How Long Does Vermouth Last?

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Vermouth is a signature drink in bars, adding depth and flavor to cocktails. But have you ever wondered how long does vermouth last? So, let’s find the answer today.

What Is The Best Way To Use Vermouth

An unopened bottle of vermouth lasts for three to four years. The opened dry vermouth bottle will last for one month, and the sweet vermouth bottle will last for two months. 

Vermouth has different styles, such as sweet, dry, Bianco, and rosso. Each type has its unique flavor profile and is used in other cocktails. When you store vermouth, the natural aging process and exposure to oxygen will cause vermouth to deteriorate over time. In that case, keeping it properly is essential.

This article will cover everything you need to know about vermouth shelf life. We will tell you storage tips to keep your vermouth fresh for an extended period and know if vermouth goes terribly. 

What Is Vermouth?

Vermouth is a fortified wine with assorted flavors like herbs, spices, and fruits. It’s frequently used in cocktails and enjoyed as an aperitif.

The base wine used to make vermouth can be either red or white, typically a low-alcohol wine. Vermouth can range in taste from sweet to dry and vary in color from pale yellow to deep amber or even red. 

The most famous cocktails that use vermouth include the Martini, Manhattan, Negroni, Americano, and the Rob Boy.  

How Long Does Vermouth Last?

How Long Does Vermouth Last
Vermouth External FactorsPantryFridge
Vermouth Unopened 3 – 4 years
Vermouth Opened (dry)One Month
Vermouth Opened (sweet)Two Months

The above table mentions the shelf life of vermouth. One thing to note here is that the opened bottle of vermouth should be stored in the fridge as it will stay longer and fresh. 

Vermouth is a wine-based product so it can spoil or oxidize over time. Once you open a bottle of dry vermouth, it can only last up to one month. There are two main types of vermouth: sweet and dry. 

Sweet vermouth has a higher sugar content and is often used in cocktails. At the same time, dry vermouth is used mainly in making martinis. The sweet vermouth bottle will last up to two months after opening the bottle. At the same time, the dry vermouth bottle will last up to one month.

If you have an unopened bottle of vermouth, it can last up to 3-4 years. If you are a casual cocktail maker and don’t use vermouth often, consider buying smaller bottles to finish them within a few months.

If you are a frequent cocktail maker, you can invest in a vacuum pump to remove excess air from the bottle after each use. This will help to keep the vermouth fresh for a more extended period.

How To Tell If Vermouth Is Bad?

To check if vermouth has gone wrong, there are a few factors to consider here. So, one by one, we will look at all the elements.

  • Color: If the vermouth appears hazy or has any sediment at the bottom of the bottle, it could be a sign that the vermouth has gone wrong. This can be due to oxidation or bacterial growth. Both of these can affect the taste and quality of the vermouth.
  • Smell: If the vermouth has a sour or vinegar-like odor, the vermouth has likely spoiled. It may also have a musty or moldy smell, indicating contamination.
  • Check Expiration Date: An unopened bottle of vermouth has a shelf life of around 3 to 4 years. So, make sure to check the expiration date on the bottle.

Storage Of Vermouth

Storage Of Vermouth

Storing vermouth properly is critical in ensuring that it will stay fresh for a longer period. So, let’s check out excellent storage tips for vermouth.

  • Store Vermouth In A Cool, Dark Place: Vermouth should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Exposure to light and heat can cause the vermouth to oxidize and spoil, affecting its taste and aroma.
  • Keep The Bottle Tightly Sealed: Once you open a bottle of vermouth, keep it tightly sealed to prevent air from getting in. This will help to keep the vermouth fresh and flavorful for a long time.
  • Refrigerate After Opening: Vermouth should be refrigerated to slow the oxidation process. This will help to preserve the vermouth’s flavor and quality for up to a few months.
  • Choose The Right Size Bottle: If you use vermouth sparingly, buying small bottles to use them up within a month is best. It will help you minimize waste and always use fresh vermouth in your cocktails. 

Can You Freeze Vermouth?

No, you cannot freeze vermouth, as few things can make the vermouth go bad. Vermouth doesn’t have a very high alcohol content, so it may not withstand freezing very well. If the temperature drops low enough, vermouth can freeze and harden.

Freezing and thawing vermouth could hurt its taste. Because of these factors, it’s generally not recommended to freeze vermouth.

Is It Okay To Drink Old Vermouth?

It depends on the condition of the vermouth. If the old vermouth is sealed, you can also drink three years old vermouth. But if it is opened and not stored correctly, you may have to think twice about drinking it. 

Vermouth should be stored in a cool, dark place, and the bottle should be tightly sealed to prevent oxidation. Oxidation can change the flavor of the vermouth, making it stale or even vinegary.

Before drinking vermouth, give it a sniff. If it smells bad or has a sour smell, then the chances of getting vermouth wrong are high. 

What Is The Best Way To Use Vermouth?

What Is The Best Way To Use Vermouth

Vermouth is a versatile wine drink that can be enjoyed in numerous ways. One of the most classic ways to savor it is as an apéritif. It is served over ice with olives and a slice of orange or lemon. In Spain, vermouth is a popular weekend afternoon drink and pre-meal drink. 

Also, vermouth is a crucial ingredient in many classic cocktails. The timeless classic Martini combines dry vermouth and gin, garnished with a lemon peel or olive. 

Sweet vermouth, on the other hand, brings depth and complexity to various drinks, including the beloved Manhattan, composed of bourbon or whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters, served with a maraschino cherry. 

The Negroni, another famous cocktail, combines Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, served over ice with an orange peel. 


The answer is straightforward if you were wondering how long vermouth lasts. An unopened bottle of vermouth can last up to 3 to 4 years, while an opened bottle lasts for around 1 to 2 months. 

But as we’ve learned, proper storage is critical to ensuring your vermouth lasts as long as possible. Keeping it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight is the way to go.

Knowing how to store your vermouth correctly is essential if you are a wine connoisseur or cocktail maker. On that note, I end this article. Hopefully, this article has answered your question about the shelf life of vermouth. Thanks for joining in the exploration of vermouth. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does an opened bottle of vermouth last?

An opened bottle of vermouth lasts for about 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator.

Does vermouth go bad if left unopened?

Unopened vermouth bottles can last several years if stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

How can you tell if vermouth has gone wrong?

If vermouth has gone wrong, it may have a sour or unpleasant smell and taste. The color of the vermouth may also change over time, becoming darker or cloudy. It’s always best to use your smelling senses to check if vermouth has gone wrong rather than relying solely on the expiration date.

Can you extend the shelf life of vermouth?

You can extend the shelf life of vermouth by storing it properly. Keep the bottle tightly closed and store it in the refrigerator after opening it. If you don’t plan on using the vermouth for a while, you can transfer it to a smaller bottle to minimize the amount of air that comes into contact with the liquid. You can also try vacuum-sealing the bottle or using a wine preserver to help extend its shelf life.

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