Food preservation

Can Sake Go Bad?

Sake is a Japanese wine that is commonly known as nihonshu. Manufacturers make it using fermented rice. 

In Japan, sake is a popular ingredient in most households. Most people serve it on special occasions.

Sake has also gained popularity in the United States and is available in most restaurant menus. Sake is quite versatile. You can drink it on its own or use it in various recipes.

If you’ve had a bottle of sake stored in your pantry for some time, you may be asking yourself; can sake go bad? The simple answer is yes.


Although sake is a fermented product that lasts for a long time, it can go bad if you store it for an extended time or don’t store it properly.

Most manufacturers recommend that you drink or use sake in cooking as soon as possible for the best quality, but it can last for much longer, so you can save it for a special occasion.

Remember that sake does not age well the way wine does, so it would be best if you don’t store it for a long time.

This article discusses important details about sake, including how to store it, its shelf life, and signs that have gone bad. Read on.

How to store sake.

It would be best if you stored sake the same way you store wine. If you are yet to open the bottle, store it in a cool dark place away from heat and light sources.

The ideal temperature to store sake is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, the pantry would be an ideal place to store it.

If you buy unpasteurized sake, you must store it in the fridge at all times. Additionally, if the sake you bought was refrigerated at the store, it would be best if you stored it in the refrigerator as well.


When you open a bottle of sake, you should seal it tightly and keep it refrigerated for it to last for a long time.

Do not store it in your pantry or kitchen counter because its quality will deteriorate at a very fast rate. 

Also, Check out: Does Lime Juice Go Bad?

How long does it last?

You may have noticed that most sake bottles don’t have a best-by date or an expiration date. However, you are likely to see the production date on the bottle.

Manufacturers are not mandated to put a best by date on the bottle. The production date indicates when the manufacturers bottled the sake.


The shelf life of sake is highly dependent on how you store it.

If you don’t store it properly, it can go bad after some time since it does not have preservatives the way other alcoholic drinks do.

Sake is a fermented product. Therefore, it can last for a long time. Please note that sake is not like wine, and it does not get better as it ages. It tastes best when you drink it fresh, i.e., within two years of production.

Sake doesn’t necessarily go bad after two years, but its quality deteriorates as time goes by. If you store it for several years, its quality won’t be up to standard.


If you have not opened your bottle of sake, you can store it in your pantry for up to 5 years.

Its quality may not be so good when you store it for that long, but it will still be safe to consume.

An opened bottle of sake does not last for very long. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you drink the entire bottle the same day you open it.

If you can’t, seal the bottle tightly and store it in your refrigerator. It will be safe to consume for up to 3 weeks.


Please note that the longer you store an opened bottle of sake in your fridge, the softer its flavor becomes. The rate at which the flavor of sake changes significantly depends on the standard of the alcoholic beverage.

If it is of good quality, the sake may taste good for up to one month. If it is not, you’ll start noticing the change in flavor after one week.

The dates above are estimates, so your sake may last longer. Just be sure to look out for any signs of spoilage before drinking it.

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Signs that your sake has gone bad.


The chances of an unopened bottle of sake going bad are rather slim. Its quality may not be as good as it should be when you store it for an extended time, but it will still be safe for consumption.

Once you open a bottle of sake, it will stay long before it starts going bad if you store it in the fridge. Most times, you may discard it for the mere reason that its quality is not as good as it was before.

Here are a few signs that your sake has gone bad.

  • Colour change.

Naturally, sake is colorless. If you notice that it has a yellow hue, the chances are that it has gone bad. The yellow color may be due to oxidation which spoils the alcohol.

  • Pungent or rotten smell.

Sake has a pleasant aroma. If yours has a pungent smell or smells rotten, discard it as it is no longer safe to consume.

  • Presence of particles.

If you notice particles at the base of the bottle or floating on top of the sake, the chances are that it has gone bad. The particles indicate that the sake has started to disintegrate.

  • Unpleasant taste

If you don’t see any of the signs above, you can taste the sake. If the flavor is off, throw it out. An off-flavor doesn’t necessarily indicate that the sake has gone bad.


It could simply mean that the quality has deteriorated. All in all, there is no point in you drinking sake that doesn’t taste good.

Also, Check out The Very Best Cognac Substitutes for Cooking and Drinking. Here.


Sake does not have a best by or expiration date. However, it is recommended that you drink it within a specified window (2 years after the manufacturing date) since its quality starts to deteriorate after that.

Sake can go bad if you store it for a long time or fail to store it properly. Be sure to check for any signs of spoilage before using it.

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