Some people think of Baileys as a dessert. For others, it is a full-on alcoholic drink. Whichever is the case for you, it is always good to know the proper storage conditions for the drinks you let sit in the pantry for years.
Can you freeze Baileys? It is not recommended that you freeze Baileys. As it is a mixture of whiskey and cream, the texture will suffer significant changes as a result of the freezing and thawing processes. It is best to store Baileys in the panty or in the fridge if you prefer it slightly chilled.
In this article, you will learn why you should never freeze Baileys and how long it will last refrigerated or stored at room temperature.
Does Baileys Freeze Well?
Freezing alcohol is tricky. The freezing point of alcohol varies depending on the variety. Whether your beverage will come out of the freezer unaffected, half-exploded, or with major consistency changes depends on its alcohol content.
The higher the alcohol concentration is in a drink, the lower the temperature it will require to freeze.
The alcohol content in Baileys Irish Cream is 17%. But as you can probably guess from the full name of this drink, there is also cream in it. Baileys is a mixture of Irish whiskey and dairy cream.
The alcohol concentration in Baileys is low enough to make the drink freeze to a certain extent. The cream part, however, will turn into solid ice, when you freeze it. When it defrosts, the texture will be off.
So, freezing Baileys will result in a drink with a slushy alcohol content with frozen cream it in. Once you defrost the drink, the consistency won’t be the same as before.
What Is the Best Way to Store Baileys?
An unopened bottle of Baileys can be stored in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet. Here are some key guidelines for storing it:
- Keep it in a room where the temperature is between 32 and 77 °F.
- Store the drink away from sunlight and heat sources.
- Keep the bottle in a dark and dry area.
- Make sure to not expose it to temperature fluctuations.
An opened bottle of Baileys can be stored at room temperature following the abovementioned storage rules.
You can store an open bottle of Baileys in the fridge too. In fact, many people prefer storing Baileys in the fridge over keeping it in the pantry.
Once chilled, Baileys Irish Cream acquires crispiness that according to many people makes it taste much better.
When storing opened Baileys, make sure to keep the bottle sealed. Otherwise, contact with air will cause the drink to degrade much faster.
How Long Does Baileys Last?
The manufacturer claims that Baileys maintains its best flavor qualities for 2 years whether the bottle is opened or not.
The bottle also comes with a ‘Best by’ date that you should always check before buying the drink or when you decide to drink it after you have had it for months.
After the 2-year mark, the quality of the drink will start to deteriorate until it goes bad.
However, the liquor is likely to still be good for some time after the ‘Best by’ date printed on the bottle. However, we recommend checking it before drinking as cream liquors are more prone to spoilage than the ones without any dairy.
Note that this estimation of Baileys’ shelf life is only true if you store the drink properly. Also, refrigerating Baileys doesn’t extend its shelf life but keeps the flavor of the drink at its best for much longer.
If your bottle of Baileys is half-full and you don’t feel like tossing it out, there are numerous ways to use it up. You can bake with Baileys, make mousses or dips with it, or simply drizzle some on your ice cream.
How Do You Know that Baileys Has Gone Bad?
The cream in Baileys should make you be more attentive to the spoilage signs of this drink.
While there is whisky in Baileys to act as a natural preservative and prevent the cream from going bad, it doesn’t guarantee against spoilage in the long run.
To see if Baileys is still good, give it a sniff test. You will probably be able to recognize the sour smell of dairy that’s gone bad.
If the drink smells good, pour it into a glass to inspect the consistency and color. If you see clumps in your drink, it means you have exposed it to temperature fluctuations.
In such cases, it is best not to drink the liquor. Bad Baileys can also be detected through its darker color.
If Baileys smells, looks, and tastes good, you can drink it. But if you have had the bottle for too long, err on the safe side and opt for another drink.