As a college student, we have to learn to balance the budget. Constantly splitting money between food, books, and booze can be tough, so can you imagine finding out that alcohol you've been stocking up on, has gone bad? Does alcohol expire? Here is your key to making sure that  your favorite booze hasn't gone bad. 


beer, coffee, wine, tea
Alex Frank

As a college student, most of my wine comes in a box, is super cheap, and is emptied quick enough that expiration dates are irrelevant. With that said, I have heard of some super expensive, fancy wines that have been aging for longer than I have been alive. Because of this, I thought wine didn't go bad – turns out wine can expire. Basically, the nicer the wine, the longer it can be stored, unopened. Cheaper wine should be drunk in a year or two of purchasing. If you are storing a wine, especially if it's nice, make sure you store it on its side. This way the cork won't shrink or develop holes. 

If you open a bottle of wine, it's only good for a couple days or a week. A sparkling wine can become flat within two days so make sure you finish that Prosecco off quickly, shouldn't be too hard. How do you know if your wine has gone by? Examine the smell, taste, and color. If the color has changed, or it doesn't taste normal, it's probably bad. 


cocktail, ice, juice, sweet, liquor, alcohol
Claire Waggoner

With alcohols like gin, vodka or whiskey you don't have to worry about an expiration date. Because they are distilled, they won't expire. You may notice that if a bottle remains unopened for a long time that it may become cloudy, but the taste or alcohol content will not change. Even if you open a bottle and let it sit, it will not expire, but the alcohol may start to evaporate as it oxidizes. It is recommended to drink spirits 6 months to a year after being opened. After a spirit has expired, you can still drink it, but the alcohol content will be decreased. 


tea, cider, juice, beer, milk, ice, apple, coffee
Renee Chiu

Tequila can last for years if unopened, but once Tequila is opened, the shelf life decreases to 3-6 months. Oxidation and evaporation degrade the quality. Although it may not taste as great, it is technically okay to drink. The only thing that will make you sick is if you overdo it. 


Generally, unopened liqueurs can last up to a year. If you see crystallization, discolorization or curdling, the liqueur should be thrown away. If you have a creme liqueur, like Bailey's, it should be thrown out after about 18 months. If they have been opened, they should be consumed after a year. But, with cream, dairy or egg based liqueurs it is important to check the expiration date as you can actually get sick from consuming these liqueurs if they are expired. 

Does alcohol expire? Yes, but you have plenty of time to go party before you need to toss it out. Luckily you won't be putting any of that good alc money to waste. And probably won't have that hard of a time finishing off your stash...