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Does alcohol ever go off? Also, recommend me some core spirits for a liquor cabinet?

Listi

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Spirits shouldn't, some bottles you might find in a bar do. Vermouth, for making martinis, goes bad. This is because it is wine, it'll last at least a few months in a fridge after opening. Bailey's, since it has milk in it, will also go bad. However spirits such as vodka, whisky, rum, brandy, etc. will not go bad on you. I've HAD alcohol be "off" but it's rare and probably due to something stupid like leaving a bottle in the sun by mistake or open outside for a long time.
 

Thomas

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The only thing I can add to Listi's post is something I read somewhere and sometimes adhere to: A reviewer somewhere said that once a bottle gets to 1/4 full, he makes a point to finish it off sooner rather than later. This probably holds true more for whiskeys, rums and other dark spirits, but then again I don't know how he stores them so that may well come into play. If he stores them along a mirrored wall in a home bar, that would be different from a booze-cave.
 

cptjeff

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Originally Posted by Thomas
The only thing I can add to Listi's post is something I read somewhere and sometimes adhere to: A reviewer somewhere said that once a bottle gets to 1/4 full, he makes a point to finish it off sooner rather than later. This probably holds true more for whiskeys, rums and other dark spirits, but then again I don't know how he stores them so that may well come into play. If he stores them along a mirrored wall in a home bar, that would be different from a booze-cave.

That has to do with oxidation, which is dependent on the air in the bottle, not environment. One could use the vacuum corks that people use for wine to prevent such degradation, but you might as well drink it.

As for core spirits, gin, dark rum and bourbon will do ya to start. You have a white spirit, a nice flavorful rum, and a whiskey that can be sipped or mixed in a variety of things. I also have a taste for brandy- works well on it's own and makes some nice winter drinks.

Also, you'll notice I left vodka off. That's because IMO, any drinks that can be made with vodka can benefit from the additional flavors that one of the other spirits imparts. I'm not really the norm in taking that position, but I am what I am.
If you do decide to get vodka, I would recommend the Bison Grass stuff from poland. PITA to find, but it's a damn good spirit, the polish have been making the stuff for almost as long as vodka has been around.
 

I<3Bacon

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As long as the bottle remains roughly half full to completely full, it should remain relatively the same for years. The more oxygen that's introduced to the bottle, the quicker the spirit will degrade. If it is sealed, it should remain intact indefinitely.

If it's a spirit worth keeping, argon the bottle or decanter it into a smaller bottle as it gets close to the bottom.
 

pebblegrain

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what does it degenerate into?

How can you tell it's bad?
 

Krish the Fish

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Originally Posted by pebblegrain
what does it degenerate into? How can you tell it's bad?
If it's simple oxidation (which it may be) then ethanol -> ethanoic acid. You can tell it's bad when it no longer tastes good. Analogous to how you can tell if beer has gone bad when it's skunked (same idea, but different process iirc) also, @ OP, this is the closest I got to making a core liquor cabinet. + accoutrements.
 

coop86

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Originally Posted by merkur
Also, any good suggestions for essential spirits/liquers for a n00b liquor cabinet?

not an all inclusive list by any means, but a good start...

Top Shelf

Whiskey - Jack Daniel's / Maker's Mark / Jim Beam Black
Vodka - Grey Goose / Belvedere / Chopin / Ketel One
Gin - Bombay Sapphire / Hendrix's
Rum - Mount Gay
Tequila - Patron / Don Julio / 1800 / Cabo Wabo

Regular

Whiskey - Jim Beam / Evan Williams
Vodka - Svedka / Smirnoff / Stolichnaya
Gin - Tangueray / Bombay / Beefeater
Rum - Bacardi Superior or Gold / Captain Morgan
Tequila - Jose Cuervo / Sauza

enjoy!
 

AR_Six

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Originally Posted by coop86
not an all inclusive list by any means, but a good start...

Top Shelf

Whiskey - Jack Daniel's / Maker's Mark / Jim Beam Black
Vodka - Grey Goose / Belvedere / Chopin / Ketel One
Gin - Bombay Sapphire / Hendrix's
Rum - Mount Gay
Tequila - Patron / Don Julio / 1800 / Cabo Wabo

Regular

Whiskey - Jim Beam / Evan Williams
Vodka - Svedka / Smirnoff / Stolichnaya
Gin - Tangueray / Bombay / Beefeater
Rum - Bacardi Superior or Gold / Captain Morgan
Tequila - Jose Cuervo / Sauza

enjoy!


This is nonsense. First of all, no one should have Jose in their BAR, it's just garbage. If you're going to have Tequila get a bottle of Cabo or Patron and use sparingly. But really don't even bother.

Second, your top shelf Whiskey rack has 3 bourbons. How about a Bourbon, a Rye, a Canadian Rye, a Whiskey and a Scotch?

Vodka should just be Chopin, plain and simple. If you want more than one bottle, go Chopin / Ketel / something cheap.

Gin should be Van Gogh for reasonably decent stuff and Brokers for basic.

You probably want a basic selection of liquers for mixing - Galliano, triple sec, creme de menthe, creme de cacao, Kahlua or equivalent, blue curacao, melon, cherry brandy, etc etc. Keeping some mix in there isn't a bad idea. Need some bitters and grenadine. If I was to put together a basic bar from scratch it would probably cost a couple of G's.
 

Rambo

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Originally Posted by AR_Six
This is nonsense. First of all, no one should have Jose in their BAR, it's just garbage. If you're going to have Tequila get a bottle of Cabo or Patron and use sparingly. But really don't even bother.
I think an Angel just lost its wings. So sad....
 

kruze

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I second the bison grass...zubrowka

I've had it imported before and I've also found it in Chicago and other cities where there's a decent polish population [usually northeast - new britain, ny, chicopee mass].


Originally Posted by cptjeff
That has to do with oxidation, which is dependent on the air in the bottle, not environment. One could use the vacuum corks that people use for wine to prevent such degradation, but you might as well drink it.

As for core spirits, gin, dark rum and bourbon will do ya to start. You have a white spirit, a nice flavorful rum, and a whiskey that can be sipped or mixed in a variety of things. I also have a taste for brandy- works well on it's own and makes some nice winter drinks.

Also, you'll notice I left vodka off. That's because IMO, any drinks that can be made with vodka can benefit from the additional flavors that one of the other spirits imparts. I'm not really the norm in taking that position, but I am what I am.
If you do decide to get vodka, I would recommend the Bison Grass stuff from poland. PITA to find, but it's a damn good spirit, the polish have been making the stuff for almost as long as vodka has been around.
 

HgaleK

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Originally Posted by Rambo
I think an Angel just lost its wings. So sad....
Thank you. Espolon (especially their reposado) and Gran Centenario Azul are both better than Patron at half the price. The Gran Centenario Anejo is far superior at a matching price for anything other than shooting.
 

jaypee

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Everything goes off... except honey

Lolskis at JD, Makers mark and co making the 'top shelf'
 

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