Does Liquor Evaporate? [All You Need to Know]

If you don’t drink liquor, you cook with it. One common thing anyone who uses liquor notices is that after a while, there’s something different about it.

You may notice a reduction in quantity or changes in the flavor of the drink. Does this mean liquor can evaporate?

Yes, liquor contains alcohol, so it evaporates.

Alcohol has some properties that make it a unique liquid. Its composition, low density, boiling point, and evaporation rate are factors that influence its storage. So, it is common to see a caution against exposing a bottle of liquor to direct sunlight or heat.

In this article, you’ll find answers to your questions on how fast liquor evaporates, what happens and how to prevent this evaporation.

Does Liquor Evaporate?

Yes, since it’s alcohol, liquor evaporates.

Liquor is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is also known as spirit. Evaporation occurs if you don’t store your bottle of liquor properly. Under extreme temperatures, liquor will evaporate.

Furthermore, the alcohol in liquors evaporates fast because of their low boiling point, higher vapor pressure as compared to the vapor pressure of the surrounding air, and the tendency of the molecules at the surface to break hydrogen bonds and escape.

Does Liquor Evaporate If Left Open?

Yes, it does. Once you have opened a bottle of liquor, it will begin to evaporate.

Over time, its flavor and color will change. However, it can still last months or years and is still drinkable as long as you stored it properly.

If you expose the open bottle of liquor to sunlight, it’ll evaporate within thirty minutes. At room temperature, if the lid is intact, it’ll take longer to evaporate.

Does Liquor Evaporate in the Fridge?

Liquor can evaporate in the refrigerator, although not significantly. If you left the lid intact, the evaporation may not significantly affect the taste of the drink.

You do not have to refrigerate an open bottle of liquor to preserve it. If you store it properly at room temperature, you can as well preserve it that way.

Does Liquor Evaporate in the Freezer?

Although there is no need to freeze liquor, some people still do. It won’t evaporate significantly in the freezer anyway. But, if you end up with a frozen bottle of liquor and you thaw it open, evaporation will occur.

SEE: Does Bourbon Go Bad or Does It Just Get Better With Age?

Does Liquor Evaporate in a Decanter?

Liquor can evaporate in a decanter, but this depends on the type of decanter. If it’s a decanter with a loose-fitting stopper, you should expect some level of evaporation. However, this will happen slowly.

If your decanter does not have a stopper, you should pour only as much liquor as you can consume at a time.

How Fast Does It Take for Liquor to Evaporate?

Generally, the alcohol in liquors evaporates faster than water does. The rate of evaporation depends on the vapor pressure of the surrounding air, the surface area, and the temperature of the liquid.

A liquor of 37% ABV evaporates at an evaporation speed of 3. After 15 minutes, you should have 40% ABV, 35% ABV after 30 minutes, 25% ABV after an hour, and 5% ABV after 2 ½ hours.

Therefore, it takes about three hours for liquor to fully evaporate.

SEE: Find Out if Ginger Beer Is the Best Option for a Gluten-Free Diet

What Happens When Liquor Has Evaporated?

When liquors have evaporated in a dish, you’ll observe that the quantity has reduced. You will also notice a reduction in the volume of the liquid if you have left the glass or bottle exposed to sunlight or out in the open for a long period.

Moreover, evaporation impacts the taste, flavor, and color of the drink. However, the liquor remains safe to drink as long as it has not expired and you stored it properly.

Factors That Influence Evaporation of Liquor

1. Surface area

Surface area is directly proportional to the rate of evaporation.

The larger the surface area of the container of the liquor, the faster it evaporates. Liquor in a glass will evaporate faster than liquor in a bottle.

SEE: How to Store Your Wine and Beverages at Home

2. Boiling point

The boiling point of a liquid directly affects the rate of evaporation. The lower the boiling point, the faster it evaporates.

Liquor has a boiling point of 172.4°F (78°C). The molecules don’t need so much energy to break hydrogen bonds and turn to vapor.

3. The temperature of the liquid

The higher the temperature the liquor is subjected to, the faster it evaporates. High temperatures increase the speed at which the molecules move.

Consequently, the bond between the molecules weakens and they easily escape into vapor.

Liquor kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator will not evaporate as fast as liquor kept in direct contact with sunlight or on a source of heat.

4. Humidity

If the air surrounding the bottle or glass of liquor is high, the faster it evaporates. The water in the air will draw out the alcohol in the liquor.

SEE: Find Out If Alcohol Is Gluten-Free and Safe for Celiacs

5. Airflow

The higher the rate of airflow or wind speed, the higher the rate of evaporation. As the wind blows over the container of liquor, it carries along with it the escaped molecules that have become vapor.

If this wind blows faster than the vapor has a chance to be reabsorbed back into liquid, it’ll evaporate quickly.

How Can You Prevent Liquor From Evaporating?

The best way to prevent liquor from evaporating is to store it properly.

Keep it in an airtight container and secure it firmly after you have opened the bottle. Also, keep the bottle away from sunlight and direct heat.

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Does alcohol evaporate from liquor?

Yes. It is the alcohol content in liquor that first evaporates when it is subjected to high temperatures. It is the evaporated alcohol that makes liquor change its taste over time.

At what temperature does liquor evaporate?

The alcohol in liquors evaporates at 172.4°F (78°C).

Does liquor evaporate faster than water?

Yes. Alcohol has a lower (179.6°F) boiling point compared to water (212°F). Therefore, it evaporates much faster than water does.

Can alcohol evaporate in a closed bottle?

Yes, it does.

A closed bottle of liquor can evaporate in the refrigerator and if you expose it to sunlight. The low temperature in the refrigerator can make the cork shrink and allow the alcohol to evaporate.

When exposed to sunlight, you may not notice a visible reduction in quantity, but it’d have impacted the taste.

Does heat evaporate liquor?

Yes, heat does.

This is the reason why you end up with less alcohol than you started cooking with. The higher the temperature around a bottle of liquor, the more likely it is to evaporate.


The longevity of liquor is in how well you store it. The directions to store your bottles of alcohol away from sunlight and direct heat are not a joke. On exposure to harsh elements, the factors that influence evaporation are at their peak.

Consequently, you’ll notice a reduction in the volume of the liquor and the alcohol content. Therefore, the longer you want to keep your bottle of prized liquor, the more secure you want to keep it.

Thanks for reading.

Visit Cheffist to read more related articles on how to store drinks and beverages.