Hot summer days are upon us and you may have been wondering if it’s safe to keep your vodka in the car.
After all, it would make an awesome addition to a summer picnic and you don’t want to risk your bottle ending up ruined.
Now, you’re probably not alone in asking this question and we’re here to answer it for you.
There are a few factors at play when it comes to storing your vodka in the car, including the temperature and how long it is left in the car.
So, can you leave vodka in a hot car?
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what you need to consider when deciding whether it’s a good idea for you to store vodka in a hot car.
Is It Safe to Leave Vodka in a Hot Car?
When it comes to leaving vodka in the car, the best advice is to heed the old adage “better safe than sorry.”
Sure, it’s probably fine for a few hours or even half a day in moderate temperatures, but when you’re dealing with extreme heat and sunshine, you should keep your vodka stored in a cool, dark place instead.
The heat can cause the water molecules in vodka to break apart, resulting in an unwanted alteration of the flavor and smell.
This can be particularly unpleasant if you’re using high-end vodka.
Additionally, leaving vodka exposed to direct sunlight can cause the alcohol content to significantly decrease, making your beverage less potent.
Not to mention that vodka left in a hot car could quickly become a safety hazard.
High temperatures could lead to glass bottles shattering or lids loosening and leaking; both scenarios call for extra caution when handling your spirits.
Lastly, leaving alcohol sitting out in extreme conditions might mean that it’s more attractive to children and animals who stumble across it – meaning more potential trouble down the line.
What Are the Effects of Heat on Vodka?
Vodka left in a hot car is going to be affected by the extreme temperature, but to what extent? To understand this, we need to first look at the effects of heat on vodka itself.
First, high temperatures will cause the alcohol content to evaporate.
This means that over time, your vodka will become weaker.
Depending on how hot it is and for how long it’s been exposed to heat, you may end up with less of an alcoholic kick than you’d expect.
Second, high temperatures can also break down any compounds added to flavor the vodka.
This can result in a change in taste as some flavors may evaporate faster than others.
Thus, you might end up with a different flavor profile than what you’re used to—especially if it’s been in a hot car for an extended period of time.
Lastly, leaving vodka out in extreme heat can also cause changes in its color and clarity due to the thermal breakdown of components found in most vodkas.
While these changes are largely esthetic and won’t affect the taste or strength of the liquor, they still indicate that the vodka has been exposed to high temperatures and could be potentially dangerous if consumed.
How Long Can You Keep Vodka in a Hot Car?
The length of time vodka can be left in a hot car depends on several factors, such as the strength of the vodka, the temperature of your car, and other external elements.
The higher proof, or ABV (alcohol by volume) of your vodka, the longer it can safely be stored in a hot car.
Vodka that is 40% ABV or lower will generally last anywhere from 4-5 hours to a full day in a hot car without noticeable changes to its taste and smell.
Vodka that is higher than 40%, such as 80-90%, may be able to last up to two days in even the hottest weather conditions before beginning to spoil.
Does Storing Vodka in a Hot Car Affect Its Flavor?
You might be wondering: does storing vodka in a hot car affect its flavor? The answer is yes, but not necessarily in an unpleasant way.
Vodka can often take on a different taste when it is stored in a hot car, giving it a more acidic taste.
While this is not necessarily considered “good” when judged from an expert’s perspective, many people might enjoy the extra acidity and complexity that it brings to the vodka.
What Can I Do if I’ve Left Vodka in a Hot Car?
If you’ve left vodka in a car and it was exposed to high temperatures, there are some steps you can take to ensure the quality of your vodka is not diminished.
· Ask Your Bartender
The first option is to always ask your bartender before drinking your vodka.
Irrespective of where and how you stored your bottle, there could be bacteria growing in it; this could cause it to become rancid.
Sneaking a taste of the vodka is never an option; if the bartender doesn’t approve of the drink, don’t drink it!
· Opt for Refrigeration
The other thing you can do to avoid any potential spoilage caused by high temperatures is to refrigerate your vodka before consuming it.
This will slow down any chemical reactions that can happen at higher temperatures.
Be sure to cool the bottle for about six hours before popping open the cap and having a cheeky sip!
In conclusion, it’s never a good idea to leave vodka or any other type of alcohol in your car for an extended period of time.
Whether it’s in the trunk, on the floorboard, or in the glove compartment, alcohol can be easily damaged by extreme temperatures.
If you know you’ll be dealing with hot or cold temperatures it’s best to store your vodka in a cool, dry place.
Not only can extreme temperatures affect the taste, quality, and strength of your vodka, but it can also make it unsafe to consume.
By taking a few simple precautions, you can make sure that your vodka stays in great condition and is ready for your next nightcap.