If you have just discovered a bottle of tonic water that has been languishing in the cabinet for more than a year, the question “does tonic go bad?” instantly comes to mind.
Perhaps you had planned to create some cocktails or simply sip a glass of tonic water with lime, but you’re not sure if it’s still okay to consume alcohol in this situation.
In this article, I explain when and why tonic water goes bad.
Tonic water is an essential mixer to have on hand at the home bar. Considering the fact that it is one-half of the classic gin and tonic cocktail.
The basic ingredients are straightforward: soda water, sugar, and quinine, which contributes to the bitter flavor that distinguishes this cocktail mixer. The beverage tonic water is frequently used to calm an upset stomach or to relieve one’s thirst.
What is tonic water?
Tonic water is precisely a carbonated soft drink in which a little portion of quinine has been dissolved. It is drunk for its distinctive bitter flavor, though it is also frequently sweetened. Gin and tonics, in particular, are frequently made with it as a base ingredient.
Tonic water, which was once utilized as a prophylactic for the deadly disease malaria, is now typically found in much lower concentrations due to the reduction in quinine content.
Does Tonic Water Go Bad?
Tonic water does not easily go bad if stored properly. Opened tonic water becomes unsafe after 48 hours without refrigeration but can last up to 5 days in the fridge. Unopened tonic water goes bad after 1-3 years from the date of manufacture.
Why does tonic water go bad? It does not go bad per se. Just like any other carbonated drink, tonic water goes bad because it loses CO2 after about 12 months. This means that your tonic water will gradually lose its fizz and flavor over time.
If the bottle is kept sealed and remain unopened during storage, tonic water can last for a lengthy period of time.
The shelf life of tonic water, on the other hand, will be significantly reduced if the product has been opened.
Having said that, unopened bottles of tonic water are generally safe to drink for several months after they have passed their expiration date.
And, sure, it is possible for it to go bad at some point, especially if it has been carelessly stored!
If the bottle is kept sealed and unopened during storage, tonic water can last for a lengthy period of time.
What happens during expiration of tonic water?
The moment you blow open the bottle, everything changes dramatically.
At room temperature, the tonic water will last for a day or two, maybe even longer than that. If you put it in the refrigerator, it will last for a couple of days longer.
Moreover, when I say “excellent,” I mean that it will retain its flavor as well as the bubbliness that you like.
It will drastically lose its carbonation after a few days, exactly like soda, and will become flat and watery in appearance.
It will still be safe to consume, but because it will lack one of its most crucial characteristics, you will most likely decide to throw it away.
This means that gin and tonic (even when spiked with grenadine) and other mixed drinks won’t taste nearly as good as they should.
More information on the shelf life of tonic water
Use tonic water as soon as possible after it has expired, preferably within the first year.
Tonic water is labeled with the date it was produced. Usually, the best-by date is the one that tells you how long the product should be considered to be in peak condition.
- Some tonic water products have a shelf life of between 3 and 5 years before they go bad.
- Tonic water that has been opened has a shelf life of one year.
- If the tonic water container has been opened, the shelf life of the product will be reduced.
Having said that, unopened bottles of tonic water are safe to drink for several months after they have passed their expiration date. As long as there are no noticeable changes in the flavor or color of the product, it should be safe to consume.
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How do you know tonic water has gone bad?
What is the best way to know if tonic water is no longer safe to consume?
- To begin, look for slight or large color variations in the drink.
- Unexpired tonic water is still in its original color.
- Tonic water is normally clear, but if it has become a light yellow tint, it is best to err on the side of caution and discard the product.
You should avoid consuming the tonic water if the flavor has been lost or if the product has gone flat.
Depending on how much the container has bulged or become otherwise distorted, the drink you’re about to take may not be safe to consume any longer.
- In addition, look for rust or leaks in the container. The rusting and leaking of the tonic water will degrade the quality of the water.
- If, for example, the tonic water has been sitting in a storage facility for years, it should be thrown away.
What to do with expired tonic water
Remove the tonic water from the cupboard if you discover an opened bottle of tonic water that has been sitting in the cabinet for who knows how long.
The same holds true if your senses alert you to the fact that anything is wrong with the beverage.
The most comprehensive list of symptoms that a product has been spoilt will never be able to replace common sense and the ability to trust your instincts.
How to store tonic water to retain freshness
Refrigeration or the pantry are the best options to store an unopened bottle of tonic water to keep it fresh and effervescent.
Choose a location that is dry, away from direct sunshine, and away from any sources of heat.
Refrigerating a bottle of tonic that has not been opened will not significantly increase its shelf life, although it will help to keep the beverage cool.
The fridge is the ideal location to store leftover tonic water once it has been opened in a tightly sealed bottle once it has been opened. This means that tonic water must be refrigerated after it has been opened.
It is true that if you intend to use the entire bottle on the same day that it is opened, cooling it in the refrigerator is not actually essential.
It won’t make much of a difference in the long run. In order to keep the tonic for a couple of extra weeks after making it, you must store it in the refrigerator.