From stretching summer evenings on a terrace to pre-dinner appetisers and post-dinner relaxation in the lounge, home bars simplify hosting duties and bring crafted collections closer to hand.

For a static piece of furniture, the Rockstar drinks cabinet from Buster & Punch loves to make an entrance

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

For a static piece of furniture, the Rockstar drinks cabinet from Buster & Punch loves to make an entrance

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In order to politely accept a guest into one’s home, the first thing to do is offer them a drink. Soft or hard, hot or cold, the relaxing process and pleasure of drinking put them at ease, while giving them something to do with their hands.

Far from their historic role as enablers of an out-of-fashion hedonistic lifestyle, however, drinks cabinets can conform to the health and wellness ideals of the day by allowing users to serve up relaxation to their guests like an attentive valet. Here are seven different ways drinks cabinets can help hosts stay out of the kitchen and remain with their guests, wherever they are.

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Longhi’s Courbet drinks cabinet puts that extra space underneath a low table to much better use, hiding high-grade glassware behind high-grade materials

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

Longhi’s Courbet drinks cabinet puts that extra space underneath a low table to much better use, hiding high-grade glassware behind high-grade materials

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Dual-purpose drinks cabinets

Even users with less space to spare like to entertain, so let’s start off small. The Courbet side table, from Italian manufacturer Longhi, finds a better use for all that negative space underneath its table top by enclosing it with curved doors. High-grade glassware and decanters can be hidden away inside, allowing the table’s luxurious leather and marble surfaces to be appreciated.

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Part storage, part sculptural artwork, Diamante Bar from SICIS is a wall-hung bar cabinet inside a gleaming geodesic half-dome

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

Part storage, part sculptural artwork, Diamante Bar from SICIS is a wall-hung bar cabinet inside a gleaming geodesic half-dome

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Hanging out on the wall

For smaller homes with smaller hands, contraband liquids and hardware can be kept safe and out of harm’s way, inside a wall-hung drinks cabinet. SICIS’s larger than life gemstone, the Diamante Bar, is an imposing presence on the wall. As the doors part, however, like those of a theatrical super-villain’s secret base, the Diamante Bar cuts a welcoming scene for its enthralled audience, combining the mesmerising blue of the gem’s vetrite cobalt finish with a bronzed glass interior.

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Buster & Punch’s showmen, Rockstar (top) and Popstar (middle, bottom), both present the real stars of the show (the drinks) on stage, while making them accessible from cabinet doors above

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

Buster & Punch’s showmen, Rockstar (top) and Popstar (middle, bottom), both present the real stars of the show (the drinks) on stage, while making them accessible from cabinet doors above

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Stand tall with stand up cabinets

For stylish settings with more square footage to spare, elegant stand-up bar cabinets provide functional storage that really shows off impressive spirit collections. Taking their design cues from the music industry’s penchant for showmanship, the Popstar and Rockstar bar cabinets from Buster + Punch certainly know how to show off. The units combine high-grade finishes and blind tufted upholstery with heavy black cables and studio-like lighting, while the contents are both visible from the front and accessible via a stage trapdoor above.

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Longhi’s Alexander bar includes some features found in larger hospitality spaces like a double-height worktop, while a sink and integrated mini-fridge are serviced by connected water and power

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

Longhi’s Alexander bar includes some features found in larger hospitality spaces like a double-height worktop, while a sink and integrated mini-fridge are serviced by connected water and power

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More workspace in the back

In order to really show off their flair and mixology skills as well as their collections, serious hosts need a little more space to slice their limes. Larger bars, sometimes with double-height worktop space and sinks like Longhi’s Alexander, or even additional back-bar storage, give users the opportunity to stand up and stand out, working in comfort while keeping in eye contact with guests.

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Crafted like an ancient Rubik’s cube, the Verona bar unit is a dream for more exacting bartenders, with specific storage sections for every tool and ingredient

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

Crafted like an ancient Rubik’s cube, the Verona bar unit is a dream for more exacting bartenders, with specific storage sections for every tool and ingredient

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Stay organised

Creative mixologists come in many forms, and the Verona bar unit by MOBILEFRESNO-ALTERNATIVE is a cabinet for those who believe there’s a place for everything and everything has a place. When closed, the cabinet’s exterior of complex joinery has the look of an exaggerated entrance to a secret tomb, but when opened to reveal its hidden treasures, they can be found in immaculate order. Reminding me of a traditional typesetter’s shelf, Verona features perfectly sized shelves for bottles, cubbies for tumblers, holders for hanging stem glassware and individual drawer sections for specialist bartending tools.

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Slide’s Luminous Counter family of simple bars attracts guests with their luminosity, while adjustable light colours help them to set the right mood for an event

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

Slide’s Luminous Counter family of simple bars attracts guests with their luminosity, while adjustable light colours help them to set the right mood for an event

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Attractive illuminated bars

Even when everything’s tucked neatly away, Verona certainly stands out, but its well-crafted carpentry isn’t instantly recognisable for what it is, blending into the background of many a lounge or study. Pop-up events in non-traditional hospitality spaces, meanwhile, often include free bars serving little more than one brand of lager and two colours of wine, so all those additional tools aren’t necessary. Instead, simple light-up bars like Slide’s Luminous Counters allow organisers to distribute pre-made drinks as easily as possible by attracting guests like moths to a fluorescent bulb.

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Bordbar's ex-airline drinks trolleys are built to last with proven performance. Grounded in retirement, however, they’re reborn to ferry drinks and bar snacks around the tight corners of the home

Seven types of drinks cabinet for hosting big nights in | News

Bordbar's ex-airline drinks trolleys are built to last with proven performance. Grounded in retirement, however, they’re reborn to ferry drinks and bar snacks around the tight corners of the home

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On the move with mobile bars

There’s something reassuring, however, about being able to see a host make your drink. For users who like to entertain in different areas of the home without having to excuse themselves to do so, drinks cabinets that move with them such as Bordbar’s ex-airline trolleys have the hardwearing credentials to serve drinks in whatever circumstances a variety of environments throw up.

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