Does Triple Sec Go Bad? Can It Expire At All

Quick summary: Triple sec is very resistant to spoilage in both forms, liquor and syrup. Of course, liquor is much more durable, but syrup will also last long enough. Provide good storage conditions and don’t worry about longevity even after opening. 

Triple sec is like the holy grail of cocktail masters. A delicate fresh note of citrus and orange will make any drink a fantasy. And you can also serve it neat with just a little decoration on the glass. Your guests will certainly not be disappointed.

But triple sec is really not a daily drink, at least not for most. We usually only use it on special nights, making cocktails, and the rest of the time, the bottle collects dust in some liquor cabinet. Additionally, triple sec comes in both alcoholic liquor and non-alcoholic syrup versions, so you may be wondering how long each can last and how to know when it’s expired. Here are some valuable tips.

How Long Does Triple Sec Last?

We must tell you right away that in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions, triple sec is a relatively durable drink and can last long enough until you run out of it. However, of course, there are differences, so here are the durations you can count on.

Triple sec liquor 

Like most alcoholic beverages, triple sec is significantly more durable precisely because of the presence of alcohol. This prevents the development of bacteria and acts as an excellent preservative for many years. It should be noted that the alcohol level is not low and ranges from 30 to 40 percent. 

However, unlike pure drinks, let’s call them that, like vodka and tequila, triple sec will not last twenty years without changing its taste. As it is a question of fruity notes, it is to be expected that they will evaporate over time, and you will not have the initial aroma. It won’t spoil in the classic sense of harming you, though. Roughly, you can count on an unopened bottle to last up to ten years. After opening, it is best to use the contents within a year or two.

Triple sec syrup 

The situation is somewhat different with syrup, although even it, due to the presence of sugar and citric acid, will not be spoiled in the classical sense of the word. At least it shouldn’t if you stored it correctly. You can roughly expect the syrup to have a shelf life of one to two years, depending on the manufacturer. 

After opening the bottle, evaporation occurs significantly faster, so it is definitely advisable to consume the contents within a couple of months. Some manufacturers will include instructions on how long after opening you can count on product stability and aroma quality.

Can Triple Sec Go Bad?

The answer would be both yes and no. It shouldn’t spoil in a way that causes potential nausea, but a product that has lost quality is also spoiled, right? Here’s how you can judge that the product is no longer good.

Sign 1: The taste is bland

This is the most common spoilage you will encounter for both liquor and syrup. Triple sec that has lost its aroma and specific orange flavor will not be useful for cocktails. It is definitely necessary to throw away such a product because there is no way to save it.

Sign 2: Smell is off

It is more likely in the case of syrup, but it is also possible for an alcoholic drink if many years have passed or the storage conditions are very unfavorable. A foul smell will definitely indicate a decaying triple sec.

Sign 3: Color changed 

This is another sure sign that you need to say goodbye to triple sec. If the color has changed, it means that the product is off, and you need a new bottle.

Which is the Best Way to Store Triple Sec?

Triple sec will be subject to the same storage conditions as other similar drinks. You only need to follow basic guidelines, and the product will be stable for a long time.

Tip 1: Keep at a suitable temperature

The temperature should be comfortable, and it is absolutely necessary to avoid any direct sources of heat. Light and sun will also be equally harmful. After opening, it is preferable to store the syrup in the refrigerator, although it is not a requirement for most manufacturers. Check possible instructions on the packaging to be sure.

Tip 2: Seal well after use

Close the bottle tightly every time after use to prevent aromas and alcohol from evaporating. An open bottle without a cap will significantly speed up the deterioration process.


How long does triple sec last once opened?

The syrup should be good for several months, certainly one to two months. The alcoholic drink should be good for up to two years after opening.

How do you know if triple sec is bad?

Most often, you will feel a pale and evaporated taste that will not be pleasant. A change in color will definitely indicate that the product is spoiled, as will a bad smell.

Can triple sec give you food poisoning?

Triple sec shouldn’t be spoiled in a way that gives you food poisoning, at least not in most cases. There may be chances if the syrup has been sitting for a long time in a warm place for some harmful bacteria to develop, but this is not common.


Triple sec is a very refreshing and extremely aromatic drink that many people love to use as a base for cocktails. Some people like to drink it neat, with only a little decoration on the glass. 

Whether you have liquor or syrup, the shelf life is quite long until you open the bottle. After that, the alcoholic version lasts significantly longer, while the syrup can go bad within a few months.

If you’re a cocktails fan, you may also want to update your margarita mix shelf life knowledge.

*image by igorr1/depositphotos

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