I recently discovered a number of bottles of raspberry infused vodka in my grandmother's basement. They are all many years old, and I'm wondering if they're still safe to drink. They seem to have a hazy collection of suspended particles at the bottom, and were capped with corks.

  • Homemade? Do you happen to have the recipe? Welcome to the site!
    – Stephie
    May 18 '15 at 5:25

Distilled alcohol doesn't spoil, and in high enough concentrations (20% or above) will preserve food. If your grandma's homemade hooch is strong enough (and it isn't adulterated with any harmful chemicals) it will not have any foodborne illnesses in it and should be safe to drink.

A quick test for alcohol content is to see if it starts on fire at room temperature, if so you're fine as it's at least 50% alcohol. You can also try heating it in a pan a bit and then lighting it (keep your eyebrows clear and be careful as it will flare up). If a bit of heating helps it flame you are also ok. If it smells strongly of alcohol you are probably fine, but if you are cautious (or curious) you can measure it using a spirit hydrometer, which you can buy online cheaply in many places.

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