• Tandose Sambo

Effortless Living: Rum Bottle Bar Decor and Accessories

Welcome back to the blog,

Entertaining is one of those activities that you learn to acquire with time. Over the past few months during the pandemic, my family and I have been having occasional micro gatherings of approximately ten people, inclusive of ourselves. My Rum Bottle collection evolved from these parties. February 2021 marks the first anniversary of my Rum Bottle art creations and I'm very proud of my creative accomplishment. Via my rum bottle adventures I've successfully managed to create:

Decorative Soap Dispensers


Giant Perfume Bottles

Jewellry Trees

The project is actually evolving, and I've actually started The Rum Bottle Vault in 2021. I found that in time...I started receiving bottles that were two pretty to tamper with. These are the bottles that I've decided that I would like to incorporate into my bar decor. One of the things that I do when I'm out and about, is to observe how places like hotels and restaurants organize their bar area. If the space looks appealing, then I'm going to be inclined to recreate the experience at home. As a case in point, the image above is the gazebo at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The ground floor of this hotel is open to the public, and I go there every two weeks or so, just to get a feel of life on vacation. The gazebo area is one that gives me so much peace, and I've captured the image above, so that I can have a visual cue of what I want our gazebo to look like when we have our house in the future. I envision many a games night in a scene such as this.


The newest addition to my Rum Bottle Vault is this bottle of Appleton Estate 21. What drew me to this bottle is its package. We are all drawn to things that look beautiful, and I found that this bottle came in a beautiful blue canister. Once you open the canister, there's the beautiful bottle, with a wooden topped cork and of course the rum inside. The label itself just effortlessly fits with the theme. The 21 represents the age of the bottle, so the price is directly correlated to the age of the bottle. Let's just say we never gulped this one down in one party. I literally waited for about eight months for this one. On the day we finally finished the rum...I was the most grateful millennial on the planet. You have to be patient and persist. The bottle in my eyes is so precious...that all I could was wash and dry it and set it aside for my decor. I believe that pieces like this...make great keepsakes for your bar. Let's start off with some of the critical elements of a well stocked bar.

Bar Glasses

Presentation is always key, and one of the best ways to be a great entertainer is to ensure that you have great containers to present your beverages in. I love glass, and I find that having the right glasses for your wines, whiskeys, and even your specialty drinks is one of the keys to a great party. When it comes to your bar, you'll want to invest in your drinks and can take the time to incorporate more affordable pieces such as your glasses from places such as the Dollar Tree, Target, Homegoods. If you're in Jamaica, one of the best places to stock up on wine glasses is a well stocked supermarket or places like Woolworth's. Unless you're having a party every don't need to spend too much money on the glasses themselves. You can get great quality pieces for affordable prices. Since people will be having multiple drinks across the evening. You want to have a lot of glasses on hand to ensure that you don't have to be washing them in between. Start the night off with glass, and have some high end clear plastic cups on hand as back up.

For my display, I decided to incorporate some rustic elements, and placed my glasses on a wooden chopping board. Incorporate floral arrangements where possible. I actually got my chopping board from some artists on the road. If you're in the right can get handcrafted items for very affordable prices. Incorporating the natural elements with more manufactured parts, is a very good look.

Drink Elements

Once you have the glasses out, it's time to incorporate the elements of your drink making process. These elements include:

1) Small Igloo for ice. This will store the bulk of your ice so that your guests don't have to be entering your fridge in order to access ice for their drink. Rubbermaid is the king of these. I don't know any home that doesn't have an igloo by them.

2) An ice bucket. This will be on your bar counter with tongs, so that your guests can add their ice to their drinks as necessary.

3) Drink essentials such as your martini shaker, a bowl with fruit or lemons for those special mixes that we love to make.


Your party has various elements that are incorporated into the occasion. One thing that I've learned is that even if you're on a budget, you can live a life that is chic and fabulous. What will be key to your existence is the ability to be creative. The supermarket is your best friend, and if you take the time to explore it, you'll be able to have a nice assortment of drinks that your guests will enjoy. As an initial step, you can:

1) Make your own drinks. There are many drink recipes that you can make with elements such as syrups, fruits and mixes such as Tang. By placing your drink in dispensers and adding some fruit slices such as orange slices, you will be able to accomplish your drink display and taste objectives. For a day party, you don't need a lot of alcohol.

2) Buy affordable alcohol. You don't have to have Moet at your party. Some of the best wines I've had were wines that I got on discount from the supermarket. Identify the palette that you're going for, and find the affordable version of that. Even if you're buying beer for your party, you can opt for flavored beers. In Jamaica for instance, Red Stripe beer is available in flavors such as Lemon, Melon and Sorrel. Beer is approximately a dollar a bottle, and you can organize your budget to incorporate about two six packs of beer, two bottles of wine, and your mixed drinks. Where possible, you can buy affordable wines and print your own labels for placement on the bottles. Incorporate some fun elements and call them wines from your family chateau or vineyard.

3) Save your expensive items for special occasions. As a general rule on my channels, organize your year to ensure that you can splurge at Christmas...and then live modestly for the rest of the year. You can have parties across the year...on a budget, and then make Christmas a grand occasion. What this does is give you something to look forward to and something to work towards as you start each year.


When it comes to your bar decor, you can take the time to actually create different tablescapes for your various occasions. What I ended up doing in this instance was utilizing some extra tiles that we had on hand to enhance my tablescape. Tiles are very versatile items, and if they are small enough you can do things like incorporate them as bases for your plants, places to display your beauty items in your bathroom. Essentially, they make great trays and backgrounds for things. In my bar scape, I took the time to utilize three tiles to make my tablescape. The top tile is a large 60" x 30" cream tile. and I added two border tiles as my accent tiles for the display. When I was finished with this shoot, I actually repurposed the tiles and have them on my vanity.

Arrange your items in an appealing manner. Initially, I had everything laid out in a lateral manner, and then with time I thought it more cohesive to have my glasses in the center and then have the drinks and accessories on the periphery.

All in all, these are great baselines for the start of your bar. My intention is to actually expand on this. I'll soon let you see the vault. I've been building it with time, and have my new bottles, as well as their mini versions. I don't intend to over do it with the rum bottles and I do purge with time as a new one comes in. You have to manage your inventory, or else you'll have an accumulation of things.

I love you for reading!!


**Dr T**

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