Drinks

The Best Way to Store Every Kind of Alcohol

Because leftover wine and vodka should never go to waste
How to Store Every Kind of Alcohol
Photo: Dave Katz/Tasting Table

Most people know the rules. Unopened bottles of alcohol, whether they be liquor, beer or wine, can be stored in a cool, dark place away from any direct sunlight. But what happens when you open a new bottle of vermouth or vodka, and don't polish off the bottle in one go? Do you store it in the fridge, freezer or on the bar cart? We've got answers.

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While some open bottles, like red wine and whiskey, are better stored at cooler temperatures, other options require refrigeration to stay fresh. No alcohol should go to waste because it wasn’t stored properly, so here are the best ways to extend the shelf life of your bottles of cheer.

What Goes in the Fridge?

Fortified wines, such as port, sherry and vermouth, should be stored in the fridge after they’ve been opened. The colder temperature slows down the oxidation process and keeps the bottles fresher longer. White wine and rosé should also be recorked and stored in the fridge after opening.

What Goes in the Freezer?

If you plan on making a bunch of cocktails, store your vodka in the freezer for about an hour before the party so it’s chilled. Take it out a few minutes ahead of serving, so it has time to thaw before showing off your mixologist skills. For long-term storage, vodka can be stored in the freezer or in a dark, cool place away from direct light.

What Goes on the Bar Cart?

It’s important to open a bottle of red wine and let it breathe before enjoying, but if you’re having only a glass or two, the best way to store an open bottle is to recork it and place it in a cool environment, otherwise it will lose its flavor. Pro tip: Unopened wine is best stored on its side, so the cork stays moist.

Rum, whiskey (whisky) and gin can also be stored in a cool place after they’ve been opened. Similar to vodka, stick gin in the freezer for about an hour before serving to make a smooth, chilled martini.

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