I have a fairly well-stocked mini-bar, but not a lot of space. I've considered storing the bottles in a drawer, but I've heard that you should store certain alcohol upright. Is this true? If so, why? If it's only true for certain types of alcohol, which ones?

4 Answers 4


Beer bottles should be stored upright. This is to minimize contact (and hence oxidization) between the beer and bottle cap, and (for unfiltered beers) to keep any sludge on the bottom of the bottles. (How To Store Beer)

Wine should be stored (mostly) on its side. This keeps the cork moist; and a dry cork can shrink and allow too much air into the wine bottle. (Storage of wine) But note that:

Champagne and other sparkling wines tend to age better if they are kept upright.

The rules for liquor aren't as defined, but it should generally be stored upright. (Taming Your Liquor Cabinet). It's stored that way at the factory, and it's shipped and displayed that way. Also for many "fancy" bottle types, the bottle won't even sit properly on its side. Also, alcohol in liquor can leak through - or even break down - whatever material is used for the cap. But it's generally safe to store liquor bottles horizontally in the freezer for a time. It depends a lot on the specific bottle and cap in use.

  • So should liquor be stored upright to reduce the surface area exposed to oxygen?
    – ramblinjan
    Apr 10, 2012 at 19:46
  • Don't forget to turn your wine bottles every few months. If you don't, it's possible that part of the cork will be too dry and break off.
    – Mien
    Apr 10, 2012 at 20:12
  • 4
    This answer does link to an article that states liquor should be stored upright, but it doesn't ultimately answer part of my question: why? I've heard that they should be, but I haven't seen reasoning behind it.
    – ramblinjan
    Apr 10, 2012 at 20:26
  • Sparkling wine should/can be stored upright depending on who you ask.
    – vwiggins
    Apr 11, 2012 at 13:17

I have to concur with KatieK as to the conclusion that liquor bottles should be stored upright, as for "Why?" While I can not necessarily tell you "the reason" I can tell you "my reasons"... Liquor bottles lids are less reliable after they have been opened, upright storage prevents leakage.

I have had the unfortunate experience with a bottle of Jack that didn't keep well.

An additional reason to do this is that in all of the bars and liquor stores I have visited, I can recall never having seen liquor stored sideways...if it made sense to store those sideways the retailers would do so.

These may not be perfect reasons, but they are good enough to me...for whatever that is worth to you.


I have some opened liquor that I stored on its side in a wine cabinet. It seems to have leaked and a ring of "sugar" dripped on the bottle below it and crystallized. So, if it has not been opened, it may be ok.


As far as I know, storing liquor bottles on their side is a bad idea.

For screwtops, I believe storing them on the side will over time degrade the seal, especially when there is a lot of alcohol involved.

Corked liquor bottles use soft low-density cork to make it easy to remove and insert the cork, and unlike the harder, denser corks used for wine, these corks simply will not hold up to prolonged exposure to alcohol.

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