One of the best things about being an adult is having a liquor cabinet.
Not just a few pints stashed away atop a refrigerator, but a proper piece of furniture -- or at least a designated shelf -- to keep one's array of bottles, glassware, shakers and swizzle sticks. However, many of us shove and stack and forget about that old quart of Kahlua or the sticky shot glasses and ruin the whole effect.
In order to reap the full Nick and Nora je ne sais quoi from your liquor cabinet, you also must do a little maintenance at least every six months.
Slashfood's tips to cleaning up your liquor cabinet after the jump.
Check the Bottles
Make sure the caps are on tight, and remove anything that's gone bad. If you haven't opened it, it should keep indefinitely. However, once you crack the cap, the clock is ticking. Spirits will begin losing their charm in about a year; liqueurs have about 6 months. Oh, they'll still be drinkable, but a bit of the bloom will be off the rose.
Check the Location
Cream-based liqueurs like Bailey's or Godiva need to be refrigerated after opening and even then only last about a month or two. Even left closed, things can get dicey after about 12-14 months unrefrigerated, so check the bottle first. Yes, scientists have been working on this problem. Things like Rose's Lime are also best kept cool and, for the love of all that is holy, refrigerate garnishes once opened!
Check the Temperature
Heat is bad for liquor, so make sure your storage is not too near the stove, heater or any particularly tropical patches of direct sunlight.
Clean the Glasses
There is no greater puncturing of your suave James Bond bubble than to mix a martini and pull out a dust-bunny-filled glass to pour it into. Make sure your cocktail shaker hasn't fused shut from some incompletely rinsed-out gimlet. And generally tidy up as necessary. Wipe down surfaces, remove any gone-flat mixers, torn cocktail parasols or old matchbooks from the cabinets and crevices.
Do an Inventory
Make sure you're well-stocked on all the basics and/or whatever you drink regularly and replenish your mixers. Make sure all necessary glassware and tools are present and easy-to-find.
Sure, a lot of this is a no-brainer, but it's also the sort of thing that's easy to forget or postpone until your guests are calling for libations. So, when you do your spring cleaning, make sure to remember the liquor cabinet.