Cocktails that have been made with special care and attention to detail have recently become extremely popular. It is no wonder, the term ‘shaken not stirred’ become a cliche after being used so often in media. Do you ever wish you knew the ins and outs of all that goes on in a pub while ordering a drink? The terms, the language, and how to be suave? Well, you’ll be able to sound just as refined if you want to. Learn the lingo and become a pro at placing drinks orders with our handy cheat sheet. The next time you go out to the pub, keep these phrases in mind. However, before diving headfirst, let us understand what exactly the term ‘mixology’ means.
The skill of creating new cocktails is known as mixology. The term is often used to refer to the in-depth study of making cocktails with the use of various tips, methods, and procedures. A mixologist’s main interests include the science and art of producing cocktails, the development of novel cocktail recipes, and the exploration of unusual alcohols and mixers.
Back is slang for the little glass of liquid served with an alcoholic beverage. Whiskey with ice and water, for instance.
Bitters are an alcoholic mixture of herbs that are often used to improve the taste of other drinks. One of the most well-known brands, Angostura Bitters was developed in 1824 by a German doctor to treat stomach ailments. To a bartender, bitters are the spices. A drink would be incomplete without them. The two most common are Amari and Dashable bitters. Bitters are a condiment similar to salt and pepper that are prepared by blending an alcoholic spirit with herbs. The bitter liquors known as Amari are often used as Aperitifs and Digestifs.
To blend is to combine ice and other substances in a blender. You could call them blended beverages or frozen drinks, depending on your region.
The phrase ‘build’ is often used in bars to describe the process of making a cocktail by first placing ice in a glass and then ‘building’ the drink with the addition of additional components.
The phrase ‘chaser’ refers to any beverage drank immediately after a shot of alcohol. Intended to weaken the potency of the original shot and/or cover up its flavour.
Put ice and water in any glass, and let it rest for a couple of minutes to cool. Empty the glass and pour the cocktail into the cooled glass. A martini is a popular choice for this slang phrase used in bars.
A cocktail is an alcoholic beverage made by combining one or more types of liquor with a mixer (often soda water or fruit juice) and shaking the mixture vigorously.
A cooler is a flavoured alcoholic beverage sold in bottles. Coolers may be made using vodka, rum, or wine and can be found in a wide range of tastes. Wildberry Cooler, Smirnoff Ice, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade are just a few examples.
A dash is a little quantity, usually only a few drops, of a substance.
To make a martini ‘dirty,’ olive juice is added. The dirtier the martini becomes as more olive juice is mixed.
Dust refers to the practice of topping off a beverage with a finely ground spice, such as nutmeg, grated cinnamon, or cocoa powder.
To make a martini ‘dry,’ just a little amount of vermouth is used. When making an extra dry martini, a little amount of scotch is added to the glass and swirled around before being emptied out and replaced with the gin.
To ‘express’ an orange peel or skin is to squeeze it so that the oils in the rind ‘shoot out’ to the surface. It’s a nice touch that will spice up your drink just a little bit. To enhance the citrus aroma when drinking, run the rim of the glass and the stem of the glass with a lemon peel. (Since it’s important that a drink has an enticing aroma as well as flavour.)
Flaming means lighting a beverage ablaze. In many cultures, lighting sambuca on fire is a tradition that is followed by a toast with the flaming liqueur. Using very flammable 151-proof rum is another typical way. Drinks should not be flambéed unless you are really competent at doing it. Flambe is another name for this.
In order to create the eye-catching garnish known as ‘flamed zest,’ the flammable, fragrant oils present in the skin of citrus fruits are set ablaze. When using a cut zest, make sure the peel is facing up in your drink. Put the zest in between your thumb and fingers and gently press it over a flame to release the oils. If you go too close to the glass, a film of smoke will form on the rim. Throw out the charred peel and use a new one if you don’t want your dish to smell like burned rubber.
Float refers to the state in which one kind of alcoholic beverage floats above another in a shot glass. For instance, Kahlua, Irish Cream, and Grand Marnier are all included in a B-52 shooter. GM is lighter than Kahlua, Irish Cream is lighter than GM, and Kahlua floats over Irish Cream. Carefully pouring down the edge of the glass works just as well, as does pouring the alcoholic beverage that has been floated over an upturned bar spatula and letting it flow down the spoon in all directions.
Making and mixing beverages ‘free pour’ means you didn’t use any kind of measurement tool, such as a jigger or a spout that was calibrated to a certain amount. to pour without using a measuring cup or spoon, as one would when using a bottle with an unmetered spout.
Glasses may be ‘frosted’ by being dipped in water, let to drain, and then placed in the freezer. Because of the frost it produces, this is perfect for beer cups.
A drink’s appearance may be improved by adding a garnish after the ingredients have been mixed. Cherry halves, olive halves, cherry slices, lemon wedges, lime wedges, and lime wedges are all standard garnishes. Garnishes serve two main purposes in mixed drinks: for aesthetics and taste.
A highball is a drink made by combining whiskey and soda in a large glass.
Shots and drinks may be layered in the same manner that a drink can be floated. Carefully pour the heavier alcohol down the edge of the glass or over an inverted spoon, and then carefully pour the lighter alcohol on top.
A ‘mixer’ is any non-alcoholic liquid that is added to an alcoholic beverage. Mixers may be anything from water to soda to juice to energy drinks.
To muddle is to use a muddler to smash substances. For beverages like the Mojito, when the muddling process is used to extract essential oils and tastes, this is done.
An essential bar lingo phrase to memorise. Requesting a ‘neat’ whiskey means you want a shot straight from the bottle. A ‘neat’ drink is one that has no ice in it. The whiskey glass is an obvious choice for the shot.
Some bourbons, especially older ones, benefit from being ‘opened up’ with a little bit of ice or water. Some barrel-aged spirits, like bourbon, might benefit from being chilled or submerged in water to soften their stiffness.
One ounce is sometimes known as a pony or a pony shot.
Before dipping the glass into the celery salt (especially for Bloody Caesars), salt (for Bloody Marys and margaritas), or sugar (for other drinks), moisten the rim or edge with lime or citrus nectar in a rimmer. Look beyond the typical salt or sugar rim and try something new, such as crushed candy, scented salts, or even more unusual spices if they go well with your drink.
Rinsing a glass
To ‘rinse’ a glass is to fill it with alcohol, swirl it around to release the scent but not the taste, and then pour it out. This is done when a little aromatic flavour enhancement is desired. Therefore, a classic example of this method is the In and Out Martini. An ‘In and Out’ Martini is made by rinsing the glass with vermouth and then filling the rest of the glass with gin. The coating is another name for this.
On the Rocks
The term ‘on the rocks’ merely means that the beverage in question was served with ice. Instance: Whisky on the rocks.
Roll (also known as Box)
A phrase seldom used in pub lingo. Make your drink as usual, then pour it into a shaker tin and out again to ‘roll’ or ‘box’ it. It’s a nice way to stir the drink without making a huge splash.
A wine-based cocktail made with fruit, triple sec, orange juice, and wine is called a ‘sangria.’ Wine and juice are the foundation of this cocktail, while various recipes may use a separate juice or omit triple sec altogether.
To make a cocktail, fill a shaker tin with ice and all of the ingredients, then give it a good shake. Empty the contents of the glass back into it. In contrast, a skilled bartender will know exactly how much ice and what quantities of each component to put in the shaker.
A one-to-two-ounce quantity of straight liquor (such as Tequila) or a combination of alcoholic beverages (such as a B-52 Shooter, which combines Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier), intended to be consumed all at once.
‘Sour’ is shorthand for ‘bar lime mix,’ ‘sour bar mix,’ ‘lime bar mix,’ or ‘margarita mix,’ all of which are basically the same substance and are used to make a wide variety of cocktails. Someone who requests a ‘vodka sour’ is looking for a bar lime and vodka mix.
A ‘straight-up’ cocktail is one that is neither stirred or diluted in any way before being poured into a glass. The term ‘neat’ is sometimes interchanged with ‘straight up’ in various regions.
A sweetened alcoholic beverage made by boiling water and liquor, often with spices added for flavour.
A twist is a peel from a lemon that has been removed using a zester. The resultant lemon twist is quite long and slender.
A ‘virgin’ beverage is one without any alcoholic content. Used to get ‘dry’ versions of standard cocktails. These include the Bloody Mary and the Pina Colada, both of which use a virgin as the main ingredient.
Last but definitely not least for the lexicon of bar lingo, a ‘well drink’ is one in which neither the kind of liquor nor the type of mixer is specified (eg. Rum & Coke, Gin & Tonic, etc).
We hope this compilation of bar lingo helps you dearly the next time you head out to enjoy a fun time with your friends in a pub. Cheers till next time!