Decoding Baileys: To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate

Baileys: To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate

If you are a fan of Baileys, then you must be wondering if you should refrigerate it or not. This iconic Irish cream liqueur has been a favorite of many since its inception in 1974. Baileys is made from cream, Irish whiskey, and various flavorings. Due to its milk-based composition, some people are unsure whether they should store it in the fridge or not after opening. In this article, we will discuss the different factors that affect the shelf life of Baileys, tips on properly storing it, and the most common questions related to Baileys storage.

How Long Does Baileys Last?

The shelf life of a Baileys bottle depends on various factors such as its storage conditions, method of production, and expiry date. A sealed bottle of Baileys can last for two years when stored under the right conditions, whether refrigerated or not. However, once the bottle is opened, it would be best to consume it within six months. Drinking Baileys after the six-month period does not necessarily make it harmful, but the quality may be compromised, resulting in an unpleasant taste.

Refrigerating Baileys: Is it Necessary?

Refrigerating Baileys is not necessary, but it helps to preserve its quality and extend its shelf life. Storing Baileys in the fridge slows down the oxidation process, which affects the flavors and texture of the drink. Factors such as exposure to light, heat, and air play a significant role in the shelf life of Baileys. Having said that, Baileys can still retain its quality and taste for several days when stored in a cool and dark place.

Factors that Affect Baileys Shelf Life

  • Exposure to light – Exposing Baileys to light can lead to a reduction in flavor and color.
  • Exposure to heat – High temperatures can cause the cream to curdle and spoil the taste of Baileys.
  • Exposure to air – Once the bottle is opened, air enters the bottle and speeds up the oxidation process. This results in a change in flavor, texture, and color of the drink.
  • Storage conditions – Proper storage conditions can help prolong the shelf life of Baileys. It is best to store it in a cool and dark place away from direct light and heat.

How to Store Baileys Properly

Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality of Baileys. Whether you plan to consume it straight or mix it with your favorite cocktails, the following are some tips that can help you store Baileys properly:

Keep it Cool

Refrigeration is one of the best ways to keep Baileys fresh and extend its shelf life. Storing it in the fridge helps to slow down the oxidation process, preserve its flavor, and prevent the cream from spoiling. However, if you prefer to drink Baileys at room temperature, ensure that you store it in a cool and dark place away from direct heat sources.

Recork the Bottle Tightly

Once you have opened a bottle of Baileys, ensure that you reseal it tightly using the original cork. This will prevent air from entering the bottle and speeding up the oxidation process. Avoid using a different cork or a bottle cap as these may not fit securely, thus allowing air to get in.

Avoid Exposure to Light

Exposure to light can cause Baileys to lose its flavor and color. It would be best to store the bottle in a dark place, such as a pantry or a cupboard away from direct sunlight. You can also cover the bottle with a cloth or store it in a paper bag to protect it from light exposure.

Store it Upright

Storing Baileys upright can help prevent the cream from settling at the bottom or forming clumps. This is especially important when storing it in the fridge or a cool place for an extended period.

Common Questions Related to Baileys Storage

Many questions surround the proper storage of Baileys. Here are some of the frequently asked questions and their answers:

  • Q: Does Baileys go bad if not refrigerated?
    A: Baileys can still be consumed even when not refrigerated. However, to extend its shelf life and maintain its quality, it is best to store it in the fridge or a cool dark place away from direct heat sources.
  • Q: Can I freeze Baileys?
    A: Freezing Baileys is not recommended as it can cause the cream to separate, resulting in a change in texture and flavor of the drink.
  • Q: How long does Baileys remain fresh once opened?
    A: Once a bottle of Baileys is opened, it can remain fresh for up to six months. However, this period may vary depending on the storage conditions.
  • Q: Can I still drink Baileys after the expiry date?
    A: It is not recommended to consume Baileys after the expiry date as the quality and safety of the drink cannot be guaranteed.

In conclusion, Baileys can be stored in the fridge or a cool and dark place away from direct heat sources. While refrigeration helps in preserving its quality and extending its shelf life, Baileys can still be consumed even when stored at room temperature. Proper storage can help prevent oxidation and preserve its flavor, texture, and color. With the tips discussed in this article, you can now enjoy a glass of creamy Baileys that is fresh and full of flavor.


1. “How to Store Baileys Irish Cream.” Leaf TV, 26 May 2011,
2. “Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur – Frequently Asked Questions.” Baileys, 2021,

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