Where do you keep your liquor?
- lupaglupa Jan 27, 2008 01:24 PM
As we try more cocktails and buy more, diferent, bottles storage is becoming a real issue. So I'm wondering - where do people keep their liquor? Ours is in an old microwave table in the basemnet - really just for want of a better space. I'd love to hear what other people do.
I bought several inexpensive 3 ft wide and 6 ft tall bookcases from walmart, put them in my office/library with my 1/2 dozen bookshelves for my food and beverage books, and set the bottles on the shelves. I call that section my spirits library and have well over 200 bottles. I have to get a few more bookshelves because the shelves are starting to bow down from the weight.
I also bought a wine fridge, a temp controlled wine cellar, and several wine racks and set them up in the office as well. (It's a BIG office.) I have around the same amount of wine as spirits stored there right now.
My office is a happy place! Crowded, but happy. (hic)
We have a giant entertainment center with clear glass and wood cabinets on either side (my DH will not give this monstrosity up). I keep the majority of my liquors in there. Wine (except red, which goes in a small wine rack in the living room) goes straight into the fridge. I keep some vodka and blackberry schnapps in the freezer. My place is small so I have to make do with what's available.....and in the interest of keeping the peace, I use the EC to my advantage.
I purchased an antique mahogany and marble buffet at auction several years ago. It has a large capacity underneath in two closed-door compartments with a shelf in each one. Lo and behold, they are the perfect height to hold most standard 750s. I can fit about 50-60 bottles in there and still see what I have. It makes a very attractive bar in my home. Only problem is the odd sized tall bottles (i.e. Galliano, some of the grappas, certain 1L sizes, etc.) don't fit unless I lay them down. So, they are on top of the bar until I figure out what to do.
That sounds so nice - I wish I had room! My mother has a "bar" - a cabinet which opens up on top for serving drinks and has glasses on shelves built into the door. It holds only about 30 bottles though so it's not a total solution (at least not for me). Our house is so small we couldn't dedicate a piece of furniture to just the liquor.
we have a wine rack for the wine, I dont drink wine, but cook with it.
Hard liquor, a bottle of tequila lasts about 4 days in my house, so I leave it on the kitchen counter for easy access.
We also have some rum and vodka which we keep on the kitchen counter, the rum for cooking, the vodka for guests.
I have seen all sorts of things. Most popular, I think, is using a buffet/hutch cabinet to store liquor bottles and keeping accoutrements (cocktail napkins, stirring spoons, etc.) in a little drawer. I have also seen people use metro racks from Home Depot or any restaurant supply store (they come in all sorts of sizes).
A friend of mine got one of those butcher block kitchen islands on Craigslist for $50 and it's quite large and very sturdy. He stores all of his liquor on the big shelf below and, when he has parties, he uses the island as a drink station.
Another friend of mine has a built-in bench in front of one of his kitchen windows. He keeps all of his liquor bottles stored in old wooden wine crates and keeps them on the shelf below the bench. Again, when he has parties he uses the bench as a sort of cocktail/drink station.
I found a very nice looking bar cabinet at Pottery Barn during a floor sample sale. There was a small scratch on the side of it and it was something like 75% off. It has a pull out shelf for mixing cocktails, 2 cabinets that fit a ton of bottles and little drawers and cubbies for all of my gear. Plus it holds all my cocktail and wine glasses. It sits in the corner of my dining room with my wine refrigerator.
We have a front bar and a back bar that we originally installed in the game room of our old house. Moved it to our current house - plenty of space for liquor storage - more than we need as we also have decorative liquor bottles. (Cyrus Noble gold miner series)
By September 2009 my spirits library was up to almost 700 bottles, the great majority ones sent to me for review. I had to keep them in boxes in the basement of the winery/brewery I was partner in, more than 50 cases stacked up on two pallets. Before I moved back to NY that month I gave away all but the best. I had some really happy friends who each walked away with 7-8 cases each for helping me pack and move. Now it's down to less than 100. Mostly interesting liqueurs, amaros, etc. to use in cocktail recipe creation, and they are still on those same sets of bookcases, but all the shelves are warped down in the middle an inch or so from the weight over all these years.
It was, but my office was smaller by that point because I moved from a house to an apartment. It was just too much when you add in my research library. By the time it got that big I had a 200 bottle overflow on my kitchen table. I'll have to look for pics.
I have a friend who is a consulting mixologist, probably the top in the world, who has a Cocktail Lab with over 3,500 different bottles. Back in 2009 when I moved and was working with him, I gave him a case or so. Just stuff I knew he didn't have yet. Here's a photo from a year or two ago that shows about 1/3 of them.
OK, right now this is what is just out on shelves in my office.
Liqueur, Luxardo Maraschino 64
Liqueur, Santa Theresa Rhum Orange
Liqueur, Mathilde Orange XO
Liqueur, Agwa Coco Herbal
Liqueur, Edelster Aventinus
Liqueur, Esprit de June
Liqueur, Pama Pomegranate
Liqueur, Datil Grand De Oro Destilado En Elche
Liqueur, Licor De Turron
Liqueur, Hornito Licor Ron Cafe
Liqueur, Rene Alambic Pear
Liqueur, Licor 43
Liqueur, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
Liqueur, Mandarine Napoleone Orange
Liqueur, Rothman & Winters Crème de Violette
Liqueur, Rothman & Winters Orchard Apricot
Liqueur, Domaine De Canton Ginger
Liqueur, Domaine De Canton Ginger (Special Distillers Limited Extra Spicy)
Liqueur, Plymouth Sloe Gin
Liqueur, J Pear Limited Offering
Liqueur, Cherry Heering
Liqueur, Mathilde Black Currant
Liqueur, Solerno Blood Orange
Liqueur, Combier Triple Sec
Liqueur, Combier Roi Rene Rouge Cherry
Liqueur Combier Royal Combier
Rum, Rene Alambic Rum
Rum, Batavia Arrack
Rum, Tirado Black
Whiskey, Tirado Gold corn Whiskey
Grappa, Mazza Chatauqua Cellars Grappa of Steuben
Eau de vie, Reisetbauer Williams Pear
Absinthe, Jade 1901 Absinthe Superieure 68%
Absinthe, CF Berger Absinthe Superieure 65%
Absinthe, Esprit Edouard Absinthe Superieure 72%
Absinthe, Great Lakes Distillery Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte 63%
Absinthe, Great Lakes Distillery Amerique 1912 Absinthe Rouge 63%
Absinthe, Lucid Absinthe Superieure 62%
Absinthe, Absente 65%
Absinthe, Pernod 68%
Absinthe, La Fee 68%
Absinthe, Vieux Carre 60%
Mezcal, Scorpion Silver
This is stuff that isn't accessible right now but will be in a few weeks once I finishing getting stuff moved to the new storage facility. This isn't a complete list. There are some duplicates where I have a bottle out and another boxed away.
Herbals: Amaro, Aperitif, Bitters, Digestif
Amaro, Gran Classico bitters
Amaro, Meletti 64%
Amaro, Ramazzotti Amaro 60
Aperitif, Campari Aperitivo
Aperitif, Tempus Fugit Kina Lavion D’or
Fortified Wines: Port, Sherry, Vermouth
Vermouth, Boisserie, Dry
Vermouth, Boisserie, Sweet
Vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula
Vermouth, Dolin Dry
Vermouth, Dolin Sweet Rouge
Vermouth, Imbue Petal & Thorn Vermouth
Vermouth, Punt E Mes
Vermouth, Noilly Prat Dry
Brandy, Christian Brothers Amber VS
Brandy, Lairds Apple Brandy 100 Bottled in Bond
Brandy, Cognac, Landy VS
Brandy, Romate Solera Reserve
Gin, Barr Hill, Caledonia Spirits, Hardwick, Vermont
Gin, Dorothy Parker 88, New York Distilling, Brooklyn, NY
Gin, Greenhook Dry, Greenhook Ginsmiths, Brooklyn, NY – Vacuum Distilled
Gin, Half Moon Orchard, Tuthilltown Spirits, Gardiner, NY
Gin, Knickerbocker, New Holland Brewing, Holland, Michigan
Gin, Bols Genever
Gin, Bombay Sapphire East
Gin, Citadelle 88
Liqueur, John D. Taylors Velvet Falernum
Liqueur, Rothman & Winters Crème de Violette
Liqueur, Rothman & Winters Orchard Apricot
Liqueur, Rothman & Winters Peach
Liqueur, Bols Crème de Cacao White
Liqueur, Bols Crème de Cassis
Liqueur, Bols Crème de Menthe Clear
Liqueur, Bols Curacao
Liqueur, Boulaine Banana
Liqueur, Boulaine Crème de Cacao
Liqueur, Chartreuse Green 110
Liqueur, Chartreuse Yellow 80
Liqueur, Cherry Heering 48
Liqueur, Emile Pernot Fraise de Bois strawberry
Liqueur, Emile Pernot Sapin 40%
Liqueur, Giffard Curacao triple sec
Liqueur, Giffard Pink Grapefruit
Liqueur, Herbsaint 90
Liqueur, Luxardo Amaretto
Liqueur, Luxardo Maraschino 64
Liqueur, Marie Brizard Orange Curacao
Liqueur, Marie Brizard Raspberry
Liqueur, Marie Brizard White Crème de cacao
Liqueur, Marie Brizard White Crème de Menthe
Liqueur, Merlet Crème de Cassis
Liqueur, Merlet Crème de Framboise
Liqueur, Merlet Crème de Peche
Liqueur, Merlet Crème de Poire
Liqueur, Merlet Trois Citron
Liqueur, Nux Alpina Walnut
Liqueur, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
Liqueur, St-Germain Elderflower
Rum, Batavia Arrack
Rum, Brinley Gold Coconut
Rum, Coruba Dark Jamaican
Rum, El Dorado 12 yr.
Rum, El Dorado 3 yr. White
Rum, El Dorado Dark
Rum, El Dorado Spiced
Rum, Goslings Black Seal 80
Rum, Lemon Hart Demerara 151
Rum, Owney’s Own, Brooklyn, NY
Rum, Plantation Barbados 5 yr.
Rum, Smith & Cross Jamaican
Rum, Cachaca, Avua Amburana
Rum, Cachaca, Avua Prata
Bourbon, Evan Williams Black Label
Bourbon, Jim Beam White Label
Bourbon, Knob Creek Small Batch
Bourbon, Knob Creek Smoked Maple
Bourbon, Weller Antique 107
Rye, J.P. Wiser’s
Rye, Rittenhouse 100
Specialty, Michter’s American
Specialty, Michter’s Sour Mash
Tennessee, Jack Daniels Black Label
Irish Whiskey, Jameson 80
Irish Whiskey, Red Breast 12 yr.
Scotch Whiskey, Glenfiddich 12
Scotch Whiskey, Glenfiddich 15
Vodka, Crop Organic Myer Lemon
Vodka, Skyy Citrus
Tequila & Mezcal
Tequila, Maestro Dobel
One thing to consider is, these were almost all professional comped bottles. Not ones I purchased. There are a few that I wouldn't have chosen myself. But many surprised me by how good they are. I realized I left out a whole bunch... I can somewhat see several cases that I never inventoried, but they are buried under a distillery.
And this doesn't include collectors items and investments. Like the original Tanqueray Malacca, A.H. Hirsch 16, vintage stuff, etc. although I have been liquidating a lot lately.
And then there are the wines. Not as much now as in the past, but still a lot of hard to find dessert wines.
I use a large china cabinet/hutch. It took me about three months of daily searching on Craigslist to find one I thought would work.
I wanted at least two shelves and an accessible top to act as a third shelf, which meant any china cabinet with ornate woodwork all around the top was out. I also wanted solid wood shelves, since glass shelves can break. I finally found one with two shelves, a flat top, plenty of drawer and cabinet space, and a nice counter for me to store the glasses, mixing tins, jiggers, strainers, and to prep drinks.
I currently house a 70 bottle collection, and around 20 glasses of various types (white and red wine, glencairns, tulips for beer, champagne flutes, coupes, and standard cocktail glasses) which has basically maxed out the space. Fridge houses open and nitro-sealed bottles of various vermouths and fortified wines, as well as homemade grenadine, simple syrup, and orgeat.
My GF and I share a 1 BR that's about 650 square feet, but luckily it has a small room off of a tiny kitchen which can serve as either a pantry or, from what I've heard, some tenants convert into a laundry room. The bar/china cabinet fits in there with about and inch and a half to spare on both sides :)
We live in a 250+ year old farm house that has a number of odd shaped closets tucked in various places around the house. We use one in the family room as a liqueur cabinet. Its narrow, with about 6 shelves from floor to ceiling. It currently had about 12 bottles of various hard alcohols along with a few ports and things like limoncello, St Germaine, framboise, drambuie, etc. It also holds our cocktail shakers, "good" glasses, muddlers, olive picks, etc.
I have approx. 40 bottles of various distillates, and they are stored on shelves in the wet bar in the dining room.
In terms of wine, I have one small (36 btl. capacity) wine "refrigerator" also in the wet bar, and three large ones (166 btl. capacity each) in the cellar . . . plus some assorted cases,
I searched quite a while for the right dimensions to fit where the built-in china cabinet used to be pre-renovation in our dining room. After looking at lot of really lame furniture store options for really pricey new stuff, we finally settled on a slightly worn-looking Victorian era walnut cabinet with beveled glass panels on the sides and a curved glass door - it came from Bromfield and was a great deal. If I can find a photo, I'll upload it. It holds a lot (50-60 bottles + wine) and the glass is nice for display with the added bonus of minimizing our collection of dust and dog fur around the bottles. It serves us really well.
The shelves are really strong. Top two are what's allocated for active spirits use, the bottom one holds a small (12-bottle) wine rack and has room for wine distillates strong / sweet enough not to be refrigerated. Overflow and stock-up items from sales are keep in the root cellar room of our unfinished basement along with most wine. 20 or so bitters varieties and equipment have a designated spot in a kitchen cabinet,, and glassware has it's own simple Ikea glass column cabinet in the dining room.
In a sloped (15 degrees down ) wine rack for 12. There are 2 shelves with granite for misc. bottles & wine carriers. Total 48 bottle capacity.
Common- In 6 crystal decanter serving sets, with mahogany trays from the UK. These can be brought to the table, den, outside, or set nearby with guests on the antique cabinet below. Our common spirits are Gin, Rhum, Cachaca, Cognac, Grappa, local fruit Schnapps, kept in a Danish teak hutch and sideboard.
Bottled- Inside an old antique cabinet-35 capacity, with the bar tools, and a serving tray. Like the wine rack above, the cabinet is topped with a polished granite slab for serving.
Easy to clean, organized, protected, hidden, and no stains.
Why would you keep cachaca and gin in decorative decanters? I can understand whiskey, cognac, sipping rum, or artisanal schnapps since they are easily served straight from the decanter into the glass. However, since few people drink gin or cachaca straight up or on the rocks, wouldn't it make more sense to keep them bottled and in the bar, which would seem more appropriate for mixing cocktails?
Interesting, I wasn't aware of that, though I suppose I should have assumed it can be turned into a high-end sipper. We get so little variety of the stuff in the States. I have a bottle of Cuca Fresca which makes tasty drinks and is among the higher end of the minuscule amount of cachacas available in the DC region, but would never think of it as a sipper.
re: The Big Crunch
51 brand, AKA Pirassununga, may be the beverage-mixer of choice for Lula, but it pales harshly compared to others, especially those aged in wood.
I did notice that Leblon is becoming popular in North America when in California a few months ago. It has a very distinct taste, suitable for good Cairpirinhas and Batidas, but not so much for sipping. Same with Ypioca, including the 20 and 50 year aged.
On the bright side, it is reported that there are over 443 Cachacas available now in Brasil. So only 440 to look forward to !
Swissaire, your number of 443 cachaça is way off. Like several decimal points off. Around 1.3 - 1.5 Billion litres of cachaça are distilled a year. Brazil has 30,000 to 40,000 registered cachaça producers,and around another 20,000 to 30,000 unregistered but documented producers, 99% of them micro-distilleries providing just for their village or local region. In Brazil every year around 2,000 new cachaça brands hit the market and another 2,000 disappear. There are at a minimum of 4,000 regular brands on the market, not including the small village and regional brands.
Hi JMF -
I'm sure you are correct, but the discussion was on aged cachaças for sipping.
40,000 producers are called Alambiques, or distilleries. They sell bulk pinga to the few big named bottlers such as Ypioca, or Pirassanunga 51. This is done throughout all of Brasil.
I based my comment on what was stated to us when we visited a Cachaça museum 2.5 months ago while in Rio, again for sipping and not caipirinha mixers.
We heard the same number then again up in Maraguape, CE at the Ypioca bottling works and museum, just outside of Fortaleza. And there were a number of Alambiques in and around Ceara used to fuel the supply for Ypioca plant.
We were invited by the owners to tour one sugar cane crusher and Alambique / distillation facility about 2 hours " nearby " from the plant, near Aquiraz. I photographed that process through the various steps.
Gifted a nice 50 year Ypioca which made it back home unopened and now in the collection waiting for a real good excuse to uncork. ( Like a warm handshake! )
I have a shelf in the closet where I keep it. Nice, dark and dry. My apartment is to small or a proper liquor cabinet.
Closet under the stairs where I also added shelving for a couple dozen wine bottles not "wine fridge worthy". My mother in law has a beautiful 50's Japanese monkeypod carved bar that may, or may not, have my name on it.