Seltzer has become my go-to drink lately. I love the light bubbly taste, the variety of flavors, and how refreshing it is on a hot day. But I quickly noticed that the carbonation and flavor seem to disappear pretty fast once I crack open a can or bottle.
I did some researching and discovered there are some proper ways to store seltzer to keep it fresh and bubbly as long as possible. Because no one likes flat, funky tasting seltzer!
In this article, I’ll share everything I learned about how long seltzer lasts in both opened and unopened containers. I’ll also give tips on storing seltzer correctly to maintain its flavor and fizz for the longest time possible.
How Long Does Unopened Seltzer Last?
First, let’s start with unopened seltzer. How long does it stay good on your shelf if you haven’t cracked the can or bottle open yet?
- Unopened cans or bottles of seltzer will typically stay good for 1-2 months past the “best by” date if stored properly. The best by date is usually printed on the can or packaging.
- For maximum freshness and longevity of your unopened seltzer, store it in the refrigerator. The cool temperature helps maintain the carbonation and flavor.
- If storing seltzer at room temperature, keep it in a pantry or cupboard away from heat sources and sunlight, which can speed up loss of fizz and flavor.
The cool environment of the fridge is best. But an unopened can or bottle stored in a dark pantry should stay relatively fresh for 1-2 months past that best by date on the package.
Just make sure to check that date before cracking one open! Nothing worse than a flat seltzer on a hot day.
How Long Does Opened Seltzer Last?
Now let’s discuss opened seltzer and how long it lasts once you’ve cracked the can or bottle open.
- Once opened, seltzer only lasts 3-5 days before losing its carbonation and flavor. The seal has been broken, allowing the carbonation to escape.
- Immediately refrigerate opened cans or bottles. The cool temperature will help maintain carbonation and taste.
- Signs that opened seltzer has gone bad include flat taste, decreased carbonation, and off smells or tastes. If it seems “off,” it’s best to discard it.
- For best quality, drink opened seltzer within 1-2 days. The sooner the better!
The takeaway here is to drink that opened seltzer quickly and make sure it stays chilled in the fridge. You want to finish it within 3-5 days maximum before the flavor and bubbles are gone.
Does Seltzer Lose Carbonation Over Time?
You may be wondering, why does seltzer go flat in the first place?
- Yes, carbonation will dissipate faster when seltzer is stored warm vs. cold.
- The carbonation in seltzer is sensitive to temperature changes. Refrigeration helps slow the loss of fizz.
- Over time, even refrigerated, opened seltzer will begin to lose its bubbly carbonation due to air exposure.
The moral of the story: Carbonation escapes quicker when warm and is lost gradually even when refrigerated. So keep that seltzer chilled and drink up!
Proper Storage for Maximum Seltzer Freshness
Now that you know how long seltzer lasts opened and unopened, let’s recap the proper storage guidelines:
- Store unopened cans or bottles in a cool, dark pantry or the refrigerator. Avoid warm spots like near the oven.
- Once opened, immediately refrigerate. Store opened seltzer cans upright to minimize air exposure.
- Don’t let opened seltzer sit at room temp, as the carbonation will rapidly dissipate.
- Consume opened seltzer within 3-5 days and unopened within 1-2 months for best taste.
Following these simple seltzer storage rules will keep the fizz alive and the flavor fresh!
Here are a few other seltzer storage tips:
- If you have space, stash unopened cans in the back of the fridge so opened ones get drank first. Follow the “first in, first out” principle.
- Don’t store seltzer on refrigerator door shelves. The temperature fluctuates more here with opening/closing.
- Keep leftover opened seltzer towards the front of the fridge and label it with the open date.
- Once opened, pour leftover seltzer into a sealed container if not finishing within 1-2 days. This prevents air exposure.
- Never leave seltzer or any carbonated drinks out warm for more than an hour or two. The carbonation will rapidly disappear.
Seltzer is so refreshing, but only when it’s ice cold and has that bubbly carbonation. By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy seltzer at peak freshness for longer.
The key points to remember are:
- Refrigerate opened cans and drink within 3-5 days.
- Don’t let seltzer sit out warm for extended time periods.
- Check best-by dates and store unopened cans in a cool, dark pantry or fridge.
- Finish opened seltzer quickly and keep it chilled.
With proper storage habits, you can keep seltzer carbonated and flavorful for months! So stock up on those variety packs and crack open a can of your favorite anytime. Just be sure to refrigerate promptly after opening and finish it fast.
Stay bubbly, friends!
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.