Bartending Terms


There are so many different kinds of drinks a customer can choose to order. It is nearly impossible to memorize each by heart but remember that all drinks fall into a certain category. The drink is usually named according to its ingredients, how it is presented and how it looks. To be a good bartender or a good customer, there are certain terminologies that you need to be familiar with.

In the menu, when the term Box comes up, it means that it is a drink that is poured in a shaker and then served. It gives the drink a quick mixing without necessarily shaking it. Most menus would have a Call Drink which is a drink that is a combination of a mixer and liquor with a defined brand like Bacardi and Coke or Tonic. A Cobbler is not just a type of dessert but also a word used to indicate a tall drink of any liquor served in a highball glass topped with crushed or shaven ice and fresh fruit and mint sprigs. A Cooler is another drink served in a highball glass but consists of ginger ale, soda water and a fresh spiral or twist of citrus fruit rind. When a customer requests a Daisy, this is an oversized drink of any strong and sour liquor like gin or rum and served with crushed ice, fruit syrup and a straw. Apart from all these, a Virgin generally means a drink with no alcohol.

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In some bars and restaurants, you may see some of these words on the menu. The Flip is a chilled and creamy drink made of eggs, sugar and wine or spirit. The more known flips are the Brandy and Sherry flips. A Julep is a popular drink and is made of bourbon, sugar, mint and crushed ice. A Smash is a shorter version of the Julep and is served in a small glass. It is still made of liquor, sugar and mint. When the drink is said to be “laced with”. a Lace pertains to the last ingredient that is poured over the drink, more like a garnish.

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Some drinks are heated to add a special touch. A not so well-known drink is the Mulls and is a sweetened or spiced wine, beer or liquor, heated and served as hot punch. A Sling is served either hot or cold and is a tall drink made of soda water, sugar, a little lemon juice and either whiskey, gin, or brandy.

Some drinks are named according to the glass they are served in. A Highball is a drink served in a highball glass, which is a medium to tall glass and is any spirit served with ice and soda water. A Rickey is a drink that is served in a Rickey glass and is made up of liquor, usually gin, soda water and half a lime. It is often sweetened. A Swizzle on the other hand is named as such because it is served with a stirring rod or a swizzle stick which is rotated to form frost on the glass. It is traditionally a tall rum-based cocktail with cracked ice.

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In the more festive seasons and occasions, certain drinks are part of tradition. One famous example is the Eggnog. It is a traditional holiday drink that contains beaten eggs mixed with cream or milk, sugar and special liquor like brandy, bourbon, or rum. However, the Eggnog was derived from the British drink Posset and contains heated ale or wine curdled with milk, spices and eggs.

Source by Michael Russell


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