Slideshow: Show and Tell: Your Home Bar

No Big Deal, Just 600 Bottles
No Big Deal, Just 600 Bottles

"The collection, which currently stands around 600 bottles (250+ of rum), is a mishmash of gifts, things I've sought out, and bottles that have been sent to me by brands for review or as thanks for working on events with them. It occupies the entire area surrounding our dinner table at home and is organized into areas for whiskeys, gins, vodkas, cordials and liqueurs, tequilas and mezcals, and—of course—rums (which are subdivided by region of origin, style, and brand). Because the collection has gotten so large that some bottles don't have shelf space, I've gotten very particular about what sorts of things I add to the shelves. Generally, unless I'm replacing a bottle that's nearly empty, I'm buying bottles while traveling because they are spirits that I can't find at home (such as the dozen or so rhums agricole I brought back from a recent trip to Martinique). Other than that, it just has to be a spirit that I try somewhere and fall in love with and absolutely must have. Of course, I have certain spirits that must always be on-hand. I'd list them, but I think the fact that I have over 500 bottles of liquor at home makes me appear to be obsessive enough.

My wife is an English professor and we are both avid readers, so we have over 1500 books in our apartment. We often joke that with the booze in the dining room and the books in the living room, we probably have the most flammable apartment in Southern California."—Matthew Robold of Rum Dood

A Bachelor's Bar
A Bachelor's Bar
"Evidently, I've gone overboard. Bought my first home three years ago, and as a bachelor, I eat over the sink, and don't need a dining room, so I turned it into a bar. Whiskeys: Balcones Brimstone (newest bottle) Old Weller Antique. Ryes: Bulleit, Knob Creek, Sazerac. Scotches: Glenlivet 10yr., Glenrothes, Laphroaig, Abelour A'bunadh, Royal Lochnagar. Rums: Lemon Hart 151, Pampero Anniversario, Flor da Caña 7-year, Cruzan Select Reserve, Brugal Especial and Extra Viejo. Liqueurs: Crème Yvette, St.Germain, Chambord, Maraschino, Benedictine, Cheery Heering, Midori, Trader Vic's Chocolate, Mandarine Napoleon, Wiśniówka, Dansk Mjød's Viking Blod. Bitters: Angostura, Peychaud's, Regan's Orange, Fee's Whiskey Barrel, Celery, and Orange, Stirring's Blood Orange, Bitterman's Burlesque, 'Elemakule Tiki, and Xocolatl Mole. Syrups: Falernum, Agave Nectar, Pędy Sosny (Polish pine-shoot syrup), B.J. Reynold's Orgeat, Don's Mix, and Don's Spice #2. The bottles going fastest as of late are the Laird's, Root, and Don's Spice #2, along with many Fever Tree Ginger Beers, for round after round of Medicine Lodges (replace the simple syrup with the Don's #2)."—Philmosk in Detroit, MI
The Bar of Two Pros
The Bar of Two Pros

"Heh, my home bar. This isn't even a quarter of it. I live with my boyfriend who's a cocktail designer, and between my professional drinking, his professional drinking, my fun drinking and his fun drinking... there's a lot. Some bottles, some chemistry experiments. Once, we had a full case of Scotch and a bag full of canned Negronis sent to our apartment on the same day, the former for him, the latter for me. What won't you find much of in here? Bourbon or rye... 'cause they get finished pretty much immediately.

Elsewhere in the general bar area right now: three cocktails aging in those cute 3-liter barrels, bottles of Sichuan peppercorn-infused white rum, marigolds and sorrel infusing in rye, several iterations of root bitters, apricots infusing in dark rum, and probably a few other experiments hiding somewhere. Oh, and a lot of boxed wine in the fridge. (We go through a lot of wine.) When I'm looking for a great after-dinner sip, I'm a big fan of the the Balvenie 14yr Caribbean Cask, Scotch finished in rum casks; or High West Campfire. Or, often, I'm the taste-tester for whatever cocktail tinkering is going on in the kitchen. My life has its problems like everyone else's, but being in good drink is never ever the problem."—Carey Jones, NY cocktail contributor

Fully Functional Bar
Fully Functional Bar
"I've had a home bar collection for a handful of years now, but just recently moved apartments and decided I wanted to upgrade my bar from just a rolling kitchen cart to a real display and functional mixing space. I took a couple bookcases, changed the spacing of the shelves around and installed LED lighting with switches on the side. I'm definitely a whisky man, so my Scotch collection is of course the top shelf. I also have a whole shelf for bourbons and some ryes. I'm not much of a gin drinker, but you always need some on hand, of course, along with tequila, rum, vodka, and number of liqueurs and cordials. whenever I travel now, I look for small local distilleries to visit and bring something back. In the pull-out drawer, I keep the seltzer, tonic, and ginger beers. The right side of the bar is the work station—bar mat, mixing tools, cocktail books up above, and assorted glassware below, behind glass doors. On bottom is the wine rack."—Duane G. in Virginia
Out of Reach
Out of Reach
"My liquor collection shows the signs of my changing household. I have a fun liquor cart (it rolls!), but after watching a friend's year-old kid race over to it within five seconds of entering my place and start grabbing for the shiny bottles—which, to be fair, were exactly at eye level for him—I knew I needed to move my stash to higher ground before my own little one started to walk. (Interestingly, the cart now holds baby bottles.) My liquor is now displayed on the top shelf of my cookbook bookcase (a.k.a. an Ikea Expedit). Because I've been stocking up on baby stuff and not booze, my collection hasn't had much love recently. I do like to have a range of bitters around at all times; currently I have Peychaud's, Bittercube's Cherry Bark Vanilla, Angostura, Fee Brothers Old Fashioned and Orange, and, my personal favorite, Regan's orange bitters. But honestly, all I can see when I look at this picture is the gaping hole in the middle where my bourbon and rye whiskey should be."—Nick Kindelsperger, SE Chicago Editor
Just Part of the Stash
Just Part of the Stash
"While a good variety of my stash is stored here, over the years the collection has expanded far beyond this, first to a surplus bourbon storage trunk, then to a pantry, kind of like an amorphous blob of booze overtaking my apartment. Currently, I have over a hundred bottles in my collection. Some Highlights: Multiple harder to find bourbons/ryes, including the Willett Family Estate releases, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and all the Van Winkle products. Go-tos for cocktails: Campari, Fernet, Cynar (hard to keep these around long), Barrel Aged Bols Genever (addicted to this stuff), Bitters - besides Angostura (a staple), Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate and Hellfire Habanero, Urban Moonshine Maple Bitters,The Bitter End Thai Bitters."—Nick Caruana of The Straight Up
Plants and Booze Together
Plants and Booze Together
"For starters, obviously, my liquor shelf shares double duty with my plant shelf (and travel book shelf), because NYC apartments just aren't that big. Moving past the geraniums, we have a rather random assortment of bottles from my travels and leftover gifts from dinner parties past. First row, from left: fireball (cinnamon)-infused vodka (provenance unknown, a gift?), a nearly empty Johnny Walker Red (roommate's), floor-malted rye from Copper Fox Distillery (purchased from the distillery on a road trip through Virginia last fall), Brennevin (souvenir from Iceland 4+ years ago, so strong I literally can't drink it), High Class Whisky (souvenir from Burma 6 months ago; cost: $1), Hornitos tequila (roommate's), maple bitters, miniature bottles of Campari and Grand Marnier (no idea), Highland Park "Thor" whisky in Viking ship packaging (parting gift at release party 2+ years ago; I clearly haven't made much of a dent in it)."—Jamie Feldmar, SE Managing Editor
A Home-Built Bar
A Home-Built Bar
"We start with a few scotches, Irish whiskeys, ryes and bourbons, cognac, liqueurs, small bottles gin and rum, up top: Italian amari, Lillet, Chartreuse, pastis, St. Germain, Luxardo, rums, vodkas, tequilas, gins. On the bar top, usually St. Elizabeth dram, poire liqueur, and bitters. The drawer holds all my bar tools, shot glasses. Bottom cabinet has glassware, salt, sugar, and mixers. I personally built the entire bar and did all the plumbing, electrical, tiling work myself. One pretty interesting bottle I have is a Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos Rum that my uncle gave me. He was a private jet pilot for many years and had the chance in the late 1970s to fly a few clients to Cuba by way of other countries. He brought back this bottle, never opened it, and gave it to me last year. It is probably 35-40 years old."——alexc2013 in Silver Spring, MD
Going Homemade
Going Homemade
"We've got Woodford Reserve bourbon, homemade plum pit liquor, crème de cassis, Italian pure alcohol for making limoncello (it's way cheaper in Italy than Germany, where I live), some vodka, Pastis for cooking and French simple syrup that I bought just for the bottle. Oh, and gin!"—Luisa Weiss of The Wednesday Chef
Benefits of the Job
Benefits of the Job
"Here is my home bar—my altar of booze. When one enters my apartment, they often kneel at my bar and pray, as their liver is surely about to be subjected to any number of devilish delights! As far as the collection is concerned, I have a ton of St. George Spirits (I have worked at the distillery for the past 7 1/2 years)...I really love our Single Malt and have stashed bottles from the last 8 years of release. I also have some amazing past releases of Barrel Aged Apple Brandy and Our De Profundis, a 20 year aged Pear Brandy. I am also very proud of my Del Maguey collection! The bar itself is vintage from the sixties, and is black vinyl!"—Andie F. in Alameda, CA
A Mish-Mash of Delicious Options
A Mish-Mash of Delicious Options
"Last winter our basement flooded and we had to move all the bottles off the shelves when we fixed the walls and...we haven't moved them back. So everything sits on the bar itself, in a giant disorganized mish-mash. Our holiday party leftovers (peppermint schnapps?) mingle with a friend's gift of homemade rhubarb vermouth. Costco bottles of private label rum overshadow good local rye. It's a mess, and it means that to actually make a cocktail, you have to clear the beer-making equipment off the top (see giant pot). But I swear, delicious cocktails do come from here."—Naomi Bishop, SE Seattle cocktail contributor
All Aperitifs
All Aperitifs
"Apparently I've been drinking a lot of aperitifs this summer. The weather calls for it, no? I got the bottle of nocino in Emilia-Romagna last fall; it's everywhere over there, and I'm trying out my own version this year. The viina comes from my family in Finland. That's the winter coming. (I moved the Blue Hawaiian ingredients to the back of the cabinet.)"—Paolo Lucchesi of Inside Scoop SF
Whiskey Much?
Whiskey Much?
"Mostly whisky, with some whiskey as well...On the overcrowded main shelf there are 17 or more single malts. Hidden places of honor go to Ardbeg 30y/o (pre mothball) Aberlour 30y/o, Bushmils Single Cask, and Galileo and Alligator Ardbeg expressions. The mezcal and Benedictine never get looked at. Unmarked bottles include homemade peach infused rye, and cherry brandy..."—Ttocs
Whiskey for a Day Off
Whiskey for a Day Off
"This is my home bar. It has been a gradual process to obtain some of these bottles. I had to order a few from the UK. I work as a firefighter, so on my off days I love to relax with a cocktail. As you can see the majority of it is whiskey."—Rob A. in Santa Cruz, CA
Top Shelf = Can't Reach It
Top Shelf = Can't Reach It
"Here's our little bar, squeezed in between the kitchen table and a bookshelf. In our house, top-shelf means stuff we barely use so that where the assorted goofy stuff goes. I must admit indulging in the occasional chocolate vodka drink but my favorite is the Macallan. The three bottles from Malt Trust were a Birthday/Christmas gift for my husband two years ago. He's been rationing them but his favorite is clearly the Strathmill."—JanelJ in Carson City, NV
Homemade Bitters
Homemade Bitters

"Here's a photo of the liquor collection my girlfriend Anna and I have accumulated over the past couple of years. Anna's an editor at Liquor.com, and I'm a barista and freelance writer/editor. We love experimenting with cocktails at home (often with recipes from the PDT Cocktail Book or Liquor.com) and introducing our friends to drinks they've never heard of. Gin is a go-to: usually Plymouth, but we added a bottle of Ransom Old Tom to the arsenal recently, which is a nice departure. We always have a Bourbon like Buffalo Trace or Knob Creek on hand for sipping or mixing. But we go through Rye the quickest—Rittenhouse, Sazerac, Old Overholt—because it's hard to beat a well-made Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Some other favorite bottles would be Yellow Chartreuse, Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey, Comb Blossom (a brandy distilled from honey in Port Chester, NY), Cynar, and a bottle of Cachaca that Anna's friend brought us from Brazil.

The dropper bottles on top of the cabinet contain our homemade bitters: Hopped Grapefruit, Cherry-Vanilla, Cherry-Vanilla-Coffee, and Lemon-Pepper. (They've turned out pretty great so far: a local cocktail bar—Harper's in Dobbs Ferry, NY—uses them in their cocktail program!) Also up top: Peychaud's, Angostura, Regan's Orange, Fee Brothers' Celery, and Bitter Truth Aromatic bitters, and a couple bottles of Underberg."—wvunderink in Westchester, NY

Special Bottles
Special Bottles
"Some of the highlights: Laphroaig PX, Caol Ila Distillers Edition (finished in Moscatel casks…I've got a bit of a thing for sweet wine finished islay malts), Trybox Rittenhouse new make, Magnum of Buffalo Trace! Few Rye bottled aged Manhattan, Bonal, Blackwoods 60 (and Haymans 1850). And a selection of vintage-y glassware."—Felix Cohen of The Manhattans Project
Party Bar
Party Bar
"Last weekend I hosted a cocktail party at home for a group of 18 close friends. This is my bar setup for the evening. We had a great night."—marklovesbeer in Adelaide, South Australia
Insulated Glassware
Insulated Glassware
"My booze collection is a mixed bag, organized in no particular order by the size of the bottles. It's nothing fancy but I can whip up common Mexican drinks (tequilas, mezcals, Cointeau) and Italian concoctions (Aperol, Campari) as well as some good ol' American cocktails. Gin is my favorite liquor so I always have a few choices on the shelf (St. George, Hendrick's, No.3). I like to have a balance of base spirits and liqueurs that add interest. The ones I use most consistently are Luxardo Maraschino, Canton ginger, Green Chartreuse, and St. Germain. As of late, I've been primarily serving cocktails from my insulated Bodum glasses because they help drinks stay colder longer in the Texas heat. They also do not build condensation on the outside so there's no need for coasters."—Melody Fury, SE Austin cocktail contributor
Affordable Essentials
Affordable Essentials
"Featured in the Cheap Guy's Collection: Mount Gay Rum, Smoke Daddy Bloody Mary Mix, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Tito's Vodka, Bushmills, Beefeater, Stolichanya Vodka, Laird's Applejack, Averna, Campari, Cointreau, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Redemption Rye, Prosecco, Don Julio Tequila."—studslonigan from Chicago
Nice Whiskey
Nice Whiskey
"The cabinet above our fridge packed to the brim with all kinds of good stuff. We mostly deal with whiskey and gin in my apartment, but have all the liquors required to make classic cocktails on hand. I know the Campari is empty, I let it sit as a reminder to grab a bottle next time I am at the Urban Grape. The prize of the collection is definitely the Whistle Pig my girlfriend bought me earlier this year. Thanks honey!"——mike97 from Boston
Rye and Amari
Rye and Amari
"I'm a big whiskey fan, especially the ryes. Right now, I'm in love with the Balcones Single Malt and the High West Double Rye. I'm also a huge amaro fan; my favorites are (of course) Fernet, Amaro Montenegro, and Amaro Girolano."—Ben D.
All in One Place
All in One Place
"Our home bar is in our open concept kitchen / living room / dining room area. People always stare when they come in...The top part houses our liquor and the inset lintel has all our bitters and tools. We are definitely bourbon and absinthe heavy. We have a fair amount of liqueurs that gather dust, but I think the thing we use least (which is kept in the chiller) is vodka."—mochapj in Toronto
Like Drinking Velvet
Like Drinking Velvet
"Favorites: The Port Askaig Harbour, 25 year. It's like drinking velvet, it you could drink velvet. This is not distributed in the US, I bought it when I was working in the UK, in a place so dismal it was dark when I left for work, dark when I returned, and usually raining to boot. Kept my sanity with this stuff. It's from a mystery distillery, somewhere in Islay, distillery not named. We don't just drink Lone Star in Texas."—jdbli in San Antonio
Awesome Applejack and More
Awesome Applejack and More
"It looks like you caught me in between liquor store trips, so I wouldn't call this a wholly representative snapshot (case in point: no gin). The highlights: some awesome applejack from Harvest Spirits in upstate New York; the last of my grandmother's Calvados, which is like a tarte tatin in in a bottle; some home infusions of ginger and dill vodkas, the latter of which is my go-to nightcap, and a big bottle of Creme de Violette from my "I'm going to make Blue Moons all the time" phase. As you can see by my progress, that didn't last long."—Max Falkowitz, SENY editor
Gin and Rhum
Gin and Rhum
"I love my Rhum Neisson (both the blanc and the Élevé Sous Bois). I've also got some gins I really like, including the St. George trio, Spy Hop gin from San Juan Island in Washington State (a joint cidery-distillery), and a very serviceable new gin from Texas called Waterloo."—Jonathan M. in College Station, TX