Hard seltzer is the refreshing, tasty and trendy alcoholic drink that’s taken the beverage industry by storm over the recent years.
But as all good things don’t last forever, hard seltzers have a specific shelf life too.
If you want to taste a hard seltzer at peak quality, refer to the expiration date stamped on the can or bottle.
You’ll find the expiration date at the bottom of the drink’s package, usually worded as:
- “Best by”
- “Best before”
- “Best if used by”
- “Best when used by”
When the freshness date expires, the hard seltzer won’t taste as good.
According to StillTasty, unopened and properly stored hard seltzers can last 9 more months after the expiration date stamped on the package. You can store them in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
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The date provided on the pack is accurate only when the drink is unopened, properly packed and stored in a safe, cool and dark place.
Like any beverage, storage conditions play a big part in determining the shelf life of alcoholic seltzers.
Caution: Keep your unopened hard soda away from heat or light if you want it to last longer.
HOW LONG DOES HARD SELTZER LAST ONCE OPENED?
Once you’ve opened a hard seltzer can or bottle it is best enjoyed within a few hours.
It’ll start going flat and losing a bit of taste after a few hours, so drink it while it’s at its best quality.
For those who may be wondering why sodas and other sparkling drinks go flat once opened and left aside for a few days, we’ve got the answer.
When you pop the top of the drink, the pressure inside the bottle or can drops. Then, the carbon dioxide (CO2) becomes gas and breaks out into bubbles.
If you let the drink sit for too long before drinking it, the flavour and bubbly fizz will gradually disappear.
Leaking, dented, rusting or bulging can or bottle?
If you’re in a store, inform the staff to take the drinks away from the shelf.
In case you ordered a pack of hard seltzers online directly from the manufacturer or another provider, return the damaged packages and inform the provider about the situation.
Whatever you do, do not drink a hard seltzer if the can or bottle looks damaged in any way.
DOES ALCOHOL EXPIRE?
Distilled spirits won’t go bad in a sealed bottle or can.
It’s the oxygen interacting with the alcohol that makes the spirit losing a bit of its flavour or become weaker.
When it comes to beers, the answer varies depending on the brand.
Bottled or canned ales and dark beers with higher alcohol content usually last for long periods if stored in a cool, dry place.
However, beers manufactured by small, local breweries can go bad if they’re unpasteurised.
Most spirits now come with a “Best by” date. But exposure to temperature changes can accelerate the decay process.
For example, if you buy a cold hard seltzer or beer, store it in a warm place and then recool it again, the drink can quickly go bad.
DO CARBONATED DRINKS LAST AFTER EXPIRATION DATE?
Carbonated flavoured water options - especially those with alcohol - have risen in popularity over the last few years.
Most carbonated beverages are fine to drink past their expiration date if they’re unopened and stored in a dry place away from heat or light.
If you’re unsure about a carbonated drink’s storage conditions, pour the content into a glass instead of drinking it straight from the can or bottle.
Check if there are any bubbles and how they fizz. Have a look at the colour and smell of the drink. Any unusual activity, smell or colour would mean that the beverage is not safe to consume. Simply use your good judgement and common sense.
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