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Spring Cleaning Your Booze Cabinet

April always seems like the month where you are reminded to “Spring Clean”. As usual my family isn’t traveling anywhere for spring break, so with all my free time I figured I would get my shit together and get organized before summer arrives. I started in my pantry and that turned very depressing very quickly. I always have the best intentions to bake birthdays cakes for friends, family, and co-workers, but after throwing out 8 boxes of expired Betty Crocker Fluffy Cake Mix it is time to admit to myself that I am not baking a damn thing! I also buy quinoa and have no intention of eating it, along with many other healthy grains and whole wheat pastas. Funny how I could not find one box of CheezIts or bag of chips that were out of date or stale. I got down to the bottom shelf were I store a wine rack and began pulling out bottles. Although I don’t drink very much white wine I do know that Chardonnay is not supposed to be brown. After inspecting my inventory I threw out 12 bottles of expired, old, and corked wine. I got teary eyed as one by one I emptied the contents of the old wine down the drain, I hate throwing away booze. I then turned my attention to my liquor cabinet and realized it too needed some attention and some additions. After an hour and a trip to RollnUp my mini bar was organized and fully equipped for any impromptu summer get together. Here is the low down on what to toss, keep, and what you need in your wine and booze cabinet.

When you pick up the bottle is the cork kinda pushed out? If you answer yes, the bottle is dunzo. Is it brown? If your white or red has lost its vibrant color and now has a brown tint it’s time to toss the bottle. If you are color blind then open the bottle up and take a whiff. Rotten Eggs, heavy vinegar, burnt toast, moldy, and wet cardboard are all terms that refer to what a bottle of turned wine smells like. I am no sommelier, but if my wine smells like wet moldy card board I don’t need a second opinion on if it’s bad. If you drink it and it sucks, then it’s bad, or you just bought a crappy bottle; either way don’t waste your time, liver, or your valuable cabinet space on bad bottles. The best way to store wine is in a cool and dark spot. Keep wine away from kitchens, laundry rooms, utility rooms…stay away from heat producing appliances and humidity. If it’s not in the budget for ripping out a portion of your home and building a wine cellar you can copy my plan and purchase a small wine fridge. It keeps wine around 57 degrees and the bottle racks store them sideways to keep the cork from drying out. I drink red blends and cabs so that is the the majority of wine in my fridge. I do keep a bottle of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Champagne in the fridge for guests and special occasions. If you are a white wine lover, keep a bottle or two of red on hand (I like Blends so…). There are tons of gadgets and gizmos for wine lovers, but a nice sturdy cork screw and set of red and white wine glasses will start your wine set up off right! 

Most think that liquor never goes bad, but that’s not necessarily true. If the bottle is unopened and the seal isn’t tampered with then your bottle is good. Unlike wine, you don’t want to store liquor on its side for fear of the alcohol eating away the stopper or cap. Keep your booze upright at room temperature, stay away from hot places (kitchens / laundry rooms). If your liquor cabinet looks like mine it is a menagerie of half drank bottles. The companies that make your favorite brands say that your liquor keeps up to 6 months after opening. That is true, but they just want you to pour it out and buy more, and I am not opposed to that either if you are buying from my store. Honestly an opened bottle of liquor is fine for about 8 to 9 months, then the alcohol begins to evaporate. So that cherry berry cola flavored vodka from two years ago needs to find its way to the glass recycling bin. That shit didn’t taste good when you bought it, after a few years it is worse with less kick. I don’t have a ton of space so I usually get rid of the half empty trendy bottles that I know I won’t drink. Keep and stock the staples for your booze cabinet or bar. I try to keep a few cans of soda and mixers on hand, but that goes out of date too so if you don’t drink it then keep your supply low so you don’t feel bad if you have to toss it in 6 months. 

1. Blended Whiskey
2. Bourbon
3. Scotch
4. Light Rum
5. Vodka
6. Gin
7. Tequila
8. Triple Sec
9. Baileys or RumChata
10. Dry Vermouth

1. Coke / Diet Coke / Sprite
2. Club Soda / Tonic
3. Bitters
4. Roses Lime Juice
5. Bar Syrup
6. Olives
7. Maraschino Cherries
8. Bloody Mary Mix
9. Margartia Salt

Glasses & Bar Stuff
1. Martini Glasses
2. Rocks Glasses
3. Collins Glasses
4. Red Solo Cups if you are classy like me (they serve as the go-to cup)!
5. Shaker
6. Jigger
7. Spoon
8. Strainer
9. Tooth Picks
10. Sharp Ass Knife

Hope this helps you justify letting go of the old booze and foggy wines that collect dust in your cabinets. I need to move onto my closet, but that is going to require me to have a stiff drink so I can let go of those leather pants that will never fit me unless I contract an intestinal parasite.