Does Malibu Rum Go Bad? (And How Long Can It Last)

Does Malibu Rum Go Bad

Malibu Rum is a combination of Caribbean rum and coconut flavor.  It comes in many variations, including Malibu Black, which is stronger than the original flavor, varieties flavored with other tropical fruits, and ready-to-drink cocktails in a can.  The coconut flavor gives it a distinct taste that mixes well with fun cocktails.  

Yes, Malibu Rum will eventually go bad.  The company itself states a shelf life of 2 years for Malibu Original and 1-2 years for other varieties; they do not indicate whether this is opened or unopened.  If it remains sealed, it should last a decade past that date.  Opened, it will probably be fine for at least a year. 

Read on to learn about how long Malibu Rum lasts, how to make it last the longest, how to tell when it’s bad, and some alternatives for use in your cocktails.

Does Malibu Rum Go Bad Over Time?

Different factors affect Malibu Rum’s longevity on the shelf.  The rum itself will last for a long while because the alcohol content will preserve it.  In general, the higher the alcohol content, the longer the spirit will last. Malibu Rum has an alcohol by volume of 21%.  Malibu Black has an alcohol by volume of 35%, so it will last longer.  Of course, this is affected by several different factors.  Even the best alcohol will go bad if it’s exposed to light or air. 

The flavorings do play a factor in Malibu Rum’s shelf life as well.   According to the producer, the shelf life for Malibu Flavors is two years; they do not indicate whether this is for opened or unopened bottles.  The shelf life of Malibu ready-to-drink cocktails is one year.  

As a general rule of thumb, Malibu Rum will still taste good ten years after the production date if it is unopened, and one year past that date if it is opened and stored correctly.

How Old is My Bottle of Malibu Rum?

If you want to find out when your bottle of Malibu Rum was produced, there is a lot code on the bottle lasered into the glass.  Send an email to Malibu Rum, and they will decipher these numbers and give you a date.

How Can you Tell if Malibu Rum has Gone Bad?

Due to the colored bottle, you will not be able to tell much about the quality unless you open and pour it.  Once you see the spirit in a glass, you might notice a color change that indicates poor quality.  Then, smell the rum to see if the aroma is ok.  Finally, take a sip

Remember, Malibu Rum is safe to drink; it just might not be palatable.  You are welcome to add it to cocktails, but the taste of the cocktail might be a little off as well.  It might be better to toss it and get a new bottle.  You don’t need to settle for subpar alcohol.

How to Properly Store Malibu Rum

Malibu Rum can be stored the same way as other spirits.  

  1. Store in a cabinet at room temperature.  A cool space is better than a room that stays warmer.
  2. Avoid fluctuations in heat – do not store it near the furnace vent, near the fireplace, or near the oven.  Even a cabinet that gets afternoon sun may be too warm.  Heat will quicken the aging process.
  3. Close the bottle tightly.  Some folks like to store their liquors with the pourer on.  This lets air in the bottle and causes the spirit to go bad quicker.  In addition, a poorly sealed bottle will allow the liquid to evaporate.  Since alcohol evaporates faster than water, the Malibu Rum will lose its potency. 
  4. While you can chill Malibu Rum in the refrigerator, it does not contain any ingredients that require being kept cool.

Does Malibu Rum go bad after Opening?

Generally, Malibu Rum will retain good quality for about a year after opening.  After that time, the elements of air and light, along with some bacteria that inevitably get into an open container, will start to degrade the product.  When we say bad, the taste, color, and smell will not be quite right, and the alcohol content will be reduced. 

If you find an opened bottle of Malibu Rum in the back of your cabinet, the best thing you can do is open it and give it a sip before deciding to discard the bottle.  Remember, Malibu Rum comes in various sizes, so unless it is your favorite or you are having a gathering, choose a bottle you will consume within a year.

Can you get sick from drinking Old Malibu Rum?

You might get a queasiness in your stomach for off-tasting rum, but Malibu Rum will not make you sick.  If you find a bottle in your cabinet that has not been opened, it’s probably still good, but the only way you will find out is if you open it and taste it. 

The opened bottle has a greater chance of going bad, but it will still not make you sick.  Opening the bottle, smelling it, or tasting it are your guarantees.  Then it’s up to you whether to use it in your cocktails or toss the bottle.  

Alternatives to Malibu Rum

While Malibu Rum has many different flavors, our alternatives will stick to the same type of recipe – rum with coconut flavors (plus a mixer that you can add to plain rum).  Since this is our criteria, the times of freshness or possible spoilage and the storage methods will follow the same guidelines.  

Brinley Gold Shipwreck Coconut Rum

Made with molasses-distilled dark rum and premium coconuts, it has an oaky undertone mixed with a hint of clove.  It is hand-crafted on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, is 36% alcohol by volume, and is gluten-free.  It comes in several flavors:  spiced, vanilla, coffee, mango, and lime.  There is also a coconut cream rum which would have a different shelf life.

Sugar Island Coconut Rum

This rum is super-sweet with tropical scents.  You can drink this alone or in cocktails.  Made in the Virgin Islands, it is 42 proof or 21% alcohol by volume, which is on par with Malibu Rum.  Sugar Island also makes a spiced rum.

Coconut Cartel Rum

This rum departs from the Caribbean styles and is made in Guatemala.  The blend of rums is infused with real coconut water, then distilled in copper column stills and aged for up to 12 years in oak barrels.  It is 40% alcohol by volume, so it should keep well for quite a while if stored properly.  

Parrot Bay Coconut Rum

Parrot Bay has lower alcohol by volume content at 21%, which gives it a similar shelf life.  It comes in five flavors in addition to the original coconut.  

Don Q Coco Rum

Made in Puerto Rico, Don Q uses rum aged 1 ½ years and extract of real coconut, plus some essential natural flavors to create a tropical smooth rum that mixes well with rum cocktails.

Cruzan Coconut Rum

Cruzan makes several rums, some unflavored and some flavored.  Coconut is one option.  Like Malibu Rum, it is 21% alcohol by volume; thus, it has a similar shelf life.  

Koloa Kaua’I Coconut Rum

This rum is made in Hawaii rather than the Caribbean and has a hint of lime and pineapple flavors as well as coconut.  The water used in the manufacturing process is filtered through a volcano.

Montauk Rumrunners Coconut Rum

A small-batch coconut rum made on New York’s Long Island can be enjoyed over ice or in cocktails.  They boast fresh, high-quality ingredients.  It is 30% alcohol by volume, so it will keep for quite a while.  

Coconut Water or Coconut Milk

Nature's Greatest Foods, Organic Coconut Water, USDA Organic Certified, No Sugar Added, Never from Concentrate, Pure & Refreshing, 33.8 fl oz (Pack of 6)For those that don’t drink, coconut water or coconut milk added to mocktails gives you that coconut taste without the kick.  The original coconut flavor drinks used a real coconut and filled it with rum, so it’s like you are going back to the roots. You can also use your favorite rum and add coconut water or milk to the mix.  Rum has a very long shelf life, and coconut water or milk can be bought fresh. 

Related Questions

Is Malibu Rum Gluten-Free?

Malibu Rum’s original flavor is gluten-free.  Rum is made from sugar or a variety thereof, such as molasses, and the flavors are made from coconut.  Distilled spirits are generally considered gluten-free, but some have sensitivities if the root ingredients contain gluten.  The thing to look out for in flavored rums is the origin of the flavors and potential cross-contamination.  If the rum uses real coconuts and rum, you are safe.

Does Malibu Rum contain Nuts?

Some mistakenly see the word coconut and think they might be allergic.  Malibu Rum contains no allergens, and furthermore, coconuts are fruits, not nuts.  You are safe.  According to their website nutrition information, all Malibu products are free of allergens.

Is Malibu Rum Vegan?

Maybe, and here’s why.  The producer admits that one of its sugar suppliers does not use vegan-friendly processes.  This often means they use bone char, which is frowned upon by vegans.  Dead Man’s Fingers Coconut Rum is vegan-friendly, according to Barnivore’s vegan liquor guide.

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Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

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