Gin has been around for a long time. It was made by the British in the 17th century and believe it or not, the first known cocktails were made with gin.
So it’s no wonder gin is so widespread and one of the most popular drinks at parties. But what about its storage life?
We’ve all been there, you found an old bottle of gin in your grandfather’s basement and you’re wondering if it’s still good for making those oh so delicious cocktails.
Well, don’t worry, we’re here to make sure you’re not the guy or gal that poisons everyone at the party. So, can gin go bad?
Can Gin Go Bad?
The short answer is no, it can’t. Gin, like most types of hard liquor, can’t go bad. Almost half of it is alcohol, which means it’s pretty much impossible for it to go bad.
Gin, however, is prone to changing its taste depending on how you store it and how long it sits after you’ve opened it.
Once opened, gin comes in contact with air and starts to slowly lose its flavor, a process known as oxidation. This is why you should properly store it.
When Should You Discard Gin?
As we said, gin is hard liquor, so you really should taste it before throwing it away.
Pouring it in a glass and checking that there’s nothing floating around is also recommended. If there is, throw it away if not, do a quick smell test.
If the smell checks out proceed with the taste test before discarding it.
Even if it doesn’t taste that good on its own, try mixing it with tonic (or something similar) since it might still be good for cocktails.
When you know that the bottle has been sitting around half-full for a year, it’s probably smart to just throw it away.
How To Store Gin?
So we’ve concluded that gin doesn’t go bad, it just changes the taste.
But what about storing it, how much of a difference can that actually make.
If a bottle is kept in a dark and cool place, and if it is unopened, gin should pretty much retain its original taste. It is safe to drink no matter how long it sat in those conditions.
Gin, unlike wine, does not age, so don’t expect a 30-year-old bottle of gin to taste better than the one you bought yesterday. What you buy is what you get, be it today or in five years.
If a bottle is unopened but was kept in a very light place that can get warm at times, chances are the gin won’t taste the way it should. We would definitely recommend giving it a cautious taste before drinking the entire bottle (which, if you’re alone, is not recommended).
If you’ve opened a bottle of gin and decided to save some of it things are a bit different.
A refrigerator is your best option since it will preserve the taste the longest. When you open a bottle of gin you should drink it in a few weeks’ time before it starts losing its taste.
You may put it in a drink cabinet, but if there’s not much gin left, I’d pour the rest in a smaller bottle to keep the amount of air to a minimum.
If you’ve left a bottle of gin opened overnight, it will probably taste noticeably different.
Benefits Of Drinking Gin
Gin was once considered a very dangerous drink since a lot of people distilled it at home without any regulations. Naturally, this resulted in quite a few deaths and gave gin a bad reputation.
Gin was so popular in 18th century Britain, that when high taxes were imposed on the sellers, riots broke out in the street. That’s why people started making their own, poisonous, version.
When properly made though, gin is considered one of the more beneficial spirits.
Believe it or not, there are a few health benefits of gin.
One of the main ingredients of gin is juniper. Juniper is a known antioxidant that can help with the aging process and in turn, make you look younger.
Whatsmore, gin is very low in calories and sugar, so a glass of gin won’t particularly impact your daily calorie intake. As long as it’s just gin, if you start making cocktails and adding sugary drinks, that can change very quickly.
A single shot of gin only has about 60 calories.
Regular gin and tonic around 90 calories, compare that to a glass of beer which on average has around 170 calories, we’re looking at a pretty significant difference.
Because it’s so low in sugar, it’s proven to be one of the safest drinks for diabetics as well.
It goes without saying that you should always consult a doctor before consuming something if you have any kind of health problem.
Of course, chugging gallons of gin on a regular basis will not in any way accelerate these health benefits and can only hurt you. They apply to only one glass per day scenario.
Also, alcohol has been linked with various diseases, brain damage, and psychological issues, so for every “benefit”, inevitably, there is a drawback.
Be responsible when it comes to drinking and don’t overdo it.
Types Of Gin
Although there are countless gin brands, most of them can be distilled in only a few categories.
1. Very Prominent Taste Of Juniper. Like In “London Dry”.
The reason it’s called “dry gin” is that there are no added artificial flavors, they’re all-natural. Hence the juniper can break through more easily
2. Citrus Prominent. Like In Plymouth.
An even more dry option, full of “earthy” botanicals, citrus prominent gins are a great option for cocktails.
3. Malt Wine. Like Genever
Gin got its name from genever. It was originally made in Holland and only later did the British make gin as we know it today.
Malt wine gins have a very prominent flavor and go great with stronger cocktails.
Easy Gin Cocktail Recipes
We can’t have a gin article without mentioning a few easy recipes. After all, it’s one of the most famous drinks to use in cocktails.
1. CLASSIC GIN GIMLET
Very easy to make but a great option if you’re low on time and have a lot of guests.
- 2 ounces of gin
- 3/4 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- Cucumber wheel or lime wedge
Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup. Stir with a long cocktail spoon until cold.
2. COCONUT CRUSH
This one is for your “health-obsessed” friends. Just tell them there’s almond or coconut milk in there and they won’t be able to resist.
- 50ml gin
- 50ml full-fat coconut milk or almond milk
- 20ml freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 20ml simple syrup
- Lime slice
Directions: Pour your gin, coconut milk, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice in a blender and blend. Pour it into a chilled coupe glass. Mix in your gin with a spoon. Top up with tonic and garnish.
You’ve learned about lime juice, time to learn if almond milk can go bad.
Bond, James Bond. Probably the easiest one to make
- 60ml of gin
- Lime or Lemon
Directions: Stir or shake, whatever your preference is. The more vermouth you add the more herbal the taste will be. Just garnish it with lime or lemon at the end and you’re good to go.
Although prone to changing taste, gin can’t go bad.
Storing it in a dark and cool place is the best way to preserve its flavor.
Once opened, keeping it in the refrigerator is your best friend.
Leaving an opened bottle of gin overnight is a great way to waste it, as the taste will most definitely change for the worse, so make sure to at least close the bottle after you’re done drinking it.
Although made with a juniper that has quite a long list of health benefits, gin is still an alcoholic drink and should be used responsibly.