For myself, I intentionally make varied drinks. I open the cabinet (or browse my cocktail database) looking for an idea that I haven't tried yet, or something I haven't made in a long time. Therefore, the bottles that I use are almost always completely different from those I used yesterday. Finding space in the kitchen, at the expense of the hassle of re-bottling into smaller bottles works for me. It's less working than constantly walking to a distant bar. I do sometimes have to step up on the rung of a bar stool to see/reach the bottles on the upper shelf. I keep "top shelf" bottles a bit farther away, because they are usually served neat, and go straight into the dining or living room, without need for ice or mixing. And overstock goes in a sort-of pantry cabinet at the entrance to the kitchen.
If you have a bar with a sink (or could add a sink), how about putting an icemaker there and really making it a full cocktail-making station?
Then there's the issue of the glass storage...
Like a well-designed kitchen, a well-designed drink making station makes preparing drinks a joy. I have never understood the "bar in the basement" thing, unless you move your guests down there too. Running up and down steps every time someone wants a drink is a huge hassle (unless the bar is self-serve).
Edited by EvergreenDan, 18 May 2010 - 04:25 AM.