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Cocktail enthusiasts know an ever-expanding home bar collection is a wonderful thing. Storage for all those bottles, though, can tend to be an afterthought, according to Kate Boushel, director of beverage and education for Groupe Barroco in Montreal. “This is where bar cabinets shine,” she says. “Their specific purpose is to create a tailored space for your wine, spirits, cocktail ingredients and barware. I’m personally a fan because they offer more organized storage space than their mobile counterpart, the bar cart. Not to mention, (bar cabinets) are often multifunctional and can easily become a statement piece in any room.” Read on for our expert's picks for the best bar cabinets to get this year.
Best Overall: West Elm Vivien Bar Cabinet
“A bar cabinet can be similar to a credenza with tailored storage spaces to welcome your finest bottles, glassware, and bar tools, often with a flat top surface for cocktail making or even little cutting boards that pull out,” explains Boushel. All of these factors combined, she adds, make things much easier for hosting, saving you the trips between the kitchen and bar area.
West Elm’s Vivien cabinet is among Boushel’s personal favorite designs, featuring a retro-chic curved frame, brushed brass hardware, two adjustable shelves, an eight-bottle built-in wine rack, and a built-in glass rack with space for 18 standard wine glasses. This rack also features additional storage space on the back of each door.
Best Small: Boahaus Modern Two-Door Mini Bar
The old adage “big things come in small packages” comes to mind with this petite bar cabinet by Boahaus. While it’s compact and ideal for smaller spaces, this cabinet doesn’t fall short on storage or functionality—two glass doors encase a spacious compartment for standard liquor bottles, with five slots for wine bottles directly above it. There’s another section above the wine rack with enough space to hang two to three wine glasses, depending on the size and shape, and if you’re creative, you can also fit a few things underneath the glasses without cluttering (think small bottles of bitters and tinctures, cocktail books, a jigger, that sort of thing).
The cabinet’s top is simple and clean, its surface perfect for additional bottles, books, barware, and more. Best of all, according to reviews, the assembly is easy and the cabinet is quite durable given the price tag. If you’re looking to get the most for your money, the Boahaus Modern Mini Bar is a solid choice.
Related: The Best Bar Tools
Best Corner: CB2 Fayette Corner Bookcase with Storage
Think of this Art Deco-inspired CB2 piece as the hybrid corner bar cabinet you didn’t know you needed (until now, that is). Fluted mango double doors open to reveal an oak interior with two adjustable shelves, where you can store bottles and barware; the surface of the cabinet and its three bookshelves make for a great and convenient display space for the things you want to keep out in the open, like your cocktail books, prized bottles, and more. The possibilities are endless, as is the storage space.
Best Tall: Mid-Century Two-Tone Wine Cabinet by Baxton Studio
Nothing says “stately” quite like a towering bar cabinet in rich wood tones and classic design. At first glance, one might mistake the Baxton Studio Mid-Century Two-Tone Wine Cabinet for an armoire or coat closet, but the interior tells a different story—with four generously-sized shelves, two drawers, and stemware racks with enough space to hold 18 wine glasses, this cabinet is a sound choice for those with space to fill and a healthy stock of bottles, serveware, and accouterments to store.
Overall, this cabinet measures nearly 69 inches high and is 28 inches wide with a depth of 17 inches. Assembly is required with this piece, and it will likely be shipped to you in multiple boxes (it’s worth the work, though, and the price can’t be beat).
Best Splurge: Restoration Hardware Vintage French Factory Bar Cart
“As far as home bar carts are concerned, I look for industrial chic for my space—whether you find a cart at an antique store or pick one up from your local Restoration Hardware, there are many out there that fit any home decor,” says Tony Edgerton, co-beverage director at Festivál in New York City.
Restoration Hardware’s two-door Vintage French Factory Bar Cart is one of his favorite pieces, ideal for those who focus on design or are dedicating time and money to building a great home bar, though it’s certainly an investment.
Good to Know:
Once you’ve got your cabinet, says Edgerton, the most important thing to focus on is, of course, what goes in it. “Cover your classics: vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, sweet and dry vermouth, Campari, Cointreau, Angostura bitters and sugar. With the addition of citrus, you can cover an array of classic cocktails to enjoy right in the comfort of your own home. Oh, and pro-tip: keep your vermouth refrigerated. It stays fresh longer.”
Best Budget: Pemberly Row 30-Inch Glass Door Bar Cabinet
I personally own this exact bar cabinet, and I absolutely love it—the price point certainly didn’t hurt, either. I was nervous that its quality and durability would be an issue given the low cost, but after having had it for over a year now, this piece continues to surprise me. Not only does it look like an actual vintage find, but it’s incredibly sturdy and has not seemed to have any issues with the dozens of bottles I keep both inside and on its top.
The glass doors pop open when pushed, and the middle shelf is adjustable, which is always convenient; there are three wine glass racks underneath the cabinet’s top, and depending on where you have the shelf situated, there’s plenty of room to store other glasses both below and between any hanging stemware. All in all, the Pemberly Row 30-inch bar cabinet is an excellent find, and I get compliments on it all the time.
Best Customizable: Society6 Leopard Vase Credenza by Megan Galante
For those who look to support artists wherever possible, Society6 might just be your new favorite online shop. With a smart lineup of home décor pieces, all of which simply serve as a canvas for your artist’s design of choice, customization possibilities abound.
This credenza, for example, is not only made to order with your selected pattern, but you’ll also have a choice of wood finish (birch or walnut) and steel leg color (black or gold). Designer Megan Galante’s Leopard Vase graphic is a crowd favorite, but take a look around and see what catches your eye.
Related: The Best Ice Buckets
Best Design: Southern Enterprises Lohell Corner Bar Cabinet
“I also absolutely love the Art Deco era—bar cabinets were such a thing during that time,” says Boushel. While there are plenty of choices for mid-century-inspired pieces, she adds, Boushel is partial to the Lohell Corner Bar Cabinet by Southern Enterprises. “[I] love the lines and just how much grace this piece brings to a room. This would be great for a small collection, or for keeping your favorites handy,” she adds.
The Lohell cabinet measures 35 inches wide by 25 inches deep, and stands 49 inches high on three rounded wooden legs; its features include a mirrored interior, a fold-down countertop with a sizeable storage cabinet, three storage drawers, and a generous display area perfect for your favorite bottles, glassware, trinkets, and more. This piece is made of birch, birch veneer, glass, and recycled materials and weighs 109 pounds total.
Best with Fridge: Morgon Live Edge Metal And Wood Wine Bar With Wine Refrigerator
“You can find an increasing array [of bar cabinets] with integrated fridges, allowing you to store your cocktail syrups and fortified wines, which is important for those who, like me, take over their kitchen fridge with open bottles of vermouth and sherry,” says Boushel, who points out that opened bottles of fortified wines should be kept refrigerated in order to maximize freshness.
Wine Enthusiast is a widely-respected producer and retailer of top-of-the-line wine fridges and furniture, and the Morgon Live Edge Metal and Wood Wine Bar combine the best of the two. Made from black metal and solid acacia wood, this is a cabinet for those who are serious about their wine and spirits collections (and who could put the extensive storage space to good use). With flexible configurations on the lower half—the Morgon cabinet can accommodate a number of Wine Enthusiast’s smaller wine fridges or a set of sliding bottle racks underneath the solid acacia wood slab—plus a set of exposed shelves above the bar with hanging racks for up to 12 glasses, this is the perfect choice for the true drinks aficionado.
Best with Wheels: Safavieh Grayson Bar Cabinet
British steamer trunk-inspired bar cart on wheels, anyone? For the home bartender with a penchant for vintage glamour, Safavieh’s Grayson Bar Cabinet is a smart (and attractively priced) choice for multiple reasons.
Outfitted in linen, vegan leather, and brass nailheads, this incognito bar opens up to reveal two drawers with three shelves, one of which is outfitted with a rack for wine bottles and another with racks for stemware, while the two doors feature three small storage racks—perfect for accessories like shaker tins—and magnetic closures. The portable Grayson cabinet measures 42 inches high, 23.6 inches wide, and 17 inches deep; it is also available in a sage green shade.
Read Next: The Best Bar Carts
Why Trust Liqour.com?
As a longtime New York City resident, Céline Bossart has had to come up with several creative storage solutions for her ever-growing bottle collection. Bar cabinets come in plenty of shapes, sizes, and styles, it’s really about what works for you and your home bar––we’re just here to point you in the right direction.