Whether you’re the type to enjoy the occasional nightcap or someone who likes to host frequent cocktail parties, it’s always a good idea to store a few bottles of your favourite spirits at home.
Of course, it is also possible that you were given too many bottles as gifts than you can consume.
Whatever the case, you must learn to keep those liquor products in the same condition they were in when they were bought from a Dubai liquor store or online alcohol shop.
Preserving liquor flavour and quality depends on how well it is stored. Lucky for you, this article offers the top five secrets of alcohol storage, as listed below:
- Keep them away from light.
Whether it’s wine, distilled spirits, or liqueur, you must ensure that the bottles are far away from direct sunlight. This is the “golden rule” of alcohol storage.
While it doesn’t necessarily spoil liquor, exposure to the sun’s UV rays results in a similar situation as high-temperature storage in the sense that both lead to faster oxidation.
Researchers at Bacardi even found that the sun can even do worse than high temperatures.
In an experiment, they left bottles of alcohol exposed to the sun to see its effects on the alcohol. After 15 days of sun exposure, they found that bourbon lost 10 percent of its original colour, while scotch dulled by as much as 40 percent.
While this kind of alcohol deterioration won’t make you sick if you drink the exposed liquor moderately, it is not the kind of ageing that vintners and distillers do to craft those notes and flavours in your favourite alcoholic drink.
- Store them standing up.
Though this goes against the rule for storing wine, most high-proof liquors do better when stored standing up. When laid horizontally, the high alcohol content in the liquid can disintegrate the cork, causing it to mix with your drink.
Of course, you should still remember to wet the cork to prevent it from drying out and cracking, which could also lead to the same problem. Plus, dried-out corks tend to shrink, allowing air into the bottle, and ruining its flavour further.
To avoid these situations, make sure you flip the bottles upside down periodically before returning the bottle to an upright position in storage. This will allow the liquid to moisten the cork just enough for long-term storage.
- Pay close attention to the temperature.
The ideal storage of vodka, whiskey, gin, and other distilled liquors is around room temperature or lower. Some experts recommend the range 55 to 60 degrees Celsius.
However, there are still several things you need to consider when storing specific types of liquor, including the following:
Your drink serving preference
While no liquor needs to be kept at freezing point, you can always do so based on your personal preferences.
Many people keep some liquors in the freezer to keep them chilled. There’s really nothing bad that would come out of doing this since high-proof liquors won’t freeze in conventional freezers.
As a bonus, this is also a great way to chill gin and vodka well before serving or mixing in a cocktail.
The type of alcohol being stored
Although it’s ideal for most spirits with enough alcohol content to be kept at room temperature, some alcoholic drinks need to be stored in the fridge to maintain their quality. Good examples of this are fortified wines such as vermouth, port, and sherry. Cream-based liqueurs like Baileys Irish cream also need to be kept cold always.
- Know what to store where.
When storing alcohol, you should also think about the best storage setup for the specific type of spirit you have. Some do best in a cellar, but others can be kept in the fridge, bar cart, or freezer.
The following guide can help you know what liquors to store where:
Most unopened bottles can be stored in a bar cart for medium term. This applies to wine, rum, gin, and whiskey.
Opened wine bottles, including rosé and white wine, must be re-corked and kept cool to prevent the liquid from losing its flavour. This is because the cold temperature slows down oxidation and prolongs their freshness.
Freezing is an excellent way of preparing vodka and gin for cocktail mixing.
Keep the bottle for one hour inside the freezer before your cocktail party. Then, bring it out a couple of minutes to rest before mixing cocktails.
This should make the gin the perfect ingredient for making a smooth and sufficiently chilled martini.
Meanwhile, you can keep vodka in the freezer for the long haul, as long as it is away from direct light.
- Finish the bottle up.
Unopened liquor bottles can last for several years with proper storage. But once they’re already open, the oxidation begins.
The higher the air inside the bottle is, the faster the liquid’s colour and flavours change. It would be best to finish off the remaining liquid if it’s already less than a third of the bottle. If not, be sure to transfer it to a smaller container.
On a side note, you should also skip using decanters for your spirits. Although bourbon does look pretty in the crystal container, keeping it in an unsealed container would likely lead to faster oxidation, especially in the long term.
Instead, stick to its original bottle and save the decanter for displaying liquor on special occasions.
Enjoy Spirits Longer
Having liquor properly stored at home makes it easier to prepare for a cocktail party, not to mention it can save you a few bucks for your nightcaps. Whether you’re worried about changes in vodka prices in Abu Dhabi or received far too many bottles of wine on your birthday, keep these liquor storage secrets in mind to enjoy the drinks for longer.