Smirnoff Ice, a light, fruity cocktail with a splash of vodka, is a classic drink that never gets old. However, much like any other food and drink options, there are some guidelines to be aware of when storing this drink.
The good news is that most alcoholic beverages will last for quite some time, although many of them have recommended timeframes for use.
Does Smirnoff Ice expire? No, Smirnoff Ice does not expire, as long as it remains unopened. When you see that printed date on the bottle, it’s actually an indication of when the bottle was brewed.
It will still be safe to drink much later; however, it may lose its carbonation and some of its appeal as a drink with time.
In this guide, we will walk you through whether or not Smirnoff Ice expires and what you can expect of the dates that are stamped on the packaging.
We will also give you some insight as to how to properly store Smirnoff Ice. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about maintaining fresh Smirnoff Ice!
Smirnoff Ice – A Complete Guide to Freshness
It seems like this would be a simple topic. In some ways, it is, but there is still quite a bit of information you should know in order to ensure that your Smirnoff Ice is fresh and enjoyable at any time.
Where Is the Expiration Date on Smirnoff Ice?
Smirnoff Ice is considered a malt beverage. These are not required to be given expiration dates because they are not considered to technically expire.
You won’t see a stamped expiration date, but you might see a series of numbers on the bottle that you can’t interpret. They probably look a bit like gibberish, if you don’t know what you’re looking at.
This stamp is placed by the distributor and it actually does have a month and year in the code that is listed.
For example, if you see code “F1223DE” on your bottle, it means that the bottle you are looking at was brewed on February 12, 2023. The DE means that it was bottled in Delaware.
You could consider this a best-by date. If nothing else, it at least tells you when the stuff in the bottle was brewed and bottled.
If you want to give it an expiration date to tell you when the carbonation quality may start to go down, you can add 3 months to the date on the bottle.
In the example above, this means that it would “expire” May 12, 2023.
Do You Have to Refrigerate Smirnoff Ice?
Smirnoff Ice is considered to be a malt beverage. You may be familiar with the general recommendations for malt beverages, but the key is that you should not refrigerate it, let it get hot, and then refrigerate it again.
So, with that in mind, you do not have to refrigerate Smirnoff Ice. It will not make it go bad. If your fridge is full and you simply can’t fit that 12-pack in there, you can just toss one or two in there and restock as needed.
Smirnoff Ice is best if you refrigerate it before you drink it. It just tastes better chilled, but this is a matter of personal preference as well.
If you purchase Smirnoff Ice already chilled and refrigerated, we do recommend that you keep it refrigerated.
Malt beverages can experience an alteration in flavor and quality if you allow them to be chilled and then allow them to come to room temperature and then attempt to chill them again.
It seems silly but this really can affect the flavor, and the best thing to do is finish your drink the first time you take it out of the fridge or throw the rest away and grab a fresh one next time.
Alcoholic beverages, including malt beverages, do not have to be refrigerated. They do not go bad when they are not refrigerated. However, in this case, the flavor is much improved when it is chilled.
Will Smirnoff Ice Go Bad?
We have covered this topic pretty in-depth to this point. Your Smirnoff Ice will probably not go bad.
That stamped date on the bottle indicates when the beverage was brewed and bottled and might give you some indication as to when it will be best by.
However, this beverage is bottled with carbonation, and the carbonation may not hold up over an extended period of time. Smirnoff Ice is typically bottled. They do have some canned options, and the cans wouldn’t experience this side effect.
But if you have a bottle, here is what happens. The bottle cap is not actually 100% airtight, although it’s close. Over time, the gas of carbonation can actually seep out of the cap.
This doesn’t make your Smirnoff Ice go bad, but it will make your Smirnoff Ice go flat. It’s safe to drink, but you will easily notice a difference in the flavor and quality as you try to enjoy your drink.
So you may want to think twice about serving that year-old case of Smirnoff Ice at your party, even if it’ll save you a few extra bucks.
How Should You Store Smirnoff Ice?
Because Smirnoff Ice has such a long shelf life, you can store it however is most convenient for you. Most people prefer to store their bottles in their fridge to keep them ice-cold and ready to go at any time.
If you don’t have room in your kitchen fridge, you may want to consider getting a mini fridge for your office, basement, or dorm room, where you can keep an emergency stash for your sudden cravings at all times.
If you really want to make sure your Smirnoff Ice can chill you out in the summer and help you beat the heat, you can even store it in the freezer.
Because Smirnoff Ice is only 5% alcohol, it will freeze all the way through, but you can take a bottle out to thaw for a bit before you head outside.
If you choose to leave part of it unthawed, it will act as an ice cube that won’t water down the rest of your drink.
You can also choose to store your bottles in a room-temperature area like a pantry or garage, but we recommend keeping them away from sunlight or warm spots.
If you decide to break out your 12-pack for a pool party, make sure you leave the bottles in the fridge or a cooler so that any leftover bottles don’t warm up before you have to put them back in the freezer.
As we mentioned above, this can have adverse consequences on the overall quality of malt beverages.
The Shelf-Life of Smirnoff Ice
To summarize, Smirnoff Ice does not expire. However, there are some things that could affect the flavor and quality of your drink overall. Be sure that you don’t let chilled Smirnoff Ice get hot and then try to chill it again. This will mess with the flavor.
Additionally, remember that the stamped date on the bottle is not an expiration date. It is an indication of how long ago the drink was bottled. You can expect your drink to still be great for at least 3 months after the date on that bottle.
Once those 3 months have passed, your Smirnoff Ice may still be good. You don’t have to just toss it out. Take that cap off and taste it to see if the quality is still up to par for your needs and preferences.
Ultimately, you can enjoy your Smirnoff Ice any way you like it for quite some time!
We hope this article has been a valuable resource to storing your Smirnoff Ice and that we’ve answered all your questions. We invite you take a look at a few related questions below.
Does Kahlua Go Bad?
Kahlua is a strong and sweet dessert liqueur made from rum, sugar, and coffee. While it is also alcoholic, it does not have as long of a shelf-life as Smirnoff Ice.
Kahlua will go bad eventually, but it will last for up to 4 years before then. After only 2 years, it will begin to lose its flavor.
When it does go bad, it is not unsafe to consume and will not grow mold or turn sour, but it will noticeably lose its quality.
It is important to keep your bottles sealed tightly and stored in a dry, dark, and cool place to prevent early spoilage.
If you’d like to read more about the expiration of Kahlua, we have another article dedicated to this topic.
Does Bailey’s Go Bad?
Because Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur contains cream, it also will go bad eventually. However, the alcohol content (17%) does help keep it fresh for longer than normal dairy products.
This means that, if stored in a fridge with the cap tightly sealed, your Bailey’s should last up to 2 years. However, it may still be safe to drink after this mark, but the quality will start to diminish.
If you’d like to read more about the shelf-life of your Bailey’s, we have another article dedicated to this question here.