Bartending goes beyond looking good and wearing a great smile. It even goes beyond having the right equipment or ingredients. If you don’t know the language, you’re doomed.
Bartending terminologies are not all that difficult to understand. While some of the words are explanatory on the surface, others require a bit more understanding.
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of bartending terms you should be fluent in to help you on your journey to bartending success.
Demitri’s List of 55 Bartending Terms You Should Know
This refers to an item that is no longer available at the bar.
2 Angel’s Share
This refers to the amount of alcohol that evaporates during aging process.
A low-alcohol drink consumed before a meal, typically to stimulate appetite.
This is a glass of something milder (like water, cola, or pickle juice) that accompanies a stiff drink.
This is an herbal alcoholic mix that can be added to cocktails to ramp up the flavor.
This is the act of mixing up ingredients and ice in an electric blender.
Martinis made with Scotch.
This typically means making a drink by starting with ice before adding additional ingredients, like alcohol, seasonings and garnishes.
This refers to a drink that has been shaken too long and has a shabby appearance.
To pour a drink in and out of a shaker, usually just once. You don’t have to shake the shaker.
A drink that is swallowed immediately after a shot of liquor, typically tequila, has been consumed. This is to create a different taste aside from the straight, sometimes overwhelming, alcohol.
Like seasonings, they bring flavor to any alcoholic drink or cocktail. However, they come with side effects like hangovers.
A mix of liqueurs combined with soda or juice and often shaken before served.
A drink served in a glass lined with lemon and orange peel.
A drink served in a tall glass, preferably with seltzer or soda water.
This is an oversized sour-type drink typically made with gin or rum. It is served over crushed ice and sweetened with fruit syrup.
A few drops of an ingredient.
A “dirty” drink will have a slight twist in color and taste by changing a core ingredient. With martinis, for example, making it “dirty” means the addition of olive juice.
This references the addition of little amounts of dry vermouth or dry gin to achieve that “dry” taste.
This is usually done by floating a short measure of booze onto the top of a drink so that the first sip tastes strong. This technique is designed to make someone think there’s more booze in a drink than there actually is, and if discovered, comes with the risk of starting a bar fight.
Setting a drink on fire before serving. Usually seen in shots.
Similar to Daisy, this is a drink that consists of crushed ice and is made in a goblet.
This is a cream-flavored drink made up of sugar, eggs, spirit or wine.
When one brand of alcohol is resting atop another brand of alcohol in a shooter glass.
25. Free Pour
This refers to making drinks without using a measured pour spout or jigger to measure.
A drink that is carbonated or emits small bubbles.
To dip a glass in water, drain it and place it inside a freezer to create an icy layer around the glass.
This is what is added to a drink after it has been mixed to boost its appearance and flavor.
A beverage made with fruit juice, water, rum, and served in a mug.
This is liquor mixed with soda and served in a tall glass.
This is an hour-glass shaped steel tool that is used for measuring drinks. One side of the steel measures 1½ ounces while the other side measures 1 ounce.
This is a drink made up of water, soda, spirit, and ice typically served in a small glass.
This refers to the last ingredient added to a drink, typically poured on top of the drink.
These are non-alcoholic drinks that accompany alcoholic drinks.
This means to grind and crush different ingredients with a tool called a muddler. This is typically done for drinks like Mojito.
A warm flavored drink containing beer, wine or liquor.
This is a shot straight from the bottle without adding ice or any other ingredient.
This is a quarter of a bottle.
This is a drink chosen for the end of the night.
This is a shot that is equal to 1 ounce.
This refers to premium alcohol.
A drink made to alleviate the effects of too much indulgence in alcohol.
A party drink consisting of fruit juices, sweeteners, flavorings, soft drinks, and wine or liquor.
This is the process of wetting the rim of a glass with lime and pressing it into a rimshot tin. Demitri’s salt rimmers are just perfect for this.
45. (on the) Rocks
This typically refers to drinks served with ice.
The process of blending ingredients by repeatedly pouring from one vessel to another.
This is a shot containing a mix of alcohol or straight liquor that is meant to be swallowed in one gulp.
This refers to premium alcohols that are aged and super-flavored.
A drink made from sweetened milk, spices, and wine.
This is a tall drink made up of gin or whiskey, sugar, soda water, and lemon juice. It can be served both hot and cold.
51. Straight up
This refers to pouring a drink into a shaker tin and then strained into a glass.
A cocktail that is comprised of triple sec, orange fruit, and wine.
53. Shaker Tin
This is a metal tool used in mixing cocktails.
54. Shake and Strain
To pour ingredients and ice into a shaker tin to shake and drain the liquid out of the tin.
A shotglass full of booze, meant to be drunk quickly and completely.
This is a flavored drink made with liquor, spices, and warm water and served in a tall glass.
This refers to a small amount of liquor.
A non-alcoholic drink.
Bartending is fun—and less stressful–when you understand all the lingo involved. With these aforementioned terms under your belt, you’re set to be this generation’s next great bartender.