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Chris Amirault

Organizing That Messed-Up Liquor Cabinet

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Pardon the necromancy, I think I've got something worth sharing.

I recently moved across the country and moved my cocktail ingredient library with me. I used Matthew Rowley's Teflon tape trick to seal the open bottles, packed them in cases and carefully drove the car (containing more ethanol than gasoline) to my destination.

Note the cargo netting, a key component in preventing head trauma from second layer cases during deceleration.

Packed.jpg

Traveller's Tip: relatives can often provide a useful intermediate storage space, though judgments may ensue as stored case quantities increase.

Boxed.jpg

Note to self: do not knock over any edge bottles.

Unboxed.jpg

I decided to shop for some furniture specifically for the task of bottle storage. Up until now, I'd had a basement with a couple of industrial storage lockers. This was not going to be an option in a 1-bedroom apartment. I looked at IKEA kitchen solutions and checked with a customizable closet storage designer, but anything substantial had to be wall anchored. I was really hoping for something free standing that could accommodate a maraschino bottle.

Ultimately I settled on two pieces, a teak roadie case / coffee table that can handle up to Galliano height (which turned out to cover, surprisingly, all but six bottles) and a replica ice box with nice tall shelves. While I didn't set out with the intention for them to be mobile, both pieces are on wheels (though I wouldn't risk pushing the ice box while laden).

Come to think of it, a wooden roadie case is basically a treasure chest.

Case_closed.jpg

A treasure of of rum, brandy, tequila and whisk(e)y

Case_open.jpg

The walk-in fridge handle really clinched the ice box for me.

Icebox_closed.jpg

Bitters on the roof, (mostly) liqueurs on the top shelf, vermouth/aperitif/vodka/gin on the middle shelf, vermouth/amaro/tall bottles/mezcal on the bottom.

Icebox_open.jpg


Edited by J_Ozzy (log)

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J_Ozzy -that ice box is beautiful and both pieces look to hold a large volume of bottles. Now how are you storing the glassware ?

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Brilliant - and a lovely piece of furniture.

I was just thinking this morning as I was driving to work that I need something to hold all my bottles. Mine chronically looks like the picture of all your stuff on the floor. I was thinking of something where the bottles would be one deep though so I could see each and every one of them when I pull it open - perhaps pullout pantry style.

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J_Ozzy -that ice box is beautiful and both pieces look to hold a large volume of bottles. Now how are you storing the glassware ?

The apartment's kitchen has a surprising amount of cabinetry given its small footprint. I've got a few shelves set aside for glassware, a drawer for bar tools and some space set aside for bar equipment; no photos yet as the counter tops are still being redone. I'm not sure I'll able to swing a dedicated bar station surface, though the wine fridge top does provide a little real estate if I keep it out in the open.

Nice collection (I like how you call it your "cocktail ingredient library"). I can see that you made every effort to ensure that you would not run out of LH151 or Rittenhouse rye!

250 bottles or so?

Yes, despite all indications to the contrary, I'm not a very prodigious imbiber. Some of the bottles were acquired in college 10+ years ago (the Galliano, among others). I just enjoy having the ability to make any drink I read about (and I read a lot of cocktail literature) at close to original spec; hence ingredient library. This has admittedly become more difficult since the selection of amaro and bitters has taken off. The duplicate (triplicate) bottles were for products that had no real hope of local availability at the time. The tally works out to somewhere around 220-ish 750ml bottle equivalents, running the gamut from a 15ml Torres brandy atomiser to a duty-free magnum of cognac.

Brilliant - and a lovely piece of furniture.

I was just thinking this morning as I was driving to work that I need something to hold all my bottles. Mine chronically looks like the picture of all your stuff on the floor. I was thinking of something where the bottles would be one deep though so I could see each and every one of them when I pull it open - perhaps pullout pantry style.

One of my parent's neighbors has something like that; it works pretty well (the IKEA Akurum tall cabinet w/ heavy duty drawer kits is a similar design).


Edited by J_Ozzy (log)

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Call me crazy,won't be the first, but what about a fold down shelf for a bar counter with a picture on the backside, sort of like the ironing boards that fold down.

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My girlfriend was cool enough to give me a little corner in the apartment. A "Spring is in the air" party planned for this coming weekend!

 

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That's fantastic. I'd be worried about knocking things off the floating shelves though. 

 

I'm moving soon and hoping for a utility room attached to the kitchen for something very similar.

 

My set up at the moment is much more like the early pages of this thread, I actually ordered two more sets of shelves yesterday as it's getting too much.

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That's fantastic. I'd be worried about knocking things off the floating shelves though. 

 

I'm moving soon and hoping for a utility room attached to the kitchen for something very similar.

 

My set up at the moment is much more like the early pages of this thread, I actually ordered two more sets of shelves yesterday as it's getting too much.

 

Count me in that category! It would not be a matter of if but when for me because I am a complete klutz! Eventually one or more would be hitting the floor. I sacrifice appearance for safety and use a set of basket shelves for my little collection. I think I have posted this here before but I love them.

 

Basement storage.JPG

Basket shelf Intermetro.JPG

 

So far nothing has hit the floor! As long as I don't have an earthquake hit I think I am ok.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)
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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Count me in that category! It would not be a matter of if but when for me because I am a complete klutz! Eventually one or more would be hitting the floor. I sacrifice appearance for safety and use a set of basket shelves for my little collection. I think I have posted this here before but I love them.

 

attachicon.gifBasement storage.JPG

attachicon.gifBasket shelf Intermetro.JPG

 

So far nothing has hit the floor! As long as I don't have an earthquake hit I think I am ok.

 

Unreal. You win.

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Unreal. You win.

 

Whiskerexia Nervosa will do that to you! Bit it may be getting ever so slightly out of control... :shock:  


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I show these pictures to my fiancée to help convince her my cabinet is not too crazy. It helps!

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I show these pictures to my fiancée to help convince her my cabinet is not too crazy. It helps!

+1

 

I did the exact same thing yesterday. I showed my gf tanstaafl2's pics and the guy with that treasure chest and said "See, i have almost nothing, you should be very happy" :biggrin:

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+1

 

I did the exact same thing yesterday. I showed my gf tanstaafl2's pics and the guy with that treasure chest and said "See, i have almost nothing, you should be very happy" :biggrin:

 

And I make three!

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Tried it, but my wife said it didn't make her feel any better about my cache. I posit the difference in volume has to be at least 100% to achieve the desired effect...


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

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I have a friend in Kentucky who's bunker dwarfs anything I've ever seen. Thousands of bottles. I can't post his picture but it did the trick when showing it to my wife.

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My girlfriend is incredibly supportive of my "hobby", and while I'm on a year long freeze on further purchases, she's offered to replenish those bottles she's most adept at emptying. ( Maraschino & chartreuse, FYI)

I expect she sees the level of storage required as a fair trade off for getting to enjoy the drinks.

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I show these pictures to my fiancée to help convince her my cabinet is not too crazy. It helps!

 

Happy to help. It is important that we all do what we can to support each other from those not blessed with our particular little obsession!

  • Like 1

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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So who's picture did tanstaafl show?

 

The whiskey collection at Canon in Seattle maybe (more than 4000 bottles)?

I have a feeling that tanstaafl2's collection beats any bar or store though :-)

 

There are plenty of private collections that dwarf my little "store".  No matter how many you have somebody always has more!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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