Does Bailey’s Irish Cream Go Bad?


Baileys Irish Cream is an ideal liqueur for you if you have a sweet tooth. And what’s not to love about this sweet, rich, and creamy drink with a chocolate flavor?

An unopened bottle of Baileys can last up to 2 years if stored in a cool and dark place. It does not require refrigeration until opened.

bailey's irish cream

Baileys is used in many dessert and sauce recipes. Also, it gives just enough buzz for fun hang-outs with friends. You can add it to coffee and other beverages. Still, it’s not something you’d use it all at once, so you may be keeping your bottle of Baileys in the fridge for weeks or months.

But, does Baileys Irish Cream go bad? How long can you keep it before it gets spoiled? And how to store it properly to extend its lifespan?

Here’s everything you need to know about the lifespan of Baileys, but first, let’s start from the beginning.

What’s Baileys Irish Cream?

This sweet alcoholic beverage is an Irish cream liqueur. It’s flavored with cocoa, cream, and Irish whiskey and contains 17 percent alcohol by volume.

Does Bailey's Irish Cream Go Bad? 1

Baileys is known as the most popular liqueur in the world produced in 1974. It’s a perfect combination of whiskey, chocolate flavor, and dairy cream that creates a sweet, creamy consistency that no one can resist.

You can enjoy it on its own by pouring it over ice, or mix it with various desserts and drinks, including hot chocolate, coffee, and cheesecake.

Does Baileys Irish Cream Go Bad?

You might be surprised, but this liqueur can indeed go bad, unlike most liqueurs. The reason for that is because of the presence of dairy as heavy cream in the beverage. This ingredient makes it susceptible to spoiling.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should discard the bottle after using some of the liqueur. Baileys Irish Cream can last up to two years if properly stored. Whether or not your Baileys will stay fresh depends on how good you seal the bottle when storing it.

This means that the shelf life of Baileys is not reduced after opening the bottle, as long as you store it in the right way. Even though your Baileys may not exactly go bad after the 2-year period, its quality will probably reduce significantly.

Therefore, be sure to check for signs of spoilage before drinking Baileys and similar cream liqueurs.

The reason why most producers of Baileys give their product shelf life of 2 years is to ensure you are still having a good quality liqueur. Still, the general recommendation is to use it in the first 6 months after buying it.

Cream liqueurs are considered to have the best taste when they are under 6 months old, including Baileys Irish Cream.

How Long Does Baileys Last Once Opened?

Once opened, Baileys Irish Cream should be consumed within 6 months for optimal taste. It should also be stored in a refrigerator after opening.

What Happens if I Drink Expired Baileys?

Drinking expired Baileys may not necessarily make you sick, but the taste and texture of the product could be far from pleasant. The cream can curdle and the flavor can become sour over time. It’s therefore recommended to discard any Baileys that’s past its expiration date, or if it has changed in color, texture, or smell.

How To Store Baileys Irish Cream Properly?

The proper way to store this tasty liqueur to preserve its freshness and flavor is in a tightly sealed bottle in a cool and dark space.

If you have an unopened bottle of the liqueur, you can keep it in the fridge or outside. Bear in mind that exposing your Baileys to heat is not recommended as it’ll adversely affect its quality. Make sure the storage temperature is up to 25°C.

If you decide to keep it outside, choose a cool, dark place away from the heat and sunlight, such as your pantry. Don’t forget it in the car during the summer days.

Once you open the bottle, make sure you close it tightly before putting it back in the fridge.  Also, place it at the back side of the fridge where the temperature is constant, unlike the door of the fridge.

Follow these instructions if you want to prevent your Baileys from going bad before the expiration date.

Can You Freeze Baileys Irish Cream?

freezing irish cream

Freezing Baileys is not recommended. Even though the alcohol in the liqueur won’t freeze, the cream will freeze, preventing you from pouring it.

What’s more, small ice crystals will be formed as a result of freezing and the texture of the liqueur will change drastically after thawing.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use Baileys Irish Cream to make ice cream. It’s actually the opposite. You can use this sweet ingredient to make ice creams that contain a little bit of alcohol.

But, have in mind that ice creams that contain alcohol melt faster than other types of ice creams.

Shelf life Baileys Irish cream2 years

Signs That Your Baileys Irish Cream Has Spoiled

To see if your Baileys has spoiled or it’s still good for use, check out its smell. It’s the first thing to check when trying to figure out if your liqueur is still fresh. If it has an unpleasant or sour smell when opening the bottle, your liqueur has most likely spoiled.

Another sign is the appearance. If you notice any kind of coagulation or separation, your Baileys is not good for consumption. Baileys that’s not good to use is usually thicker and darker than usual.

If your liqueur doesn’t pour well, it’s a sign that it’s probably spoiled and not safe to use. But, if your Baileys looks and smells fine, it’s probably good to use.

The taste is another indicator whether your Baileys has spoiled or not. If spoiled, it will probably have a lower quality than before.

 If you’re still not sure whether the liquor has spoiled or it has been sitting in the pantry for a long time, it’s best to throw it out just to be cautious.

What is Baileys made from?

Baileys Irish Cream is made from a blend of the following ingredients:

  • Irish whiskey: This gives Baileys its distinct strong flavor.
  • Cream: This provides the smooth and creamy texture.
  • Cocoa and vanilla extracts: These give Baileys its chocolate and vanilla notes.
  • Sugar: This is used to sweeten the drink.


Baileys Irish Cream is a popular, sweet, alcoholic beverage that contains dairy. This ingredient is the reason why many consumers are not sure whether their favorite liqueur can turn bad or not.

The answer to the question if Baileys Irish Cream can spoil is yes, it can. However, if you properly store it, it can last for 2 years after the manufacturing date. Keep your unopened bottle of Baileys in the fridge or outside, away from heat and sunlight.

Make sure you check the expiry date on the label.

does irish cream go bad

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