Can Tonic Water Go Bad?

Carbonated water, better known as tonic water, is often used to soothe an upset stomach or as a thirst-quencher. Since tonic water is carbonated, it is also used as a healthy substitute for sodas and soft drinks. But how different is the shelf life of carbonated water to regular bottled water?

Can Tonic Water Go Bad?

One might think that tonic water will keep forever like regular water but no, this product has a limited shelf life. And yes, it can go bad at some point especially if it’s been stored improperly! Tonic water has a long shelf life especially if the container is kept sealed and unopened during storage.

Image used under Creative Commons from Matthias Mueller

However, the shelf life of tonic water will be shorter if the product has been opened. That being said, sealed bottles of tonic water are safe to drink well beyond their expiry date. As long as you’re not seeing any changes in flavor and color, the product should be safe to drink.

Signs that Tonic Water Has Gone Bad

How can you tell if tonic water is no longer safe to drink? Start by checking for minor or significant color changes. Tonic water is usually clear but if it has taken on a light yellow color, err to the side of caution and toss the product in the trash. If the tonic water has lost its flavor or has gone flat, do not consume the product.

If the container has bulged or is misshapen in any way, the product may not be safe to drink anymore. Also, check the container for rust or leaks. Rusting and leaking will compromise the quality of the tonic water. If say, the tonic water has been kept in storage for years, discard the product.

How to Store Tonic Water?

Sealed and unopened bottles of tonic water can be kept in the pantry at room temperature while opened bottles of tonic water should be kept in the refrigerator. When storing tonic water at room temperature, keep it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Heat sources and humidity could ruin the drink, causing the tonic water to lose its flavor and fizz.

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If you’re storing opened bottles of tonic water in the fridge, make sure to keep the lid closed after every use. This way, the drink will not lose its flavor or fizz. When kept in the pantry, unopened bottles of tonic water will keep fresh 9 months after the manufacturing date. Opened bottles of tonic water will keep fresh for 9 months after the manufacturing date in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Tonic Water?

Tonic water does not require freezing and this method could ruin the flavor of the product. Freezing the tonic water means decanting the drink in a freezer-safe container. This could compromise the quality of the product. The tonic water is likely to become flat once it has been thawed too. Our advice is to store opened bottles of tonic water in the fridge and to consume the product as soon as possible.

Summary

Tonic water is a refreshing drink, a great substitute for plain water. However, it won’t keep forever! Just keep these storage tips in mind to maximize your supply and prevent wastage.

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