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Can I Get Drunk From Bitters?

The answer to this question varies because lots of different liquors fall under the category of bitters. There are amaros like Fernet that we drink straight at the end of a meal as a digestif, or vials of Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters that we use to add flavor and complexity to cocktails such as an Old Fashioned or a Sazerac. All have alcohol. Based on your question, though, I’m going to assume we’re talking about bitters like Angostura that we use in cocktails. The short answer here is that yes, bitters can eventually get you drunk, but you’d probably be sick first.

Bitters like Angostura are made by taking a high-proof spirit and infusing it with herbs, fruits, roots, and other spices. The result is a strongly flavored concoction that only takes a few drops to add complexity to a cocktail. Bitters are 44 percent alcohol, but you’d have to drink a good amount of them to actually feel a buzz.

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That doesn’t mean people don’t drink them. In a few cocktail bars around the country, it’s become trendy for bartenders to take a half-ounce shot of Angostura at the end of a shift, instead of the traditional Fernet. Others have even used Angostura as a cocktail base, calling for an ounce of the stuff. But these are rare examples. For the most part, while bitters are great as a cocktail enhancer, they shouldn’t be something you consume on their own.

How Long Does Liquor Stay Good After It’s Been Opened?

If a spirit is high enough proof, as most are, it should last indefinitely after it’s been opened. Booze in opened bottles will begin to evaporate and oxidize, though, so it may not taste exactly the same as when you first open it. But for the most part, as long as high-proof spirits are stored  in a cool, dry location, they’ll last forever.

There are a few spirits, however, that do go bad. Those that include dairy, such as Baileys, which has cream, do have an expiry date, which is usually indicated on the package. A general rule with Baileys is that you should consume it within two years of opening the bottle, and you should keep it in the freezer or fridge to maintain its freshness.

I Bought a Fancy Bottle of Beer That Was Packaged Just Like Champagne. Can I Saber It?

Absolutely not. The reason you’re able to saber a bottle of Champagne is because the bottle is under an intense amount of pressure – around 90 pounds per square inch, to be exact, which is six times atmospheric pressure. This pressure is in constant battle with the bottle and cork, which is why the cork can often spontaneously pop out of the bottle if it’s not held in place by the metal cage. Sabering Champagne is possible because the pressure ensures a clean break and an absence of glass shards in the bubbly.

Beer on the other hand is under much less pressure, and so trying to saber it might have disastrous results. The bottle could shatter in your hand or you could wind up with glass in the beer. It’s not a trick I’d recommend.

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