How Long Does Vermouth Last?

Reader Evan asks (in a nutshell):  Does vermouth go bad?

Grab that bottle of vermouth that’s been sitting open in your liquor cabinet for a year and take a sip. Yeah, it goes bad. Real bad. Vermouth is basically just wine, after all.

But how long does it last after you open it? Conventional wisdom is all over the map, so I put the question to the experts at Noilly Prat. Their answer: After opening a bottle of vermouth it should be stored in the fridge, where it will keep for about three months.

There ya go. Here’s an idea: Replace your vermouth whenever you replace your fridge deodorizers.

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13 Responses

  1. Blair Frodelius January 21, 2009 / 10:28 am

    I refrigerate all my vermouth, tequila, mezcal, port, sherry, and mixers. I also keep my vodka and gin in the freezer, just to have it icy cold when making martinis.

  2. Christopher Null January 21, 2009 / 10:38 am

    Do you have room for food in there? BTW there is no need to keep higher-proof spirits like tequila refrigerated (they never go “bad”)… unless you just like to keep them cold.

  3. Edoc January 21, 2009 / 11:47 am

    I’m (mostly) with Blair. I keep my gin and vodka in the freezer, so there’s no need to shake them in ice to make martinis. I keep lower proof liquers and cordials in the refrigerator (e.g. St. Germain and Cherry Heering).

  4. Blair Frodelius January 22, 2009 / 6:53 am

    I own a small dorm sized fridge which is dedicated to cocktail ingredients. The only “food” items are cocktail onions, horseradish (for bloody marys), and any herbs (mint, borage, thyme, etc.)

    Also forgot to mention I keep things like X-Rated and Hpnotiq in there too. They tend to ferment once opened.

  5. Henderpete April 15, 2009 / 6:41 pm

    Unless you drink them straight, keeping vodka or gin in the freezer makes no sense. Stirred or shaken, a civilized martinis needs the water absorbed from the ice in the shaker and if the liquor is already at freezing temperatures you will not achieve the necessary dilution. I’ve found that one hundred stirs using room temperature gin is perfect for a 6 to 1 martini.

    I’m looking forward to the new Noilly Prat although I’ve been more than happy with the old formula for 50 years. Never tried the Lillet.

  6. Tim September 25, 2009 / 8:56 am

    The new Noilly Prat is a sweet formula. I highly recommend Vya X-Dry for your martinis. Dolin Rouge is a good red.

  7. Anonymous October 16, 2009 / 3:49 pm

    How long will an UN-OPENED bottle of Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth last. I know there probably isn’t any defining answer but I’d love some best guesses. Thanks

  8. Anonymous March 2, 2010 / 3:36 am

    this small bottle of Martini Rossi Asti belongs to my 85yr old mum, she has had it in her fridge for years, yes, years. it has never been opened, but she has now remembered it and would like to drink it, will it still be safe for her to have, thanks

  9. Christopher Null March 2, 2010 / 9:07 am

    Anon – It will almost certainly be safe but will probably not taste very good. Splurge on the 5 bucks for a new bottle for Mum.

  10. Bar Bill February 5, 2011 / 8:05 pm

    Perhaps you can answer my question. I have some decades-old bottles of Dubonnet blanc that were until recently unopened. It makes *awesome* martinis. It also tastes very little like new Dubonnet blanc. What gives?

  11. DAVID April 10, 2015 / 8:41 am

    I HAVE AN UNOPENED BOTTLE OF NOILLY PRAT VERMOUTH THAT HAS BEEN STORED IN A CABINET FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS AT AROUND 65F. IS IT STILL GOOD? IF I OPEN IT NOW WILL THE TASTE HAVE BEEN AFFECTED?

  12. Christopher Null April 10, 2015 / 8:51 am

    It will have almost certainly gone bad by now. I would open it just for kicks though, but prepare for the worst.

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