Does Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?

By: Olivia Taylor

Does balsamic vinegar go bad?
Photo by: Ron Lach at Pexels

Does Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?

Does balsamic vinegar go bad? The answer to the question depends on whether or not the bottle has been opened or not. If, the balsamic vinegar has been opened it has a shelf life of 3-5 years. Balsamic vinegar does best if it is kept in a dark storage place away from heat.

Similar to wine, if the bottle of balsamic has not been opened, the shelf life is almost infinite. However, most experts would say you should use it within 3 years.

How Can I Tell If Balsamic Vinegar Has Gone Bad?

Balsamic vinegar doesn’t go bad the same way that milk goes bad. When people talk about balsamic vinegar going bad, they mean it is past it best quality, and best flavor. With that being said, there are five ways to tell if your bottle has gone bad.

1. Condition of the Bottle -Balsamic vinegar should come in a dark bottle. It cannot be exposed to light or else the quality would be compromised. Make sure your balsamic vinegar is stored in a dark bottle with a lid that seals tight.

2. Bottle Expiration: Most manufacturers have either a sell by date or expiration date on the bottle. Make sure you check this date since it is a good indicator freshness.

3. Taste: At its peak, balsamic vinegar should have a tangy and acidic taste with a hint of sweetness. The best way to test your balsamic vinegar is to pour a little on a spoon and taste it before using it in a recipe. If the taste is off, it has gone bad.

4. Appearance: Check the bottle for contaminants. Balsamic Vinegar contains a lot of acid which helps stop mold from growing. However, if the bottle has gotten damp, there is the possibility of mold growing around the lid of the bottle.

5. Smell It: Expired balsamic vinegar smells rancid. Your bottle of balsamic vinegar should smell bold, tart and sweet all at the same time.

How long does balsamic vinegar stay good?

Balsamic vinegar doesn’t necessary go bad after a certain time, but will taste a little different. At room temperature, balsamic vinegar will stay good about three years.

Balsamic vinegar does not need to be refrigerated, but if you want to use it as a salad dressing you may want to. In the refrigerator, balsamic vinegar will last 3- years.

Does Balsamic Vinegar need to be refrigerated after opening?

No, balsamic vinegar does not need to be refrigerated. However, balsamic vinaigrette dressing should be refrigerator. Once opened vinaigrette dressing should be stored in a sealed bottle . It can last for several months in stored properly.

How To Store Balsamic Vinegar Once Opened

Once opened, balsamic vinegar should be stored in a cool, dark, cupboard. It should not be stored near direct heat. If you prefer neat and efficient pouring, you can buy a bottle to store your balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar should not be stored in a clear bottle.

If balsamic vinegar gets hot, the flavor will be ruined. If you notice any type of sediment in the bottle, that is completely natural. It is a by product of balsamic vinegar and is not harmful.

Does Balsamic Vinegar Have Sugar?

Yes, balsamic vinegar contains sugar. However, the sugar is all natural and comes from the fruit. Balsamic vinegar is one of the sweetest vinegars you can buy.

Balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. Since grapes contain sugar, balsamic vinegar naturally has carbs.

Unless the balsamic vinegar is flavored, there is no additional sugar added.

Can Balsamic Vinegar Make You Sick?

If you east too much balsamic vinegar you may have an upset stomach or feel sick. However, expired balsamic vinegar will not make you sick. Balsamic vinegar doesn’t necessarily go bad after a certain amount of time. The flavor and quality will start to suffer as time goes by.

Higher quality, more expensive balsamic vinegar will last longer than generic or lower quality balsamic. Always make sure you balsamic vinegar is stored properly to ensure the quality lasts as long as possible.

Is it OK to eat balsamic vinegar every day?

Yes, it is OK to eat balsamic vinegar every day. As with most things in life, moderation is the key. If you consume 1-2 tablespoons daily mixed with eight ounces of water you can avoid too much balsamic vinegar.

If you consume too much balsamic vinegar, the main ingredient acidic acid, can cause side effects such as upset stomach, inflation of the throat and esophagus and even tooth enamel erosion.

Is balsamic vinegar anti inflammatory?

Balsamic vinegar contains antioxidants called polyphenols. These antioxidants can help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other inflammatory health conditions.

In addition, these antioxidants fight cell damage and boost your immune system. Balsamic vinegar can also help with the activity of digestion and may help control diabetes.

How Do You Drink Balsamic Vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is great to add to foods and drinks. The most common way to use balsamic is as a dressing over a salad. It’s so easy to make, just mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar and little salt and pepper.

Another way to use balsamic vinegar is as a dessert. Mix balsamic vinegar, pepper and sugar in a bowl, then drizzle over strawberries. It may sound crazy but it is the of sweet and tart at the same time.

Balsamic vinegar can also be used in cocktails. Use your most expensive bottle of balsamic vinegar to make a Bloody Mary or Strawberry Bellini a little tart.

How to Buy Balsamic Vinegar

Only high quality balsamic vinegars should only be bought and used to to drink. Be sure to check the label before buying balsamic vinegar. There are three grades of balsamic vinegar. They are traditional, commercial, and condiment grade.

Traditional balsamic is the highest grade available. The grapes used to for this type are aged in barrels for twelve to eighteen years. Traditional is the most expensive balsamic vinegar available.

Commercial grade balsamic vinegar are mass produced and have added ingredients and flavors. Commercial grade is suitable for salad dressings, sauces and marinades.

Condiment grade balsamic vinegar is similar to traditional balsamic vinegar but are not as expensive. They are aged for fewer years, but are not made in the designated are of Italy so it cannot be called traditional.

Balsamic Vinegar Side Effects

Balsamic vinegar is has a high acidity which can cause damage to your body. For example, if you drink too much balsamic vinegar straight, it could burn your throat and esophagus. Balsamic vinegar is best used as a condiment. It pairs wells with fresh vegetables, cheese and meats.

Too much balsamic vinegar can also cause stomach pain. You should limit the amount of balsamic vinegar you eat to two tablespoons or less. Drinking too much can cause stomach pain and other issues.

What are the health benefits of balsamic vinegar?

There are several potential health benefits of balsamic vinegar. They range from lowering cholesterol to improving the completion of your skin. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of balsamic vinegar.

Reduces Blood Sugar: When eating with a meal, it can help prevent a person’s blood sugar from rising after a meal. In addition, it could help maintain blood sugar for up to five hours after eating it as part of a meal.

Promotes Healthy Digestion: Balsamic vinegar contains acetic acid which contains strains of probiotics that help with digestion. These probiotics can help with your immune function and promote gut health and digestion.

Lowers Cholesterol: Balsamic vinegar contains antioxidants and these antioxidant’s help block cholesterol raising cells.

Helps With Weight Loss: The probiotics that help with gut digestion can also help with weight loss. The way they work is by making you feel full longer so you may eat less throughout the day.

Improves Skin Complexion: The same acetic acid and antioxidants that help with your insides can also help with your outside appearance. It may help improve your skin complexion.

Reduces Hypertension: Adding balsamic vinegar to your food may help reduce high blood pressure over time.


Today, there are many options when it comes to finding the best bottle of balsamic vinegar. Regardless of whether you are trying to lower cholesterol, lose weight or just enjoy a great salad, with a little care you can select a great bottle and enjoy it for years. Comment below with your favorite way to use balsamic vinegar.