Does Tonic Water Go Bad? Signs To Tell For Sure

Quick summary: Tonic water will hardly go bad and has quite a long shelf life while unopened. It might lose its quality, though. Very soon after opening, the loss of bubbles will make it pale and tasteless.

Tonic water is a very refreshing drink that many prefer to see combined with gin. Numerous will argue that a good gin and tonic cocktail actually depends more on the quality of the tonic than the alcohol. Anyway, a good tonic water will refresh your day without a doubt.

But if you’re like most, you probably won’t drink the entire amount at once. Especially if you buy a larger package of tonic water. So how long can it last after opening? And can you drink it after it expires? Read on for all the details.

How Long Does Tonic Water Last?

Like most fizzy drinks, tonic can last a very long time if unopened. The prerequisite is that you do not keep it directly in the sun or near a heat source. Here are the main guidelines.

Unopened tonic water

Ideally, it would be best if you kept this drink at a comfortable temperature in the pantry until opening. Although the expiration date is written on the label, it is by no means the final moment when you should throw away the drink. In a good environment, your tonic water will last at least a few months after it expires. And it’s not uncommon for it to still be of good drinking quality a year after its expiration date.

Opened tonic water

After opening, the durability will no longer be so significant. At room temperature, you will have about a day or two, while in the refrigerator, the tonic water will be fresh for a few more days. This refers to the quality of the drink, or rather the bubbles. The beverage is still safe for consumption for a long time, but it will just be bland.

Can Tonic Water Go Bad?

In theory, any non-alcoholic drink can spoil, but because of the sugar and preservatives, you will rarely experience a radically spoiled tonic. It’s more likely to just lose its bubbles and become dull, so you’ll want a fresher variety. However, here are some signs that will be present if the deterioration actually occurs.

Sign 1: The smell is off

Anything that smells unpleasant is certainly reason enough to throw it away. If you feel the smell has become undesirable, it’s time to toss everything down the drain.

Sign 2: Discoloration

Tonic water should be transparent if it is not flavored with other juices. In any case, a change in color compared to the original edition will be a sign that something is wrong.

Sign 3: Wrong taste

We have already said that the loss of bubbles does not mean the tonic is rotten. If you don’t mind a bland drink, you can freely consume it. But if there have been some other changes in taste, this can be a sign of spoilage.

Which is the Best Way to Store Tonic Water?

Tonic water needs about the same treatment as other carbonated drinks. There are not many requirements, but you still need to follow some rules. Here they are.

Store at a suitable temperature

While the tonic is unopened, it should be stored at a comfortable, cooler temperature, never in a warm place or near a heat source. After opening, it is necessary to hold the drink in the refrigerator if you want to keep it fresh for the next few days.

Make sure the bottle is tightly closed

Due to the inflow of air, the bubbles from the tonic water will evaporate faster, and the drink will become bland. Therefore, always close the bottle tightly after each use.


Is expired tonic water safe to drink?

The tonic water will be good for consumption months after the expiration date if the bottle is unopened. So, if you do not notice any signs of deterioration due to poorer storage conditions, feel free to use the drink after the expiration date.

How do you know if tonic water is bad?

The most common is the loss of freshness, bubbles, and pleasing flavor. A foul smell and taste or a color change will accompany the actual spoilage of the drink.

Can expired tonic water make you sick?

If it just lost the sparkes and became pale, you will not be harmed after consuming the expired tonic. However, if actual spoilage has occurred, you could have indigestion.

Tonic water can be used as a refreshing drink or as part of a cocktail with the addition of gin. It mustn’t be exposed to heat or sunlight before opening, but it doesn’t have to be kept in the refrigerator unless to get it ready for consumption. 

After opening the bottle, be sure to put the leftovers in the fridge and tightly close the cap. In this way, you will preserve freshness and peak bubbliness for a few more days.

If you’re replacing your bubbly beverage with healthier unsugared carbonated water, learn more about the durability of water in all its forms.

*image by igorr1/depositphotos

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