Alcohol is one of the oldest and most prized beverages. In the world of beer, wine and cocktails, there's a whole language that a professional bartender must know, pertaining to drinks, ingredients and tools of the trade. Do you speak the language of booze, or is your bartending lingo limited to the three words: "Shaken, not stirred"?
The little glass of non-alcoholic something something that sits beside your drink is called a back. For instance, you may order "scotch with a soda back."
The call drink is the term for an order placed specifically, naming the liquor and the mixer. For instance, "I'll take a Bacardi and Diet Coke."
Adding a little dash of something means that it's just a bit of that ingredient. For instance, you could order a martini with a dash of cranberry. However, that's not advised.
To flame a drink is to set it on fire, common with Sambucca and 151-proof rum. It's highly advised that you not try this at home.
Garnish is added after the fact for visual presentation, such as a lemon wedge, cherry or umbrella. You can eat the garnish if you're hungry, but stay away from the umbrella.
A highball is liquor + soda + tall glass. The tall glass itself is referred to as a highball.
The jigger is a simple little tool for measuring a normal 1-ounce or 1.5-ounce pour. That being said, jiggers come in different sizes.
When you muddle ingredients for a cocktail, you use a tool called a muddler, and this releases the essential oils from the ingredients. For instance, for a Mojito, you will muddle mint leaves. Yum.
A pony is a dainty one-ounce shot of something. Most people will have a pony, and then they'll crave a whole horse.
When you rim a glass, you first wet it with water or lemon/lime juice, then you dip the rim into salt or sugar, depending on the cocktail. Margaritas and Bloody Marys are generally rimmed with salt.
Sangria always involves wine, juice and fruit, and often it includes triple sec as well. There are tons of variations of this recipe, and either red or white wine can be used.
Well drinks are ordered in haste and do not contain specifics. For instance, when someone orders a "gin and tonic" or a "vodka and soda."
Bar spoons are quite long and are used to mix drinks. They're long so that they can dip down deep into a shaker.
A chaser is something that accompanies a shot of hard liquor. It can help to diminish the strength and is often taken quite quickly after the initial shooter.
A dirty martini has olive juice in it, straight from the jar. The more olive juice there is, the dirtier the martini.
When one alcohol is heavier than another it will float atop the other one. You can create a floater that has three or more different kinds of alcohol as well.
When you order whiskey neat, then you just want the booze in a glass, with nothing else to disturb it. Most often, whiskey drinks served neat are presented in a whiskey glass. Duh.
When you roll a drink, you take the already constructed cocktail, pour it into the shaker once, and then dump it right back into the glass. Sometimes the back-and-forth pour is repeated.
The speed rail holds some of the most common liquors, such as vodka, tequila, rum and the like. It also holds popular mixes, so that the bartender can get to these things quickly.
A virgin cocktail is one that has no booze in it and is, therefore, no fun at all. For instance, you can order a virgin margarita or a virgin Bloody Mary.
Bitters were originally created as a digestive aid, but these days bitters are added to bring out the flavor of a cocktail. The slightly bitter taste is a good complement to the alcohol and sweeter ingredients.
You chill a glass with ice and water, generally while you're mixing the drink in a shaker. After you have chilled the drink, you pour the ice out and put the drink in. A chilled glass adds to the enjoyment of cold drinks and prevents condensation.
A dry martini only has a faint hint of vermouth. An extra dry martini has no vermouth at all, and perhaps just a drop of scotch added to the glass before the martini is poured.
A free pour refers to no use of tools such as a jigger or measured pour spout. This kind of pouring requires confidence, experience or just a devil-may-care attitude.
Premium alcohol is the best of the best. For example, bar rail gin is Beefeater, but if you want the premium, then you order Tanqueray.
Vodka can me made from a number of different grains, potato, fruit or even just from sugar. Nuts, however, cannot turn into vodka. But it would be fun to try.
The sour is a mix of usually lime or lemon with simple syrup. This is added to drinks to give a little kick. For instance, a vodka sour uses the lime mix, as does a margarita.
A warm toddy is perfect for a winter's day, or when you have a sore throat. Often involving lemon, honey, hot water and whiskey, in Ireland it's just known as a hot whiskey.
Building a drink refers to creating a cocktail in several stages, beginning with the ice, then adding liquor, juice, bitters, etc. The garnish would be the final step of the building process.
Coolers can be found at your local convenience store, and they can be made from a number of different things. For instance, there are strawberry wine coolers and peach vodka coolers, as well as hard lemonade. These are gateway drinks for high school kids.
Particularly effective for beer glasses, frosting is achieved by dipping a glass in water, then placing it in the freezer. This gives the glass an inviting, frosty appearance.
Shaker tins are almost always made from metal, and that provides the marvelous sound of ice against metal when shaking a martini. That sound can be as powerful for you as the sound of a dog bowl being filled with food for your furry friend.
It's common to add a twist to martinis, and this is a little curl of lemon rind. This is created by using a peeler or lemon zester.
A cocktail refers to an alcohol or liqueur combined with a mixer and then shaken or stirred. So no, your grandma's cranberry and soda is not a cocktail, even though she says it is.
Technically, you could try, but it's not going to work. It's too long, too thick, and it's for eating sushi. Mini chopsticks might work.