Can Gin Evaporate (The Effects And How To Prevent It)

Any liquid is prone to evaporate, however, some are more volatile than others. but can gin evaporate over time?

Gin can indeed evaporate. Or to be more specific, the alcohol and/or water in a bottle of gin can evaporate over time. Evaporation of alcohol and water can occur in both opened and unopened bottles of gin.

Even though gin could evaporate in a sealed bottle, this doesn’t happen too often and really isn’t supposed to happen since the lid should be airtight.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into when and how gin can evaporate out of an opened/unopened bottle, what effects this has and how to prevent this from happening.

How Does Gin Evaporate

When we’re talking about the evaporation of gin we’re actually talking about two different processes. The first one is the evaporation of the water in the bottle and the second process is the evaporation of the alcohol inside a bottle.

If you notice that your bottle of gin has less volume than it did before, but you didn’t drink anything out of it, it probably has something to do with the evaporation of the alcohol in the drink.

Both water and alcohol will evaporate over time at room temperature (20 C or 68 F). This is of course a fairly slow process seen as the boiling temperature of the water is 100 C (212 F) and the boiling temperature of alcohol is about 78 C (173 F).

It might sound weird that both liquids are able to evaporate even though they’re not at all close to their boiling temperatures, but this is actually true.

All molecules in liquids that are at a temperature above their freezing temperature carry enough energy to evaporate at any given time. You can imagine that the closer you get to their boiling temperature, the more of the specific liquid will evaporate.

As we said before, water has a boiling temperature of 100 C (212 F), which is higher than that of alcohol (78 C and 173 F). That’s why water will evaporate slower than the alcohol in your bottle of gin.

Because of this, the evaporation of water is much less of a problem than the evaporation of alcohol in gin.

When a bottle of gin has been lying around for a long time some of the liquid in it will most likely have evaporated, especially if the bottle has previously been opened.

Evaporated alcohol and water can leave the bottle if it has been opened before. You can try to close the cap as tight as possible, but chances are that you won’t be able to close the lid airtight again.

Because the cap isn’t airtight, the evaporated liquids in the bottle are able to escape, leaving you with less of your drink than you had before.

‘But my bottle of gin hasn’t been opened yet, how is it possible that the liquid is evaporating and escaping the bottle?’

You’re right, evaporated water and or alcohol in a bottle of gin shouldn’t be able to escape if your bottle is still sealed. The evaporated liquid can’t just go through your bottle cap.

Most bottles should be sealed airtight, but it does happen that some bottles can actually let out some of the evaporated gin over time. This happens quicker in bottles with a cork.

The (evaporated) liquid is able to get absorbed by the cork and then leaves the bottle.

Even though bottles with a normal cap won’t absorb some of the liquid, they can sometimes still let out the evaporated alcohol or water. Some bottles just aren’t as tightly sealed as other bottles.

Evaporation of the liquid in an unopened bottle however almost never happens and is an extremely slow process, so you probably don’t have to worry about that.

Effects Of Evaporation On Gin

Three cocktail glasses on a wooden table top, each filled with gin and different botanicals.

Right now you could be wondering if the evaporation could affect the gin in a bad way. For instance, can a gin go bad if too much of the drink has evaporated?

Because gin has a fairly high Alcohol By Volume or ABV of at least 37.5%, your gin won’t go bad if you store it for a long time.

Bacteria aren’t able to live under conditions with that much alcohol, so you don’t need to worry about that. But you’ll probably still don’t want to leave your gin for a very long time.

If you store your bottle of gin for a long time and you notice that some of the drink has evaporated a little bit, it has probably lost a few percent of its ABV. This will result in a different taste than the one that was intended for the gin.

This is especially a waste in more expensive gins because most of the time these gins are supposed to have amazing flavors. The combination of alcohol percentage and botanicals used in these gins are securely picked out to be the best.

When one of those components is altered, the gin will taste different and you might not like it as much anymore.

Make sure you don’t unnecessarily store your gin for too long to ensure you have the best-tasting gin.

Most people will say that gin is the best if you finish the bottle within a year of opening it.

How To Prevent Evaporation

It’s not always that you can finish a bottle of gin the same night as you open it. But you do of course want the best-tasting gin even after storing it for a while. How do you make sure that you preserve as much of the original taste as you can?

There are a few factors that can speed up the evaporation of a liquid. As we said before, the closer you get to the boiling point of a liquid, the faster it evaporates.

Keeping a bottle of gin in a warm place will cause it to evaporate faster. Naturally, storing your gin in a cooler place will slow down evaporation.

A great place to store your gin after opening it for instance is a fridge or even a freezer. Your gin won’t freeze in a freezer, but it will keep it really cold so almost no alcohol is able to evaporate if you store it for a long time.

Storing your gin in a freezer has some other benefits to it as well. We’ve got a whole article about why you should store gin in a freezer.

Another way the alcohol evaporates quicker is if you store your bottle in direct sunlight. Even though the temperatures aren’t necessarily higher than room temperature, the light, and energy of sunlight will still be able to evaporate water and alcohol a bit more quickly.

Some of the botanicals in the gin will lose their flavor or their flavors will be altered in some way by too much contact with sunlight.

If you’ve opened a bottle of gin that you won’t be able to finish anytime soon, make sure to think of the things said above.

Even if you store a bottle of gin in a freezer, though, it’s best if you drink it within a year of opening it. This will make sure that you will have the experience that you are meant to have with your gin.

Final Thoughts

The alcohol and water in a gin can evaporate over time. Alcohol will evaporate a bit quicker than water, but both evaporation processes will alter the taste of the gin a little bit. Your gin won’t go bad though, so you don’t need to worry about that.

If you want the best-tasting gin, you should drink your bottle of gin before the liquid has time to evaporate. Finishing a bottle within a year after opening will result in the best experience possible with your gin.

Preventing evaporation of your gin is best done by keeping it out of sunlight as much as possible and storing it in a fridge or even a freezer.

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