If you have a liquor cabinet in your home, then it must store the common alcoholic beverages like tequila, vodka, and Baileys. No doubt that most boozes can last a lifetime without getting spoiled. In fact, there are some drinks whose flavour and influence get more enhanced over time but the rule doesn’t apply to all.
Some liquors get spoiled after some years or even months, if not stored appropriately. The reason why this class of alcoholic beverages act strangely is their varied composition which goes off after one or two years, spoiling the whole richness and strong effects. Unfortunately, bailey is also one of those beverages. Keep reading to know why bailey goes off too soon, telltale signs to determine when exactly your bailey will expire, and how you can increase its shelf life!
Baileys is a special dairy liquor, having cream and milk which increases its overall consistency. Due to the presence of these dairy ingredients, this alcoholic beverage tends to get spoiled within 1-2 years. After this timeframe, not only the flavour but the quality and texture of the drink begin to degrade. And when you observe that both the dairy components and alcoholic fraction have separated, it means your drink has expired. Even on shaking the content present inside the bottle, you can’t get the original texture and flavour back.
In the market, multiple cream liquors are available with different expiry limits but Bailey is the company whose bottles are stamped with an expiry label, showing when the certain batch was brewed and when it will go off.
If your liquor has not gone bad enough so that its constituents have separated, you can look for some other telltale signs to find out whether your bailer has gone bad or not. For instance, you can check its texture while pouring in the glass. If it has developed a lumpy texture rather than a smooth, cream-like consistency, it’s an obvious sign of spoilage.
If you find the texture perfectly fresh, smell the liquor. If the drink has a more dominant alcoholic fragrance, it’s okay to have it. On the other hand, if you find the dairy fragrance more dominant and powerful or your drink smells like custard, you better avoid consuming it. Besides smell and texture, you should also check whether the liquor is looking opaque or cloudy. The latter case will indicate that your drink has gone bad.
And if you find all the things, smell, texture, and colour fine, with no sign of spoilage, pay attention to the flavour. Just like other rotten dairy products, expired baileys also taste sour and extremely unappealing on the very first sip. On the other hand, a good and fresh drink of baileys will taste sweet, with a whole richness of cream and milk.
As mentioned before, all the baileys bottles come with a best before date, depicting the expiry date of the liquor. However, some fortunate still manage to enjoy one bottle for numerous years, past the expiration date. On the other hand, the drinks of some other people go bad just within a few months, even before it hits the best before date.
The main factor that determines the shelf life of baileys is the storage methods. If you store the liquor appropriately, within the right environment and temperature, you can save the same drink for a far upcoming date. For example, if you haven’t opened the bottle, the alcohol content will preserve the other ingredients but only if the storage conditions are desirable. For this purpose, it’s advised to store bottles in dark, cold, and cellar refrigerators.
If you can’t store your pack of baileys in the refrigerator, you can place them in the pantry but only if its temperature is below 25° and the area doesn’t catch direct sunlight. The rules are a bit harder for opened bottles since the internal contents get more prone to contamination. So, if you’ve opened up a baileys bottle, put it into the refrigerator as soon as possible.
Also, avoid keeping it uncapped or drinking straight from the bottle as it will transfer bacteria from your mouth into the bottle. These bacteria, then, react with the dairy components, causing them to curdle. Some cream liqueurs come with instructions that the drink doesn’t necessarily need to be stored in the refrigerator but still, it’s advised to do so. Otherwise, your alcoholic beverage might begin to spoil within six months, once unsealed.