What is a Liquor Cabinet?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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A liquor cabinet is a piece of furniture which is designed to store supplies for making alcoholic mixed drinks. Liquor cabinets may be freestanding or built into a home; in either case, they typically provide lots of shelving space, ideally reconfigurable, along with hanging racks for glassware and drawers for small items like cocktail picks and spoons. Many furniture suppliers sell liquor cabinets which are designed to accessorize with a range of home decors, and most contractors are familiar with at least the basic concept, for people who want a built-in liquor cabinet.

The design of a liquor cabinet can vary. A basic liquor cabinet simply has racks for glassware and a few drawers, along with shelves for alcohol, garnishes, mixers, and other miscellaneous tools. In some cases, a refrigerator may be built into a liquor cabinet, allowing people to refrigerate perishable items in close reach. In addition, a liquor cabinet can also be combined with a wet bar, a counter and sink combination which greatly expands the bartending repertoire.


Creating a fully stocked liquor cabinet can take some time, especially for people who want to do it right. At a minimum, an assortment of glassware will be needed for serving various drinks, along with a selection of liquors, mixers, and garnishes. Mixers can get quite complex, ranging from pineapple juice to simple syrup, and garnishes like olives, chopped fruit, and pickled onions can easily take up a shelf or two in the liquor cabinet. A fully stocked liquor cabinet may have quite an array of alcohols, mixers, and garnishes along with a full range of glassware and bartending tools from muddlers to strainers.

A built-in liquor cabinet can enhance the value of a home, especially if it includes a wet bar. You may have in fact seen liquor cabinets advertised in real estate magazines as “mini bars” or “home bars.” If you happen to be in the process of buying a home and you look at a property with a mini bar, make sure to inspect it carefully for signs of rot around the sink, if it includes a wet bar, as splashback from the sink and residue from the drink-mixing process can be hard on a liquor cabinet. For non-drinkers, a built-in liquor cabinet can still be useful for things like mixing various non-alcoholic drinks or for storing kitchen overflow.

In households with younger members, a locking liquor cabinet is a good idea. In any home, it is a excellent plan to have one person supervise the liquor cabinet during social events and parties, ensuring that no one drinks too much. This person can make the role of playing bartender into a fun activity, rather than a chore, by researching a wide range of mixed drinks to entertain guests with, including drinks with no alcohol for designated drivers who might want to get into the spirit of things while staying safe.


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