In general, the rule for keeping alcohol refrigerated is based on the drink’s alcohol percentage. Beverages with 15% alcohol content or less, should be kept in the fridge.
Whereas, higher alcohol percentage drinks such as whiskey, gin, rum and vodka are better preserved by their high alcohol content, and therefore don’t need refrigeration. The same goes for the majority of liqueurs, as they tend to be over 15% alcohol.
This means that the ideal temperature of particular beverages varies from drink to drink – and, it can also come down to personal taste.
So, without further ado, this article will explore where different alcoholic beverages should be stored, and their ideal serving temperatures.
White and Rose Wine
White wine and rose wine are best kept refrigerated due to their acidity. By chilling these wines, the acidic flavour is better absorbed. This being said, your white wine shouldn’t be served at fridge temperature as this will be too cold, taking away the flavour.
Ideally, white wine is best served at 10 degrees Celsius, which means it might be worth taking the wine out of the fridge for about 10 minutes or so before serving it, warming it up just a small amount.
According to Union Maisons Champagne, champagne tastes best served between 6 and 9 degrees Celsius, meaning it should be refrigerated. Once the bottle is opened, it will begin to lose its bubbles straight away, which is why keeping the bottle cold is important to prevent the loss of fizz.
After a couple of weeks, your opened bottle of champagne will most likely have lost its fizz, so try to drink it up as soon as you can.
Beer should be kept in the fridge because higher temperatures could cause oxidation. By refrigerating your bottled beer, not only will it last up to 6 months, but it will also taste better.
Ideally, you should serve your beer around 5 degrees celsius to maximise freshness and aromatics. However, extremely cold temperatures can dampen the flavour. According to Beer and Brewing, warmth usually makes the flavour perceptible, whilst cold temperatures tend to suppress the flavour.
With this in mind, if your aim is to enjoy the flavour, then serve your bottled beer at 6 degrees celsius instead to maximise the taste. This makes mini fridges perfect for storing your beer because they tend to have adjustable temperature dials.
With most cream liqueurs, such as Baileys, being over 20%, they don’t necessarily need to be kept refrigerated. Manufacturers tend to recommend storing cream liqueurs in a cool place, but the fridge is not necessary.
This is due to the combination of sugar on top of the high alcohol content, preventing it from oxidising. Ideally, your cream liqueur should be served at around 15 degrees Celsius, but you can add ice to cool it down if you wish.
Vermouth is often used in classic cocktails. The beverage tends to come with the misconception that it is a spirit when it is actually a fortified wine. Therefore, it needs to be kept in the fridge.
However, it won’t oxidise quite as fast as wine due to its higher alcohol content – but, over time it will eventually oxidise. Unless you are going to be finishing your vermouth the same day you open it, it’s best to be kept in the fridge.
Remember that whilst the general rule is to store lower percentage alcohol in the fridge, all alcohols are different and will have different lifespans, so always double-check the label for storage and serving instructions.