Whether you’ve splurged on a special bottle of whiskey or are stocking up on tequila to make margaritas, here’s the good news: You don’t need to worry too much about how to store your liquor. Compared to wine, which is more vulnerable to spoilage at high temperatures, most distilled spirits keep just fine at room temperature, the pros say, and special equipment isn’t required.
“Spirits do not require you to coddle them or monitor them, they are very hardy and will endure,” says Stuart Baxter, a global brand ambassador who works with a wide range of spirits, from Caorunn Gin to Phraya Rum.
That said, a few guidelines can help keep your spirits in optimal condition, even over the long haul.
Store spirits at room temperature.
In general, “room temperature” is defined as 68–77°F. But bottled spirits will be comfortable at a wider range, especially if they are stored away from direct sunlight and humidity.
“Anything under 80°F should be fine,” says Adam Polonski, cofounder of Lost Lantern Whiskey. “Compared to wine, you don’t have to be as stringent about storage for spirits. You can keep it in a relatively warm closet for a long time and it will keep, even it’s open, even it’s more than a year.”
Given the option, some pros prefer slightly cooler temps for storage: “I would say it’s roughly 58–59°F, and you don’t want anything more than that,” says Dr. Bill Lumsden, head of distilling and whiskey creation at Ardbeg, an Islay Scotch maker.
Similarly, Murphy Quint, head distiller and director of operations at Iowa’s Cedar Ridge, says the ideal conditions to store whiskey are “room temperature or slightly colder,” meaning 65–68°F.