, so that’s why it is perishable and will spoil eventually, opened or unopened.
What Is Baileys?
Baileys or Irish Cream is a type of cream liqueur. It contains whiskey and dairy cream flavored with vanilla or cocoa, and 17% of alcohol. It was introduced in 1974. and it is the world’s first and best-selling cream liqueur.
Baileys is made from premium quality dairy cream, fine spirits, and triple-distilled whiskey. It takes 38, 000 cows to make 22, 000 liters of milk to create this drink annually. Vanilla pods and rich cocoa beans make the familiar exclusive chocolate taste, and the aged whiskey is from some of Ireland’s best distillers.
This beverage comes with many flavors such as pumpkin spice flavor, espresso cream, salted caramel, chocolate cherry, and vanilla cinnamon. The secret of Baileys’ delicious taste is powdered drinking chocolate, and the liqueur’s cream is actually 100% Irish!
Now, let’s take a look at the nutrition chart per one serving (one glass/37ml):
As you can see, it contains a lot of fat, sugar, sodium, and calories, so it could make you gain weight. A 100ml of Baileys is roughly 327 calories, making it more of a dessert than a drink.
If you have a problem with high blood sugar, it is best to avoid this drink. A high amount of alcohol can make you drunk very quickly, and for this and other reasons we listed above, you should limit the intake with Baileys. Moreover, consider mixing small amounts with coffee or making ice cream with it!
Did you know that Baileys can also be healthy? Yes, you read it right!
Baileys can help protect against cancer, help with a cold, inflammations, and lower the risk of heart disease. That is because Baileys contains whiskey, which has high levels of ellagic acid.
Ellagic acid has antioxidant properties. It slows the growth of tumor cells and makes cancer molecules inactive. Also, it kills cancer cells without damaging healthy ones.
The Shelf Life Of Baileys
Unlike some liquors like whiskey, Irish cream won’t last forever.
But don’t throw that Baileys bottle just yet! Baileys has a decent shelf life and can’t spoil that quickly if the storage conditions are right.
According to the company’s use-by-date labels and information from the official Baileys site, the shelf life of unopened Baileys after the bottling is two years. It can be used even a few months after that date, but the liqueur’s quality will probably be significantly degraded.
The company strongly suggests using it within the first six months, or at least under the given period for the best quality. Cream liqueurs are considered ‘young’ if they’re under six months old, and that is when they taste the best.
Nonetheless, the clock is ticking fast when it comes to the opened bottle of Baileys. Once you open it, the oxidation process occurs, and the quality starts to deteriorate quickly. The shelf life of the opened bottle is said to be six months, give or take. A few days after that period won’t harm your health, but the beverage will not taste as good as the new bottle does.
How To Store Baileys?
This is the most confusing thing about this drink because Baileys contains dairy, as we’ve already mentioned. Does this mean it needs to be refrigerated at all times? Still, if you remember correctly, you picked it up from the liquor shelf at the store. Confusing, we have to admit.
The truth is that the unopened bottle of Baileys can indeed be kept at room temperature because it does contain a fair amount of alcohol. You can keep it in the pantry or kitchen cupboard, as long as it is cold, dry, and dark. Light and heat exposure are unfavorable for Baileys. Moreover, make sure that the temperature is not warmer than 25 °C.
On the other hand, we strongly suggest keeping the opened bottle in the refrigerator, if you expect it to stay suitable for another six months. The temperatures in the fridge are constant, and this will undoubtedly prolong the liqueurs’ shelf life. However, refrigerated or not, it is probably for the best if you don’t use it after the given period.
But what about freezing? Well, it is an option, but we would not recommend this. That’s because alcohol within the beverage won’t freeze, but the cream will. The texture will most likely be altered, as the chilly temperatures will form ice crystals, and it will be difficult to pour it. If you still want to freeze Baileys, consider blending it after thawing to regain its smooth and creamy texture.
The most important thing to remember is to keep the bottle sealed tightly. That will prolong its shelf life and keep the liqueur safe for use.
See Also: Can You Freeze Half And Half?
Signs Of Spoiled Baileys
More often than not, you will discard Baileys because its quality has changed, not because it’s spoiled. But even so, the spoilage can occur, and you will recognize it. Specific changes in the looks, taste, and smell will give it away quickly.
- First off, do a visual inspection. If you notice any discolorations such as darker color or even clumpy and thicker texture, it is the first sign of sure spoilage. Also, separation and coagulation are amongst the sure signs of decay. If that’s the case, you should discard the product immediately.
- Next off, do a sniff test. That is the best indicator and will be the most obvious one. If it smells unpleasant or sour, it’s no longer safe for use. The spoiled Baileys will have a stale odor similar to the one that old custard has.
- If everything seems fine with the liqueur, you can do a taste test. If it tastes like sour cream, it has gone bad, and you should throw the whole thing away. By the way, fruit-based versions tend to spoil faster.
Does Baileys Go Bad – Final Thoughts
Baileys Irish Cream has a quite long shelf life, but it can go bad, unlike some other liquors. If stored correctly, you can drink it even after the best-before-date. It won’t go bad a few days or a month after that date, but it won’t be at peak quality either. When opened, it can last only a few months before it starts to degrade in quality.
You can store the unopened bottle at room temperature, as long as it is some cool, dry, and dark place, where the temperature is constant. On the other hand, the opened bottle should be refrigerated as the liqueur contains dairy.
Furthermore, if you notice any signs of spoilage, discard it as it will no longer be safe to use. Telltale signs you should look for are sour and unpleasant smells, changes in color, texture, or taste.
Lastly, if you lack some dessert, you can satisfy your sweet craving with this fantastic creamy drink or use it in a coffee. However, don’t go all over it because this drink is high in calories and fat, so we highly suggest limiting the intake.