How Long Homemade Cocktail Sauce Will Last In The Fridge

Cocktail sauce is a deliciously-tangy condiment made up of horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, lemon, and hot sauce that you are probably used to serving with shrimp or oysters. Of course, you can buy bottled cocktail sauce that's delicious right off the shelf at the grocery store, but like most things, making it homemade will entice your taste buds far more than those store-bought versions.

One key difference between store-bought condiments and their homemade counterparts is the lack of preservatives. This helps with a fresher taste, but it also means your homemade concoction won't have as long of a shelf life. According to the USDA, bottled cocktail sauce can last in the fridge after it's been opened for up to six months like ketchup. But how long does homemade cocktail sauce last in the fridge? The general consensus is one to two weeks. The acidity from the lemon and ketchup will help preserve it, but it won't last as long as those store-bought options. Don't think you can eat it that fast? Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to six months.

Properly store your homemade cocktail sauce

The key to keeping homemade cocktail sauce as fresh as possible is storing it properly. Your cocktail sauce should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container that is closed and sealed properly. That means you shouldn't just put some plastic wrap over the dish and throw it in the fridge. Instead, transfer it in your best container and keep it closed until it's time to eat. And if you want to freeze it, the cocktail sauce needs to be kept in an airtight container that is also freezer-safe.

If you're unsure whether the cocktail sauce has gone bad, the first trick is to look for any mold or mildew on the surface. Don't see any? Try a smell test. If the cocktail sauce has a foul odor, which you'll know as soon as you sniff it, then it's time to toss it out. The final way to tell if your cocktail sauce has gone bad is if it's texture has gone watery or chunky — both are signs that the condiment is past its prime. Really, your best bet is to only make enough cocktail sauce for what you need, and eat it as soon as possible for the freshest taste.