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Bar Terminology - Definitions of commonly used words

Commonly Used Bar Terms:

Bar Glass - A glass for mixing or stirring.
Bar Spoon - A long spoon used for mixing.
Blend - The combining or mixing of liquors in production.
Brut - A term to describe champagne as dry.
Chaser - A drink to follow immediately after another or to fill up a strong drink.
Crusta - A glass rimmed with sugar.
Dash - The smallest bar measurement, or a splash.
Float - A small amount of liquor poured carefully so that it floats on a drink.
Magnum - A large, double-sized bottle
Mixing Glass - A glass for stirring ingredients together.
Modifier - An ingredient in cocktails.
Neat - An unmixed drink, no ice.
On the Rocks - Served on ice.
Plain - A drink without any additions, straight from the bottle.
Proof - An American system for measuring alcohol content by volume. Half the alcohol content.
Sec - A term that means dry.
Shaker - A tool to mix drinks by shaking.
Squeezer - A tool to press fruit for fruit juice.
Straight Up - A drink served neat and without ice.
Twist - A small piece of fruit peel that is squeezed over a drink
Vintage - A description for when a particular liquor was conceived.
Zest - A small piece of a lemon or orange peel, usually the colored part.

Box- Pour into and out of a shaker, usually only once. Gives the drink a quick mixing without shaking.

Call Drink- A liquor and mixer, of which the liquor is a defined brand. (ie. Tanqueray and Tonic, Bacardi and Coke)

Cobbler- A tall drink of any liquor served in a collins or highball glass with shaved or crushed ice and garnished with fresh fruit and mint sprigs.

Chaser- A mixer that is consumed immediately after a straight shot of liquor to create a different taste.

Cocktail- Any of various alcoholic beverages consisting usually of brandy, whiskey, vodka, or gin combined with fruit juices or other liquors and often served chilled.

Collins- A drink akin to a sour which is served in a tall glass with soda water or seltzer water.

Cooler- A drink consisting of ginger ale, soda water, and a fresh spiral or twist of citrus fruit rind, served in a collins or highball glass.

Crusta- A sour-type drink served in a glass that is completely lined with an orange or lemon peel cut in a continuous strip.

Cup- A punch-type drink that made up in quantities of cups or glasses in preference to a punch bowl.

Daisy- An oversize drink of the sour type, normally made with rum or gin. It is served over crushed ice with a straw, and sweetened with a fruit syrup.

Lace- Normally applies to the last ingredient in a recipe, meaning to pour onto the top of the drink.

Eggnog- A traditional holiday drink containing a combination of eggs beaten with cream or milk, sugar, and a liquor such as brandy, rum, or bourbon.

Fix- A sour-type drink similar to the daisy, made with crushed ice in a large goblet.

Fizz- An effervescent beverage. (ie. that which is carbonated or which emits small bubbles.)

Flip- A chilled, creamy drink made of eggs, sugar, and a wine or spirit. Brandy and sherry flips are two of the better known kinds.

Frappé- A partially frozen, often fruity drink. It is usually a mixture of ingredients served over a mound of crushed ice.

Grog- A rum-based beverage with water, fruit juice and sugar, commonly served in a large mug.

Highball- Any spirit served with ice and soda water in a medium to tall glass (often a highball glass).

Julep- A drink made of bourbon, mint, sugar and crushed ice.

Lowball- A short drink made of spirits served with ice, water or soda in a small glass.

Mist- A liquor served over a glass filled with crushed ice, often a way of serving liqueur as an after dinner drink.

Mulls- A sweetened and spiced heated liquor, wine or beer, served as a hot punch.

Neat- The consumption of a spirit as a straight, unaccompanied shot.

Negus- A punch-like combination containing a wine, such as port, heated with spices and sweetened.

Nip- A quarter of a bottle.

Nightcap- A wine or liquor taken before bedtime.

On The Rocks- A wine or liquor poured over ice cubes.

Pick-Me-Up- A drink designed to relieve the effects of overindulgence in alcohol.

An old british drink from which the eggnog was derived. It consists of a mixture of heated ale or wine curdled with milk, eggs, and spices.

Puff- A traditional afternoon drink made of equal parts spirit and milk, topped with club soda and served over ice.

Punch- A party-size beverage consisting of fruit, fruit juices, flavorings and sweeteners, soft drinks, and a wine or liquor base.

Rickey- A drink made a liquor, usually gin, a half lime and soda water. It is sometimes sweetened, and often served with ice in a rickey glass.

Sangaree- A tall chilled and sweetened wine/liquor garnished with nutmeg.

Shooter- A straight shot of whiskey or other kind of spirit taken neat.

Shrub- Spirits, fruit juices, and sugar, aged in a sealed container such as a cask or crock, then usually bottled.

Sling- A tall drink made with either brandy, whiskey or gin, with lemon juice, sugar and soda water. It is served both hot and cold.

Smash- A short julep made of liquor, sugar, and mint, served in a small glass.

Sour- A short drink consisting of liquor, lemon/lime juice and sugar.

Supercall- Also known as top shelf or super premium. The high octane, often higher proof alcohols, or super-aged or flavored versions.


Date: November 16th, 2008
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Scott Young, President and Head Instructor Bar Smart Inc.