Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chris Amirault

Organizing That Messed-Up Liquor Cabinet

Recommended Posts

. . . The Maraschino Problem. . .

Funny how no one ever mentions the Galliano problem.

Oh, my, yes. If you look carefully at my photo, you'll see that the tall bottles are positioned in the middle where they don't hit the hardware from the above drawer. I installed these drawers, specifically measuring for the Maraschino. My square bottles would have to be the solution to anything taller. OTOH, Chambord is the worst in terms of space efficiency. Having to position the bottles for the physical size messes with my like-near-like organization, but you get used to anything.

I have a friend who is a collector. He has bottles in four different places in his house. Most of it is incredibly obscure hand-imported stuff from his travels. It's fun to browse and hear the stories behind the bottles. "I got this one in grad school..." (maybe 45 years ago). He's been "stuck" in Paris due to the volcano. I did mention Picon Amer to him before he left .... :)


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Galliano is in the 375mL size, which is no taller than any of the other normal bottles. And it doesn't see a whole hell of a lot of use, so tucked away in the back someplace is just fine.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Galliano is in the 375mL size, which is no taller than any of the other normal bottles. And it doesn't see a whole hell of a lot of use, so tucked away in the back someplace is just fine.

Likewise on all counts. And my current 375 might last five years or more at its present rate of use.


John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. . . The Maraschino Problem. . .

Funny how no one ever mentions the Galliano problem.

One being essential, the other ... not so much. There's at least 1/8" to spare. :)

IMG_0159.JPG


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I moved to an apartment that was bigger than a shoebox I hit up IKEA for some liquor storage. I found this glass-fronted cabinet that works perfectly. The two things I love about it are 1) the depth of the cabinet, which allows 4-5 bottles deep and 2) the adjustable shelves, which let me size it perfectly for my bottle of Luxardo.

photo.jpg

photo 4.jpg

photo 2.jpg

(Plus it was fairly cheap)


Sarah Fernandez aka "mssurgeon81"

Philadelphia, PA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EvergreenDan, do the bottles you use accommodate the standard quickpours?

Your photos inspired my husband to start planning his own re-bottling efforts.

In an extremely space-limited Manhattan apartment, we are wondering if anybody has:

- rebottled all spirits and liqueurs into labeled square bottles with some coding system

- built custom shelving around the dimensions of the square bottles

- stored them horizontally to conserve space

Other than potential leakage issues, any other foreseeable problems with this approach?

We already store all juices and syrups in the fridge, bitters on a kitchen shelf, and shakers/jiggers/scoops/barspoons/strainers/muddlers/peelers in a toolbox.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our current set up, for more context:

IMG_0126.JPG

Some wasted space due to very tall bottles

IMG_0127.JPG

Slightly less wasted space but still a bit awkward.

IMG_0128.JPG

Annex shelf.

IMG_0129.JPG

Glassware.

IMG_0130.JPG

Tools.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A general question: how far is it from your liquor cabinet/shelves to where you make your cocktails -- and your ice source? And how do you handle that? Do you move the bottles you need for a drink over to where you make your drinks, or do you take the shaker and jigger over to the liquor and measure everything out there? I have enough room for all my liquor in my bar, and it's organized well enough for me to find things easily, but it's in the dining nook, and my bar tools and ice are in the kitchen. I end up carrying bottles to the kitchen and then not carrying them back. Then the counter next to the fridge, where I make my drinks, gets full of bottles. At which point I take them all back to the bar where they belong, and then start over. Are the rest of you just not as lazy as I am, or do you have a better system?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A general question: how far is it from your liquor cabinet/shelves to where you make your cocktails -- and your ice source? And how do you handle that? Do you move the bottles you need for a drink over to where you make your drinks, or do you take the shaker and jigger over to the liquor and measure everything out there? I have enough room for all my liquor in my bar, and it's organized well enough for me to find things easily, but it's in the dining nook, and my bar tools and ice are in the kitchen. I end up carrying bottles to the kitchen and then not carrying them back. Then the counter next to the fridge, where I make my drinks, gets full of bottles. At which point I take them all back to the bar where they belong, and then start over. Are the rest of you just not as lazy as I am, or do you have a better system?

It's a mixed bag for me. I keep the base spirits and the vermouths (which I use more than any other "mixer" type-creature) in a cabinet in the kitchen, which is where, obviously the freezer is, and where I mix. The other specialty liquers and such (St. Germaine, Cynar, Herbsaint, Cointreau, Campari, etc.) are in a cabinet in another room. I pull from that what I need, and with the base spirits and such (olives, fresh fruit, etc.) put them to a side of a counter while I imbibe. When I'm cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, everything goes to it's home. My kitchen is WAY too small to leave anything out on a counter that doesn't have to be there.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Janet - how varied are the drinks you make? For example, if you have a "usual" few drinks, you could keep those ingredients in the kitchen (sort of as Jaz suggests, but prioritizing what you use a lot).

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 (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan, I wish my bar had a sink, but it's just a small stand-alone.

kitchen 001.jpg

Not a very good picture, but it gives the idea. It's in my dining nook, which is next to the kitchen (more convenient than in my last place, where it was across the apartment). I store glasses in the freezer, and cocktail equipment in the cabinet next to it, so that's where I mix and pour drinks. I don't have room to store bottles anywhere near that area, hence the inefficiency of having to bring bottles from the bar into the kitchen. I keep thinking that it would make more sense to take the shaker and jigger over to the bar and pour there, then return to the kitchen to finish. I should try to develop that habit to see how it works.

Mostly, I was just curious about the set-up other people have to actually make drinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DONE! Rebottled all liquors into 500 mL bottles. Added shelves with spacers, metallic tape to the edges of shelves, and metal tags with labels.

4686417357_a969c747e4.jpg


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gifted or poured into a 2nd bottle. That row you see on the bottom with the bottoms facing out is the "overflow" row.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The disease is, apparently, contagious. :smile: Careful with those caps. I cleaned up a sizable pile of crystallized Pimento Dram after the cap let me down on my overflow bottle stored on its side.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duly noted! We shall be very careful. Any other learnings? Would you ever go back?

It's nice to have our floor back!


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the start of the topic, you saw my dilemma in my old place. We've moved into a vitage 1950s house, and, well, they thought about entertaining and liquor cabinets. Forgive the crappy photos:

DSC00008.JPG

DSC00005.JPG

DSC00006.JPG

There are also drawers for tools, towels, and coasters, as well as additional shelving below for extra glassware, punch bowls, etc.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty cool. You're not worried about sunlight on all those bottles? It's always something I've wondered about in my dream designs for a home bar.


--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is one cool looking "entertainment" center. They knew had to do it back in mid-century; I guess one reason is that they didn't really have to worry about where to put the flat screen and all of its associated electronics.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently added this item to my bar setup...I'm lead to believe that it is a Punch Cart.

AiBC1gkCIAIokyl.jpg


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...