How to Convert a Wine Cabinet into a General Liquor Cabinet

Converting a wine cabinet to a liquor cabinet for general use does not require any major modification. In fact, if the cabinet is already in place, the only thing that has to be done is to replace the contents and alter the method of their storage. While wine is typically stored on its side by means of a latticed wine rack, liquor is generally stored in an upright position for display purposes. Storing wine on its side keeps the inside of the cork from drying out. Spirits require no such caution. With the cabinet already in place, with glass doors, internal lights and a beautiful facade, converting it to store liquor takes just a few steps.

Tools and Materials

  • Liquor
  • Glassware
  • Cleaning supplies

Step 1: Remove Wine Bottles and Racks

It will depend upon the type of cabinet you have as to the exact conversion technique. It may require next to nothing, while in other cases you may have to remove hindrances to the storage of liquor bottles. Remove the bottles of wine stored in the current wine cabinet and move them to their new location. Next, remove the wine racks inside. If these are attached to the structure of the cabinet, look for screws or clips holding them in. If you cannot remove them without ruining the interior of the cabinet, consider using the racks for storage of liquor bottles that fit within the spaces.

Step 2: Remove Glassware

Many wine cabinets have glass racks in either a separate cabinet or hanging above the wine racks. Remove the wine glasses from the racks.

Step 3: Clean Cabinet

Give the cabinet a thorough cleaning. Wipe down a wooden cabinet with Pledge or some other dust-cleaning product. Clean any glass panes with Windex or a simple concoction of vinegar, water and rubbing alcohol.

Step 4: Fill Racks with Hangable Glassware

Any liquor glasses with stems can be hung in the racks formerly reserved for wine glasses. These include stemmed coffee mugs, margarita, sherry, cordial, hurricane, certain cocktail and martini glasses and brandy snifters.

Step 5: Lay Down Cupboard Liner

Rubber, latticed cupboard liner should be laid down over a portion of one shelf in the cabinet. On this will go rocks glasses, highball glasses, stemless cocktail glasses and shot glasses. You may elect to lay a piece down atop the cabinet (if it is a low cabinet such as a butler) for storing a few commonly used glasses.

Step 6: Fill Bottle Rack with Liquor

Forgo this step if you removed the racks. If the racks are affixed, fill the bottle rack(s) with unopened fifths of liquor. Not all liquor bottles will fit into the racks, though.

Step 7: Store Other Liquor

Other bottles of liquor may be stored upright in a free cabinet. Frequently used bottles may be kept atop a butler cabinet. Opened bottles of liquor should be stored upright.

Bar tools such as a muddling spoon, shaker, strainer and measuring jigger should be kept together either atop the cabinet or stowed nicely inside. You may have a small ice caddy with a lid and tongs or not. The conversion is now complete. Certain mixers such as dry or sweet vermouth, unopened soft drinks, bottles of juice or other mixers may be kept inside. Any opened mixer should be refrigerated.