Does Malibu Rum Go Bad?

Have you found yourself with a bottle of Malibu sitting in the beverage cabinet for quite some time and wondering if you can mix a few drinks with it? That’s when you probably started wondering “does malibu rum go bad?”.

Or maybe you’ve popped open a bottle some time ago and didn’t finish it, and now you’re not sure if it’s any good.

In both cases, I think you would benefit from learning a bit about storing Malibu, its shelf life, and if it can go bad.

Three bottle of Malibu
Image used under Creative Commons from Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos

How To Store Malibu Rum

You should store Malibu rum the same way you store spirits like vodka. That means it’s perfectly fine sitting in a cabinet at room temperature.

The only thing to remember is that the cap should be closed at all times. After opening the bottle, make sure you close it tightly before putting it back into the cabinet. And don’t even think about storing it with a pourer on, that’s a big no-no.


When the bottle is not closed tightly, the liquid inside slowly evaporates. What’s even more important is that alcohol evaporates faster than water and that means the liquid would start to lose its kick.

In case you were wondering, Malibu rum does not require refrigeration after opening. You can store it in the fridge to keep it chilled, but it’s by no means necessary. You, in most cases, should refrigerate after opening liqueurs that contain eggs or dairy, but Malibu doesn’t include either.

Bottle of Malibu rum closeup
(credit: Dondy Razon)

How Long Does Malibu Rum Last

Malibu rum is a flavored liqueur that’s usually around 42 proof (or 21.0% alcohol by volume). The original Malibu is made with coconut extract; hence it’s often called coconut rum. Nowadays you can find other options too.


Please note that Malibu, even though it’s called “Malibu rum”, is a liqueur, and doesn’t keep as well as pure rum does.

Malibu comes with a best by date on the label. That date suggests for how long the alcohol will remain at peak quality. Of course, Malibu rum won’t magically go bad or lose all of its taste after that date. Unopened, it should stay perfectly fine for years past that date.

Once you open it, the producer suggests using it within a year for best taste. Malibu loses its quality faster than “pure” rum, but that doesn’t mean that after a year it will spoil or something. That means it will gradually lose its taste and after some time your piña coladas might not taste as good as they used to.

Malibu (Closed)“Best by” + 10 years
Malibu (Opened)1 year

Please note that the dates above are for best quality only. Malibu rum should stay safe to drink indefinitely.

Image used under Creative Commons from Keith HInkle

How To Tell Malibu Rum is Bad

Remember, Malibu rum, if stored properly, will never go bad because the alcohol content in it will naturally preserve it.

Of course, if you stored it without the cap on or the bottle had some tiny holes in it, anything can happen. If that’s the case, you should notice right away after pouring some into a glass that it’s something wrong with the liqueur. If you’re not sure if it’s okay to drink, cut your loses and discard it.

What’s much more likely to happen, if the liqueur already sits opened for quite some time, is that the flavor and smell will alter. At some point, you might find the alcohol unpleasant to drink. If that’s the case, it’s up to you to either throw it out or use it in some drinks and try to cover the subpar flavor with other ingredients.

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