Hard seltzer has become the go-to refreshment for those seeking a light and bubbly adult beverage. However, have you ever wondered how long it stays good before it loses its effervescence and flavor? Most hard seltzers come with an expiration date stamped on the packaging. It's important to note that this date is not a strict deadline but rather a recommendation for the best time to enjoy the beverage before its taste begins to change. Unlike perishable foods, hard seltzer doesn't spoil or become unsafe after this date; it simply loses some of its quality.
When unopened and properly stored, hard seltzer can retain its bubbles and freshness for an extended period. Sealed hard seltzer cans or bottles can maintain their carbonation for up to six months after the expiration date -- or even up to nine months, provided they are stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. It's essential to keep them away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to preserve their quality.
Once you pop the tab or twist off the cap, the clock starts ticking on the seltzer's carbonation. How long it retains its fizziness after opening can vary depending on factors like how carbonated the drink is to begin with, temperature, and the quality of the seal. Expect to consume the hard seltzer within a few days of opening to enjoy it with the most carbonation.
How To Properly Store Hard Seltzer
To maximize the freshness and carbonation of your hard seltzer, follow these storage tips. Keep it in the refrigerator at a consistent temperature of around 35-45 F. Cooler temperatures help maintain the flavor profile. If the seltzer is resealable, ensure the cap or lid is securely fastened after opening. A good seal is crucial to retaining carbonation. For reference, just think about how well a two-liter bottle of soda keeps after it has been opened.
If you don't finish a can or bottle in one sitting, consider using a reusable cap or covering the opening with plastic wrap before resealing the cap. Reducing air exposure can help preserve carbonation for a couple of days. You could even store it in a glass jar with a tight-sealing lid. Try to handle the seltzer gently, as excessive shaking or turbulence can cause the carbonation to dissipate more quickly.
So, while hard seltzer doesn't have an indefinite shelf life, it can remain enjoyable for several months past its expiration date when stored properly. By keeping it cool, sealing it tightly, and minimizing air exposure, you can extend the life of your hard seltzer and continue to enjoy its refreshing bubbles. So, the next time you reach for a can or bottle, rest assured that your hard seltzer can stay good for a while, delivering crisp and fizzy satisfaction.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.