Chambord is known as a premium liqueur that is made from a mixture of blackberries, blackcurrant, and raspberries.
Its origin is tied to royalty as it was first served to Louis XIV during one of his visits to the château de Chambord, hence the name.
If you have a bottle of this versatile liqueur at home then you might have also wondered about its shelf life.
Does Chambord go bad? Yes. While Chambord won’t go “bad” in the traditional sense, it will, however, lose a significant degree of its original flavor over time. This is why it is always recommended that you consume the bottle after opening within 3-4 months for the best flavor.
Read below to learn more about this royal liqueur, how long it lasts and how to properly store it!
What Is Chambord?
Chambord liqueur was invented in France during the 17th century. It debuted during a royal visit by Louis XIV and was henceforth entered into the liqueur hall of fame.
The liqueur is sold under the “Chambord” brand name and has retained its original recipe since its inception.
Chambord has a dark purple color and provides rich fruity flavors with fairly low alcohol content. It borrows flavor notes from berries and is known for its velvety finish.
It is also known for its relatively low alcohol content which measures at around 16.5% ABV. The ingredients and alcohol content are important factors because they will determine the best usage and storage indications for this liqueur.
See, while traditional high alcohol liquors can last a long time, these fruity low alcohol beverages will usually give out to oxidization.
Of course, this isn’t an indication of the quality of the liqueur but is in fact a common occurrence that can also be seen in other types of similar liqueurs.
Chambord doesn’t go bad in the same way as other foods would. Due to its alcohol content, the liqueur will easily be able to keep harmful bacteria at bay.
However, the ingredients will still largely be at the mercy of natural environmental factors.
How Long Does Chambord Last?
As soon as you open a bottle of Chambord and expose it to the air, it will start to oxidize. You won’t notice this immediately but given time (6-8 months) you will slowly start to notice the drop in quality and flavor.
While most fruity liqueurs contain some preservatives to keep their flavor fresh and “alive” too many of these additives can result in a loss of quality.
It is because of these natural and artificial preservatives that the flavor of an opened bottle of Chambord can last even 1 year.
If you leave the bottle unopened then the product may be able to last for longer but you should still always follow the storage indications mentioned on the bottle for the best experience.
Also note that even if you were to store the bottle in the fridge, it wouldn’t have an effect on its shelf life and there is very little that you can do to stop the oxidization process.
The best way to ensure the quality of the liqueur would be to keep it upright and store it in a cool and dark place.
Most people tend to leave liqueurs over the shelf or counter. This is usually not an issue but if the bottle were to be left near a window or is exposed to sunlight then you can expect a quicker rate of deterioration.
In most cases, Chambord should ideally be consumed within 3 months of opening it if you want the most out of its flavor. After the 3-4-month period, you can expect the liqueur to have a slightly different flavor and aftertaste.
After 6 months, the liqueur would start to show noticeable signs of deterioration in the form of a less intense flavor which would peak during the 8-12-month period.
After that, the liqueur would still be safe to drink, however, it will provide only a fraction of its original flavor.
Signs Of Spoilage
To be clear, alcoholic beverages don’t go bad. They only lose a significant amount of flavor which most people interpret as “going bad”.
Furthermore, please note that while a year-old liqueur won’t harm you, it may cause irritation or stomach problems in some individuals.
Here are a few signs that you should look out for:
If the bottle is improperly kept and has been tilted for an extended period, then the cap of the bottle is bound to corrode due to being in contact with the liqueur.
Severe corrosion can result in particles and impurities getting mixed with the beverage, which can understandably cause an off-putting flavor.
Color changes are a common occurrence in improperly stored liqueur. These changes happen due to the liqueur being exposed to the environment.
It can also happen if the cap of the bottle corrodes to the point that it starts to let air in.
When this happens, you will notice the Chambord go through different color changes. These changes won’t necessarily make you sick, but they will leave you thoroughly unimpressed with the flavor and quality of the liqueur.
Loss Of Aroma
This is another indicator of the quality of expired Chambord. Before pouring yourself a glass, make sure to whiff the bottle after removing the cap.
A fresh bottle will provide all the fruity aromatic notes that you would expect from a raspberry liqueur.
However, Chambord that has gone bad will have a very flat scent. In most cases, you may not smell anything or just get a slight whiff of faint fruity aromas.
Remember, you might notice one or all of these changes during the storage period of the liqueur but even one of these negative characteristics is enough to give you an idea of the overall quality of the Chambord.
The Best Storage Methods
Now that we’ve gone over what to look out for when storing your Chambord, here are a few tips to keep this liqueur from spoiling!
Opened Bottle Of Chambord
Perhaps the best way to prolong the shelf life of an opened bottle of liqueur is to keep it in a separate cool and dry cabinet.
The keywords here are “cool” and “dry”. Keep in mind that Chambord is sensitive to external temperatures, even ambient temperatures!
Even a slight but steady increase in the overall temperature of the cabinet can be enough to set off significant deterioration.
Also, as mentioned above, the best way to store the bottles is to keep them upright.
There is no point in moving the contents of the bottle into a decanter because most manufacturers will make the bottles as per the liqueur’s specifications—so, you already have the best storage bottle at hand.
Having a large liqueur cabinet with ample space can come in handy too because then all the bottles will remain upright.
Additionally, ensure that you keep the bottle cap screwed on tight.
The most common mistake people make while storing liqueur is that they either forget to tighten the cap or they tighten it to the point of chipping the inner grooves of the cap, thereby permanently damaging the seal.
Just gently but firmly twist the cap until you feel a tight resistance. That is enough to seal the bottle and prevent air from getting in.
You can also refrigerate the entire bottle but this will only result in a satisfyingly delicious and cold glass of Chambord and will not have any effect on the quality or longevity of the liqueur.
Unopened Bottle Of Chambord
In the case of unopened bottles, follow the same storage instructions as mentioned above but try to give more importance to keeping the bottle upright and away from sunlight and temperature discrepancies.
Always be wary of the best-before date listed on the bottle and as a general rule of thumb. Always try to consume the bottle 6 months before the best-before date for the most flavor.
Additionally, you can also keep the bottle for the entirety of its storage in the fridge so that you get a chill and fresh glass of this delicious liqueur whenever you need it.
Chambord is a highly versatile and delicious drink that can be used as a base in cocktail recipes, beverages, and more.
Now that you know how long it can last and how to store it, here are some related questions!
Can you freeze Chambord?
Yes. Due to its low alcohol content, Chambord can freeze if left in the freezer for a long time. However, the beverage does not need to be refrigerated or frozen.
If you are freezing the bottle for the sake of prolonging its shelf life then it won’t have much of an effect.
The best way to store the bottle would be to keep it in a cool and dry place and to only refrigerate it when you need a chilled glass of Chambord.
How long can Chambord last when poured and stored in a glass?
Chambord is a low alcoholic beverage but even then, storing it out in a glass should not have that much of an effect on its flavor for up to 24-36 hours.
However, after this time, the flavor of the drink will slowly start to deteriorate and you may even notice some color changes too.
This is especially true when you mix Chambord with other ingredients or when you use Chambord to make specialty beverages.
Leave it out for longer and you might even notice crystallization on the bottom of the glass along with discoloration and even curdling.
This would be a clear indication of spoilage, and it would be best if you just discard all the contents in the glass.
If you’re looking for some Chambord cocktails to try out, here’s a great video covering some delicious recipes!
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