With New Year's Eve right around the corner, today might be a good time to organize your liquor cabinet if you are preparing to have a celebration at your home.
Just like a food pantry or coat closet, most liquor cabinets grow clutter with more items going in them and less coming out. Without noticing, you can have three bottles of Vodka, five bottles of Gin, various liquors you purchased but never use, not to mention the various shakers, glassware and other accessories.
In order to get started, simply empty out the entire cabinet and set the items on your dining room table. Group like-items together. Vodka with vodka, gin with gin, flavored liquors with flavored liquors, shakers and other accessories together, etc.
Now, evaluate what you have. You just might not need five bottles of rum or four wine bottle openers. Look for expired or excessive items. Yes, some items can expire.
For example, vermouth is made with wine so after a few months of it being open in your cabinet, it will start to taste "off". It's not necessarily bad for you but the flavor won't be so good.
Bailey's Irish Creme can actually curdle and some sweet liquors will fade.
Pour the old liquor that is past it's prime down the drain. You can list extra accessories on Freecycle or Craig's List. If you simply have more than you want to keep, contact your friends to see if they will take some of it off your hands. I have done this in the past with friends and they appreciate the gesture.
You can always throw that New Year's Eve party to get rid of the extra!
When putting bottles back in your liquor cabinet, keep these tips in mind: Keep open bottles sealed tightly, avoid exposure to extreme heat or cold, keep your liquor cabinet away from exterior walls and avoid bright or direct light.
Once the items you are keeping have been sorted on your dining room table, return them to the cabinet the same way. Put shorter bottles in front and taller bottles in the back so you can always see what you are storing.
As the year wind downs, and a new year begins, I raise my virtual wine glass and wish you happiness, health and prosperity in 2014!