Cleaning out the liquor cabinet

Want an easy 15-minute organizing project that will get you ready for the summer? Then head over to your liquor cabinet (or other space where you stash your liquor) and take a look at your current stash. You might find a collection of bottles left over from your last mixology party or a collection of bottles received as gifts in the past. You might be asking yourself, does liquor expire? If so, here is a quick reference guide you need to clean out your liquor cabinet.

All liquor needs to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark area. So if your current storage space is not ideal, start brainstorming about where you are going to store your liquor in the future so that you enjoy the most out of it.

Spirits (gin, vodka, rum, brandy, tequila, whiskey)

  • Unopened and properly sealed – can last indefinitely
  • They should be stored standing up
  • Alcohol in opened spirits evaporates over time. You can drink the old stuff but it won’t have any kick and the taste will be gone.

Liqueurs (contain added sugar and flavoring – chocolate, fruit, coffee, cream, herbal, etc.)

  • Unopened and properly sealed – varies based on storage
    • If you see discoloration or crystallization, it has expired.
    • Liquors containing egg or cream, like Baily’s, tend to have expiration dates written on their bottles.
  • They should be stored standing up
  • Once opened, they should be consumed in 6 months to a year. Some may last longer; again use your senses (eye and nose).


  • Unopened and properly sealed – unless it is a very fine wine, most shelf wines are meant to be consumed within a few years of bottling, depending on the variety
    • White wine – 1-2 years
    • Red wine – 2-5 years
  • They should be stored laying down to keep the cork moist
  • Once opened and stored in the refrigerator, they should be consumed in:
    • White wine – 1-3 days
    • Red wine – 1-2 weeks

For all liquor that needs to be disposed of, you should empty the contents and recycle the glass properly.

At this point, you either have a shopping list of staples to grab before your next party or you know how much space you have to hold all those host/hostess gifts of liquor.

Cheers to a great summer!

About Gabriela Burgman

Gabriela's mission is to empower her clients with the tools and motivation they need to get and stay organized. Prior to becoming a Professional Organizer, Gabriela worked in a photograph archive as well as several university archives, assisting offices, administrators, and retiring academics to sort through their files for preservation or disposal. She became a professional organizer in 2007 working as an independent consultant before joining Living Peace. When Gabriela is not learning new ways to organize photos or paper both physically and electronically, she is spending time on what matters most to her: visiting with family and friends, reading a good mystery book, or cooking a tasty meal.

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