Anyone successfully downsize number of bottles on hand over time?
By - Jumbo86
Whenever my bar gets too big, I do a deep dive on a few liquors that I want to get rid of. Either by finding cocktails that use them or experimenting and messing around to make new stuff.
I tend to not keep a bunch of the same liquors on hand though, if you have 30 bottles of whiskey then that’s a different problem. Maybe throw a party and get all your friends wasted?
Seconded, throw a party and use up all your crap liquor
Yup. Call the homies. "Taste testing 5 cocktials' bring food" everyone shows up
Invite your less discriminating friends over and let them have a go at the flavored vodkas. I do this every once in a while with orphan beers left over from a four or six that didn’t quite do it for me. They’re happy - free beer. I’m happy - more fridge space.
I'll either bring bottles to parties and leave them or, and I know this is completely sacrilegious, I combine bottles of similar flavors. Not for unique or notable spirits, but if I have too much Triple Sec across a couple of brands? I just combine them. Random blackberry liqueurs? Dump them in the prettiest bottle and call it a day. Three or four coffee liqueurs? Throw them all together, they all taste more or less like coffee. I actually find my combinations taste better than the sum of their parts in most cases, unless there's something super egregiously bad in the mix. In those cases, I just throw it out; the bad stuff is generally only 6 to $9 a bottle anyways.
Infinity bottles FTW. 👍
I've done a few things 1) drink the good stuff, if you have a bunch of it then you aren't going to run out, it will just change types. 2) Use the good stuff in cocktails, it's going to waste just sitting on a shelf. 3) If I don't love a bottle I just give it to a buddy that isn't the collector I am and is happy to get some free whiskey. 4. Throw it away if it's actual trash. That Cake vodka sitting on the shelf for 5 years needs to go.
Don't throw that garbage liquor out! Throw it in fruity blended drink that can hide all sorts of questionable additions.
At that point you're literally drinking just to get drunk and I think you need to assess whether you have a problem.
Or it tastes like fruit and is great for cookouts but I love where your head is at.
You…you mean you don’t?
Every so often I purge my least used bottles, but otherwise, I fail at downsizing.
I try and have just one of a major spirit category open at a time, the rest go in the cabinet. For example on my bar I think I've got a bourbon, scotch, rum, gin and a calvados (plus some workhorse liqueurs like triple sec and campari)
Because I'm drinking from just one bottle of a given spirit at a time there's a fair bit of turnover. You could do that and just not replace them till you get down to a single bottle of a given liquor.
I'm in a similar boat. I think I used to buy more bottles out of curiosity or trying to make them work, but at this point I mostly have the staples and some all stars, plus some single malts and stuff. I've also gotten to the point that I never want to shake any cocktails bc it's way too much work, stirred drinks all day (responsibly).
I just buy bigger and bigger cabinets. Send help
My only success to date was this past year and a half, then of course the last month or so I've already replaced far too many bottles. I might have to take some action at some point.
Many attempts, only temporary successes.
I'd actually pay for NOT to have handles of stuff taking up space. I did buy a bunch of 8oz glass bottles and poured obscure mixers in them and either chucked the big bottles or put them in a box away from my bar. That helped free up a lot of space. I also do the same with liquors that are low but don't move quickly.
I have a related but slightly different problem: a tightly curated bar with the essentials, but far too many bottles of whisky (my spirit of choice). To solve that problem I’m currently on a buying hiatus, restricting myself to just 5 bottles of whisky for the year while I work through what I have. It’s a long term project to just consume more than I buy.
A similar approach can probably work for your issue. Work through what you have and minimize your new purchases to just replacing the essentials. You can expedite the process with some of the excellent suggestions given in other comments - gift it away, throw a party, or (as a last resort) just dump the real garbage.
I'd make batched versions of different more complex drinks minus fresh ingredients that way you can easily make drinks with the ingredients you aren't touching as often that may have a more time consuming cocktail you'd use them in. Have friends over and burn through them.
That is way too much alcohol to have in a house unless you're like a collector of some sort or living in a frat house. I have a plethora of nice and rare whiskey but I just either drink them or store ones I don't plan on drinking for a long time somewhere out of the way. Give away alcohol you have no desire of drinking or even just throw it away to be honest.