Homemade fruit rum safe to drink after 1.5 years?
July 14, 2012 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Homemade fruit rum safe to drink after 1.5 years?

A friend and I made some strawberry rum about a year and a half ago...basically combined some whole strawberries and rum in a jar. We were planning to let it sit for a couple of months and then strain out the strawberries and drink. Of course...we forgot about it. We unearthed it recently and wondered if it would be safe to taste. Obviously we would toss the berries (which are looking pretty gross), but I'd love to taste it and see if it's any good...perfectly willing to risk it tasting bad and tossing it for that reason, but of course I don't want to even taste if it might be dangerous. What are your thoughts?
posted by rainbowbrite to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
whatever bacteria that could have caused any trouble was pretty much instantly killed by the rum. i'd go ahead and try it.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 9:38 AM on July 14, 2012

If it isn't fuzzy, I would drink it. Maybe that's just me.
posted by rtha at 9:42 AM on July 14, 2012

It should be safe, though for taste purposes I'd probably strain it to get all the little bits of partially dissolved strawberry out.
posted by modernserf at 9:47 AM on July 14, 2012

Best answer: Obviously we would toss the berries (which are looking pretty gross)

Gross how? When I make strawberry-infused vodka, the strawberries are leached of color and soft after just a few days, whether I keep it on the shelf or in the fridge. They become grayish and soft, bobbling sadly in the richly colored liquor, but the liquor itself (well-strained) is delicious and --- judging by how much of it my friends and I have enjoyed over the years --- safe to drink.

So, discoloration and slumping of the fruit itself isn't necessarily a bad sign in itself. Strain it well (though a coffee filter or a sieve lined with cheesecloth) to remove any bits of fruit.

Was this on the shelf? I do keep fruit-infused liquors in the fridge or freezer. When my sister kept a bottle of my berry-infused sugar-sweetened liqueur on the shelf for a few weeks, it changed color and thickened up. I advised her to toss it; she scoffed and drank it up and has reported no ill effects. I wouldn't have drunk it, myself.

This NYT article on preserving fruit in liquor can give you some helpful guidelines for safety.
posted by Elsa at 9:55 AM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

If the fruit's been completely covered by the booze, I'd call it safe unless there's something blatantly wrong with it (mold, rotting smells, horrible off flavors).

If there's been enough evaporation to leave some of the fruit uncovered, I'd chuck it. At a certain point, a strawberry that's been dipped in rum and then left to air dry is going to turn into a plain old nonalcoholic strawberry again, and then bad things are going to start to happen to it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:13 AM on July 14, 2012

Best answer: It's not uncommon to let infused liquors sit for very long periods of time, it actually enhances the flavor as it ages. I drank 5 year old peach-infused vodka that I had forgotten in the back of a cupboard not that long ago. It was delicious.

As long as the strawberries are covered entirely, you're golden.
posted by zug at 12:42 PM on July 14, 2012

Best answer: My wife and I do this all the time, we have an unrefrigerated cabinet where we keep all the gallon jars full of fruity bbooze.

Strain out the solids, enjoy the rum left behind, it's fine, trust me. I've been doing this process for a decade, and regularly have things that are years old.
posted by rocketman at 1:34 PM on July 14, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, all! The berries were completely covered with liquid and when I drained them out, they seemed mushy/gray but not moldy. I'm currently straining through coffee filters and then I'll give it a taste! :)
posted by rainbowbrite at 1:54 PM on July 14, 2012

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