THE COCKTAIL CABINET AND BAR CART
To all intents and purposes, the cocktail cabinet is a hidden bar; you might not even know its purpose until 6pm comes around. This discretion is not accidental: a cocktail cabinet has its origins in a sturdy piece of furniture in which well-heeled Victorians could lock their precious booze away, some with a special compartment for a block of ice to chill champagne.
Art-deco cabinets were similarly for the wealthy, but after the Second World War the look changed to Scandinavian designs with clean lines in bare wood, glass, metal and plastic. Prices for the top designs have increased dramatically in recent years, but you can still find bargains. And of course, any sideboard or cabinet tall enough to hold bottles can be repurposed.
If you lack space for a home bar or cabinet, there is always the drinks tray, but if you want a bit of theatre, you really need a drinks trolley. Ask yourself if you need it to hold all your liquor, or if you will just be using it to entertain. Finnish designer Alvar Aalto’s, in stripped wood and laminate, is perfect for modernists; and Arteriors sells glamorous metallic versions.