Irish cream is one of the most unique liqueurs available. This is because it’s an alcoholic drink that happens to have dairy in it. Which is a rare combination that makes it a great addition to plenty of drinks such as coffee? However, you might have bought plenty of bottles of Bailey’s Irish cream on a sale. You open your cellar and you find them past the expiry date, perhaps you ask “Does Irish Cream go bad?”
If you are in a similar position, no worries! We will guide on this article on how to tell spoiled Irish cream from a good one, as well as informing you of the proper storage of this unique liqueur. So, follow along!
(Image used under Creative Commons from: Feniks Dzierzynski)
Does Irish Cream Go Bad?
This is the question we aim to answer here. Unfortunately, Irish cream does go bad. This could be a piece of surprising news to avid alcoholic beverage drinkers. Most alcoholic drinks can stay indefinitely, why Irish cream is that different?
The dairy content is the answer. Irish cream is rich in heavy cream that doesn’t have the same tenacity as the alcohol with it. This can make it spoil quite rapidly compared to other long-living alcoholic drinks.
How Long Does Irish Cream Last?
This is a good question. The answer to that isn’t as simple as you might think. There are plenty of factors that play when determining The shelf life of Irish cream:
(Credit: Warp Factor)
- Storage: Perhaps the most important component. Storing your Irish cream can make or break the shelf life of it.
- Expiry date: Each company has its own ingredient and thus can vary on how long their products last after bottling.
Taking this into consideration, here are a general estimate of the shelf life of Irish cream:
These can last around 2 years since the day of bottling them by the manufacture. They definitely don’t age well and you would be better off consuming it when it’s “Young” And by young we mean within 6 months of the day of bottling.
However, 2 years is an average, not a general rule. A bottle could spoil before 2 years in unfavorable storage conditions. and yet can last beyond the 2 years mark if stored well, altho you can’t guarantee they would taste good nor worth consuming for that matter.
Once you open the bottle and the process goes much faster, you have around 6 months to consume the bottle. The quality will degrade rapidly the more you wait. Make sure you also store the bottle well cause bad storage can only make it last much less than usual.
How To Store Irish Cream?
You need to consider the fact that Irish cream has above 15% of alcohol content. This is important, cause it means that the bottle can withstand mild exposure to room temperature.
However, we don’t recommend storing your expensive liquor in the room like that. Irish cream is similar to other drinks such as Kahlua, and it doesn’t really enjoy varying temperatures, at least that’s what Molly’s Irish cream website says.
This is why the fridge or the cellar is an ideal place, mainly because they can sustain a fairly consistent temperature as well as being cold enough for your drink to chill till you are ready for it.
Don’t forget about the seal as well, especially after opening your bottle. A bad seal can easily spoil your Irish cream because of the contamination entering the bottle and spoiling it.
How To Tell If Irish Cream Has Gone Bad?
Spoiled Irish cream can be dangerous to drink, not only that, but they also taste bad. This is why you should take note of these signs of spoilage:
(Credit: Michael Cohn)
This is the most obvious one as once you open the bottle, you could easily sense it. Take a small whiff and see if you smell something funny or not.
Use the general rule, if it smells bad, it is probably bad.
Separation is not a good sign for your drink. A separated Irish cream has definitely seen better days. This also applies to coagulations. If you find your cream heavy and even thicker. That’s not a good liqueur to drink at all.
You should also take a look at the color of the cream. a darker liqueur is not really pleasant to drink, and perhaps even should be discarded away for quality reasons.
Trust your senses. There is absolutely no reason to drink a bad-tasting liqueur. So, when you find yourself lost and the taste of the Irish cream is quite off. Do yourself a favor and throw it away for your own safety.
Can You Freeze Irish Cream?
You can find a sale on Irish cream in your favorite shop and get yourself plenty of bottles for a decent bargain. Now you are sitting with plenty of bottles around you that you want to save for years. Freezing seems like a good option, right?
Well, not much. You shouldn’t really Freeze Irish cream. The reason for that is quite simple. While Alcohol can withstand extreme temperatures without freezing, the cream cannot do so.
(Credit: Louis Carr Photography)
Once the Cream Freezes, it will be really hard to get it out of the bottle itself. It will also change the texture of it due to the formation of small ice crystals in the cream portion of it. This is why when you thaw it, you will realize that the texture is completely different compared to normal Irish cream.
Overall, it’s better to just leave the bottles in the fridge and keep it safe, this will ensure your drink will keep its high-grade consistency and last as long as possible.
Irish cream is a favorite liqueur for many, and I hope I managed to inform you well on it. Make sure to check the expiry date, protect your bottles by keeping them well sealed in a fridge, and ensure you have a good drink by checking the signs of spoilage. That’s all we have for today, thanks for reading!