Alcohol is one of those items that sit around for YEARS. We often have no problems drinking our favorites, but anything that we purchased on a whim or for one recipe is a good candidate for getting covered in dust.
Alcohol Shelf Life
According to CanItGoBad.net Can Alcohol Go Bad? – Can It Go Bad? Spirits such as whiskey and vodka won’t go bad as long as they’re not exposed to air, but once they’re open, they’ll lose flavor and potency. Liqueurs and cordials have a much shorter shelf life—some expire as early as 12 months after they’re produced.
Regardless, as you’re decluttering your way through your home during the Less Mess Challenge, you’ll want to hit the liquor cabinet.
Open Bottles of Alcohol
If you find bottles that are open and you can’t recall when you opened them, dump them down the drain and recycle the bottles. This is especially true for liqueurs, cordials, and anything with cream in it.
If there are bottles you’re keeping, arrange them nicely on a shelf so you can easily see the labels. If you’d like to store them in a kitchen cabinet, you may have to adjust the height of the shelves to fit the taller bottles.
New Bottles of Alcohol
If you have closed bottles you know you won’t drink, offer them up to neighbors and friends or bring them to the next part you attend.
If you have bottles you WILL drink, consider storing one or two in the refrigerator so it’s chilled and ready for your next drink.
What you keep in terms of stemware is going to depend a lot on your lifestyle.
If you’re not a big drinker or don’t host parties often, evaluate your collection of glasses and make sure you have an appropriate amount.
Is that set of 8 martini glasses really necessary if you don’t like martinis or have any interest in making them? I’ve saved items such as margarita and champagne glasses for YEARS in case I hosted an event where we needed the glasses. Guess what? We didn’t.
Plus, in my experience, most guests are just as happy to drink out of a regular glass or a solo cup as they are to drink out of a martini glass (bonus: no dishes to break or clean in the process).
If making mixed drinks, having a stocked bar, and having the perfect glass to match the drink you’re serving is something you enjoy, by all means, do that! But if your bottles of alcohol are collecting dust and your glasses have literally never been used, consider letting them go!
How we Store Alcohol & Liquor
While it’s taken us some time to find spots that work, we’ve finally got an alcohol and liquor storage system that works for us.
Wine, Beer, & Seltzers
We store wine, beer, and seltzer in a refrigerator in our garage affectionately known as our “drink fridge” (clever, I know). Since these items are better when cold, we keep them cold at all times.
I store tall bottles of wine on a top shelf and beer and seltzers on a lower shelf. This fridge also holds water, juice, and sodas for when we entertain.
Mixers, Non-Bourbon Bottles, & Glasses
We store the rest of our alcohol such as mixers, liqueurs, and vodka in a cabinet in our kitchen. This is also where we keep our stemware.
The top shelf was empty, so we use it to display glasses that have sentimental meaning to my husband.
The middle two shelves hold more glasses and some accessories for making drinks.
The bottom shelf holds the bottles, small accessories in a basket, some cooler bottles, and a recipe book.
In the last two years, my husband has enjoyed drinking bourbon and has built a bourbon collection. It takes up more space than I’d like to sacrifice in the kitchen, so we cleared a shelf in our dining room buffet for him to store it.
Eventually, he would like a nicer space to store and display his collection, but for now, this works.
Think Outside the Cabinet
A few years ago, when helping a client move into a new home, she had an extra secretary desk and a few extra bottles of liquor… we didn’t have a fantastic solution for either so we used them together!
We stored glasses on the top two shelves, drinks on the main shelf, and then cocktail napkins, shot glasses, airplane bottles, and cocktail mixing accessories in the nooks down below. So much more exciting than stamps and envelopes!
Decluttering and Storing Alcohol & Liquor
It’s easy to ignore the bottles of alcohol you have sitting in that closed cabinet for ages, but go through it all and clear out what you don’t like or want. I guarantee you’ll be glad to have that space back in your life.
Do you have a staple alcohol that you always keep in stock and serve to guests? Let me know below!