Does rum expire? How do you know your beers have gone bad? Spring cleaning is a longstanding tradition worldwide, and a great opportunity to clean and declutter. It’s a chance to align your home with who you are, rather than who you were. But when is the last time you spring cleaned your bar? You may say ‘liquor lasts forever’, but this is not always the case, and not all cleaning has to do with the expiry date. If your bar or cabinet has grown cluttered over the years, this is the spring to do something about it! Learn how to spring clean your bar to make space, rid yourself of the old, and discover what you truly like.

Beer

When it comes to the expiry date of beer, there isn’t much separating store bought beers and home brewed beers – what matters is how you store it. Beer usually expires after 6-8 months in the cupboard, while they can last for up to 2 years in the fridge. The telltale sign of an expired beer is the lack of that satisfying ‘psssst’ sound when you open it. If you’ve got any beers you’re unsure of in your fridge or cupboard, we suggest testing one out. If they’ve lost their pizzazz, pour them out. If not, drink them sooner rather than later, or give them to someone who will!

Wine

Most of us know that not all wines age well, but how do you know which ones do? The ones with good structure do. Some good-structured red wines and white wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Chardonnay.

However, there are no hard and fast rules, so if you haven’t bought the wine specifically for its aging-properties, we’d suggest cracking it open sooner rather than later. Not only does temperature fluctuations affect the aging process, but wine makers know that most bottles of wine are enjoyed within the first 24 hours after purchase. To cater to this they specifically make their wine taste best young. Leave your wine for too long, and you may be left disappointed.

If your wine is opened, or has even gone a little off – don’t throw it out! You can still use it for cooking, or make a pretty rad red wine vinegar!

Spring clean your spirits and bitters

Does rum and gin expire? Spirits and bitters are famously long lasting, but that doesn’t mean they’re immortal. While some spirits may be fine for more than 10 years after your first sip, most producers recommend finish a bottle 1-2 years after opening it.

When it comes to bitters, we often find that our bottles often stay in our cabinet long after they’re empty. Why? Because they’re often pretty bottles that help make our bar look more comprehensive with them. But there’s no point in keeping them – look at it as a reason to restock instead!

Take stock
Going through your bar cabinet is a great way to rediscover what you’ve really got in there. Unfortunately, so many of us are creatures of habit when it comes down to mixing a cocktail. Do you know what cocktails the contents of your bar cabinet could make? Take stock of what you’ve got and look up some new cocktails. Perhaps you’ll even realise that your ramshackle mix of spirits is only tequila away from making a wicked Long Island Iced Tea.

Does this liquor spark joy?

Yes, it’s time to ‘Marie Kondo’ your liquor cabinet.

Once you’ve found the expired goods and taken stock, it’s time to rid yourself of the bottles that never belonged. Perhaps a colleague gave you a bottle of snake whisky after a trip to Koh Phangan, or you’ve been hanging onto a six pack of beer despite having given up gluten. A spring clean is a chance to clear out what you don’t like in order to give room for what you like. We suggest grabbing every spirit, wine, bitter and mixer and putting them on the table or on the floor. Which ones spark joy? Which ones haven’t you touched in six months or longer? Be selective!

Once you’ve found your undesirables, consider throwing a Spring Clean party to use them all up – we suggest making a punch! You could also give them to a friend you know would appreciate them. If all else fails, thank them for their service, give them a viking burial, and move on.

Spring clean and restock

With all the bottles out of your cabinet, this is a great chance to do some, you know, cleaning. Wipe it down with a wet rag and polish any glass panes. Once everything is back in its spot, assess your bar. Does it have everything it needs? We’re talking spirits, mixers, tools, and proper glasses!

Congrats, you’ve spring cleaned your bar! Why not do the rest of your home too while you’re at it? Cleaning and decluttering is addictive once you start!

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