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Is it OK to drink expired Bloody Mary mix?

Quick Answer

It is generally not recommended to drink expired Bloody Mary mix. However, if the mix has been properly stored and the expiration date has only recently passed, it may still be safe to consume. Some key signs that the mix has spoiled and should be discarded include changes in color, texture, and smell. Ultimately, it is best to err on the side of caution and not drink expired Bloody Mary mix to avoid potential foodborne illness.

What happens when Bloody Mary mix expires?

Bloody Mary mix typically has a shelf life of 9-12 months when unopened and stored properly. Once opened, it will expire much faster – usually within 4-6 months.

When Bloody Mary mix expires, the quality and safety can begin to degrade:

  • Color may start to fade or darken
  • Texture can thicken or become clumpy as ingredients settle
  • Flavor may start to taste “off” – bitter, sour, or unpleasant
  • Spoiled mix may develop an odd or foul smell

These changes occur due to natural chemical reactions over time and exposure to oxygen. Eventually, expired Bloody Mary mix can become unsafe to consume.

Is it dangerous to drink expired Bloody Mary mix?

Consuming expired Bloody Mary mix comes with some risks but the level of risk depends on a few factors:

How long has it been expired?

The shorter the time since expiration, the less risk of foodborne illness. Mix that has been expired for over 6 months poses the highest risk.

How was it stored?

Properly stored, unopened mix lasts longer. If the mix was left out at room temperature or subjected to lots of temperature fluctuations, it will expire faster.

Any signs of spoilage?

Look for changes in color, texture, smell or appearance. This indicates microbial growth and the mix should be thrown out.

Quality of ingredients

Low-quality ingredients and preservatives lead to faster spoilage. Higher quality mixes with natural, fresher ingredients have a shorter shelf life.

What are the health risks of drinking expired Bloody Mary mix?

While unlikely with recently expired mix, there are a few foodborne illnesses that pose a health risk:

  • Salmonella – Cause of salmonellosis, with symptoms like fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
  • E. coli – Can lead to severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and fever.
  • Botulinum toxin – Causes botulism which can lead to muscle paralysis and is fatal in 3-5% of cases.
  • Listeria – Listeriosis has flu-like symptoms and can be fatal in high risk groups.

How to determine if expired mix is still safe

There are a few ways to evaluate if expired Bloody Mary mix is still safe:

Inspect visually

Check for any mold, sliminess, separation of ingredients, or unusual coloring.

Smell test

Give it a sniff – spoiled mix will have an unpleasant or “off” odor. Fresh mix smells normal.

Small taste test

Take a small sip and taste for flavor changes or bitterness. Don’t drink any that tastes “funny.”

When in doubt, throw it out!

If there are any signs of spoilage or you are uncertain, it is best to discard the expired mix and not take the risk.

How to store Bloody Mary mix properly

Proper storage maximizes the shelf life of Bloody Mary mix after opening:

  • Refrigerate after opening
  • Store in a sealed container
  • Ensure lid is tightly closed
  • Keep refrigerated at 40°F or below
  • Avoid storing in door shelf which has more temperature fluctuations

An unopened, commercially sealed bottle stored in a cool, dry pantry will last 9-12 months. Once opened, mix will keep 4-6 months in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze Bloody Mary mix?

Yes, freezing is a great option to extend the shelf life. To freeze:

  • Pour mix into freezer-safe, airtight containers leaving 1⁄2 inch of headspace.
  • Seal lids tightly.
  • Label with name and freeze-by date (3-6 months).
  • Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Thaw overnight in refrigerator before using.

The freezer prevents microbial growth that leads to spoilage. Thoroughly thawed and properly handled frozen mix will have the same shelf life as refrigerated.

How to freshen up expired Bloody Mary mix

If the mix has expired but not spoiled, you may be able to extend its safe drinkability:

  • Add more tomato juice or lemon juice – increases acidity to inhibit microbial growth
  • Add more vodka or alcohol – helps preservation
  • Add fresh herbs and spices – enhances flavor
  • Add a dash of hot sauce or horseradish – masks any bitterness
  • Avoid mixing with eggs if mix has been expired for some time

These tips can liven up an older mix, but should not be relied on for long-expired mix which may not be safe.

Other ways to use expired Bloody Mary mix

If you don’t want to drink the expired Bloody Mary mix, here are some other uses:

  • Marinade for meats like steak, chicken, or shrimp
  • Base for a soup or stew
  • Sauce for cooking mussels or clams
  • Boil with bratwurst or sausages
  • Use as a flavor boost when roasting veggies
  • Substitute for vinegar or lemon juice in a recipe

The Tomatillo juice and savory seasonings in the mix can add lots of flavor to many dishes beyond just cocktails.


Drinking expired Bloody Mary mix isn’t inherently dangerous, but it does come with some risks of foodborne illness. To play it safe, inspect the mix closely and look for any signs of spoilage before drinking. Discard expired mix that is more than 6 months old or shows any odd flavors, smells or textures. Storing the mix properly and freezing for longer shelf life are good ways to get the most use and enjoyment out of your Bloody Mary’s!