Skip to Content

Can Vermouth Go Bad?

Aromatic, robust, and refreshing, Vermouth can be served on its own or as a part of a cocktail. Originally, Vermouth was sold as a medicinal drink. Over time, the product was sold as an alcoholic beverage much like Amaro. In fact, some of the most iconic cocktails – such as Martini and Manhattan – are made with vermouth. This wine is infused with a variety of herbs, flowers, and spices + a kick of brandy to give it a distinct aroma and flavor!

Can Vermouth Go Bad?

Vermouth is an alcoholic product so it has a long shelf life. The alcohol in vermouth gives the product a self-preserving property so it should keep for a long, long time. Since vermouth is high in alcohol, it is quite resistant to bacterial and mold growth.

Red vermouth on the rocksImage used under Creative Commons from Edsel Little

Although vermouth will keep indefinitely, the product does turn flat or flavorless overtime. When the product is not kept properly or if the storage environment is less than ideal, the product loses its aroma and flavor. Other times, a leaky or poorly sealed bottle accelerates the flavor loss. Do note that sweet vermouth has a longer shelf life than dry vermouth.

Signs that Vermouth Has Gone Bad

Since vermouth does not spoil the same way as other products, it can be quite a struggle to check for spoilage. Generally, any changes in its color, flavor, or aroma are an indication that the product is no longer usable. A leaky or poorly sealed bottle or container could also cause the product to turn flat or lose flavor entirely. Always keep a bottle of vermouth tightly sealed after every use to extend its shelf life.

How to Store Vermouth?

For sealed, unopened bottles of vermouth, you can store the product in the pantry at room temperature. Since the product is sensitive to heat, humidity, and light, keep a bottle of vermouth in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or sources of heat.

For opened bottles of vermouth that are nearing their expiry date, storing the product in the refrigerator may extend its shelf life. The chilly temperature will slow down the degradation of the product. But again, keep the lid tightly sealed so the product won’t lose its flavor while stored in the fridge.

Drink in a glassImage used under Creative Commons from Stuart Webster

When kept at room temperature, a sealed bottle of vermouth will keep for a year. On the other hand, opened bottles of vermouth will only keep for six months or so in the fridge. Vermouth has a shorter shelf life than other spirits because it doesn’t age as most wines. Vermouth has to be consumed fresh so finish a bottle as soon as possible for optimal flavor.

Can You Freeze Vermouth?

Freezing is not a recommended storage method at all. As with most types of alcoholic beverage, Vermouth has the tendency to lose its flavor during storage. Flavor loss will be accelerated if the product has been left to thaw for a while. Vermouth has a reasonable shelf life so you will not have any problems using up a bottle. Still, if you must freeze this product, just make sure to transfer the vermouth in an airtight container.


A bottle of vermouth makes any event extra special! Can vermouth go bad? As with most spirits, vermouth has a long shelf life but it has to be stored properly to retain its aroma and flavor!