Liqueurs such as schnapps, bitters and anise-flavored spirits are sweet, alcoholic drinks that you can enjoy as aperitifs or digestifs. These spirits are also increasingly being added to cocktail blends and used as an ingredient in cooking. Liqueurs are available in a wide variety of flavors, including fruits, nuts, herbs, spices and creams. Unlike most other liqueurs, cream liquors, such as Baileys Irish Cream, Amarula and Carolans have a short shelf life and can spoil in unfavorable environments. Observe the color, texture and smell of the cream liquor to ascertain whether it has gone bad.
Sniff the cream liquor. If it has a stale odor similar to that of old custard, it has gone bad.
Pour yourself some cream liquor and take a small sip. If it tastes like sour cream, the alcohol is spoiled. Fruit-based cream liquors tend to spoil faster than plain cream-based liquors.
Observe the color and texture of the cream liquor. If the cream has congealed into white, clumpy chunks and separated from the liquid, which has turned dark and cloudy, it is a sure indication that the cream liquor is spoiled. Oxidation, owing to improper storage and handling conditions, causes cream liquor to spoil.
Use cream liquors within 5 months of opening the bottle. However, you can extend the longevity of the alcohol by storing the opened bottle in the refrigerator for up to a year.
Unopened cream liquor bottles have a shelf life of around 2 years if stored in a cool, dry place.