Absinthe

A distilled spirit with a distinct anise flavour. It was banned for decades due to supposed hallucinogenic properties.

Agave

A succulent native to Mexico and the American Southwest. This is used to make tequila and agave nectar. 

Alcohol Aging

Alcohol Aging is the maturing of alcohol over time. Spirits and drinks get better with age. Often using wood barrels the spirits will mellow creating additional flavours and an unique essence taken from the characteristics of the wood.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

The percentage of alcohol that is in a drink / beverage.

Alcohol Proof

A term used more in the USA. Alcohol Proof is a method of identifying how much alcohol is in a beverage. Proof is calculated by multiplying the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) by 2. For example, if a particular Vodka is 40% alcohol, this would mean that it’s 80 proof.

Ale

Ale is a style of beer brewed from malted barley and brewers’ yeast. Generally Ales tend to be darker, sweeter and more full-bodied than lighter, lager-style beers.

Amaretto

A sweet, almond-flavoured liqueur that is distilled from apricot pits or almonds. Common brands include Disaronno, Gozio and Luxardo. Popular Amaretto based cocktails include – Amaretto Sour, Toasted Almond and Bocce Ball.

Añejo

The common translation is ‘aged’ and refers to the age of tequila. Añejo tequila is typically aged between 1 to 3 years in oak barrels.

Angel’s Share

When a spirit is ageing in a barrel, a small amount will evaporate, this is known as the angel’s share.

Anisette

Anisette is a sweet, aniseed liquorice flavoured liqueur. You will find that the brands often vary by country, but Sambuca and Marie Brizzard are usually the most common. Popular cocktails that often use Anisette include the Volstead, the Queen Mary and the New Orleans.

Aperitif

This is a drink that is commonly served before a meal and is intended to stimulate your appetite. Generally dry, typical aperitifs include vermouth, champagne and gin based cocktails.

Aquavit

A flavoured spirit that is made with spices and herbs, typically Caraway or Dill. Traditionally made in Scandinavia.

Armagnac

A full-bodied brandy that is made in the Armagnac region of France. Often described as a Grape Brandy.

Aromatic Bitters

A category of bitters that use a root as the base flavour.

Aromatized Wine

A flavoured wine with herbs, spices and fruits. A popular example is a Vermouth.

Back

Also known as a chaser. A non-alcoholic drink served with a shot or strong drink.

Backbar

The Back bar is the area behind the bar commonly used to display bottles of spirits.

Bar Spoon

A long-handled, metal spoon used for stirring cocktails and garnishing drinks. There are three styles of bar spoons including American, European and Japanese.

Barmaid

Professional female working in a cocktail bar.

Bartender

Professional male working in a cocktail bar. Also known as a barman.

Beat / Dash

A wrist movement to serve content in the glass.

Bitters

An alcoholic preparation, flavoured by a powerful infusion and assortment of botanical elements including herbs, bark, roots, and fruit. Perhaps best thought of as seasoning for drinks, Bitters are often a critical component in many cocktails. Also known as Angostora Bitters.

Blend

A technique to combine ingredients until smooth using an electric blender. Examples include a frozen Pina Coladas and frozen Margaritas.

Blended Scotch Whiskey

A blend of two different types of whiskey – A single Malt and a mixed Grain. These are aged separately and then blended before bottling. Famous examples of blended scotch whiskeys include Johnnie Walker and The Famous Grouse.

Blended Straight Whiskey

A mixture of Straight Whiskey and another higher-proof spirit (often unaged neutral grain spirits or a lighter whiskey).

Blender

An electric mixer attached to a glass jar or steel with a motorized base. Used to blend ingredients.

Blender Ball

A device that’s placed into a cocktail shaker when blending ingredients using the Dry Shake Method. This adds an additional element that makes blending components like egg whites much easier.

Boston Shaker

A large glass and a metal tumbler which is a little bigger.  When they are put together and shaken the ice amongst the ingredients causes a seal. This method fully mixes the ingredients and chills the drink with the ice.

Bottled / Canned Cocktails

Referred to as ready-to-drink cocktails or pre-mixed cocktails. There’s nothing to mix, measure or mess up and can be drunk on the go without the hassle.

Bourbon

An American whiskey strongly associated to the South. Distilled from a grain mixture of at least 51% corn; aged and stored for at least 2 years in charred, new oak barrels giving it a smoky flavour. Examples of popular Bourbon cocktails include – Mint Julep, Old Fashioned, Presbyterian.

Box

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

Brandy

A spirit distilled from primarily grapes, but also fermented fruit mashes, such as apples, peaches, and plums. Most brandies are barrel-aged, however, some are bottled clear and un-aged. Some of the most popular types are Cognac, Armagnac and Pisco.

Build

This is when the ingredients are poured directly into the serving glass. Plenty of ice should be added to the empty glass and then the cocktail ingredients are added. The drink should then be given a quick stir.

Build In Glass

A bartending preparation technique where cocktail ingredients are combined directly into the glass in which they are served.

Built Drink

Built drinks are cocktails that are made right in the glass by adding one ingredient after the other – no mixing or shaking involved. Because of this method, built cocktails are simple and fast to make.

Cachaça

Cachaça is a Brazilian, rum-like spirit distilled from freshly pressed sugar cane juice. With the recent increasing popularity of the Caipirinha cocktail. This spirit can vary widely in flavour and quality depending on where and how it’s made.

Caesar Cocktail

Similar to the Bloody Mary cocktail, it is made from vodka, tomato juice and a pinch of salt and pepper and finally garnished with a stalk of celery. May also be prepared with Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and other flavourings.

Call Drink

A spirit and mixer where the spirit is a defined brand such as a Tanqueray and Tonic or a Bacardi and Coke.

Calvados

An apple brandy produced in Normandy, France.

Campari

An Italian liqueur, known for its red colour and bitter flavour.

Canadian Whisky

Distilled exclusively from grains, like corn, rye, and barley, although corn is the most prominent. The whisky must be aged at least three years in Canada in wooden barrels and be at least 40% strength (80 proof). Canadian Whisky tends to be lighter and smoother than other styles of whisky.

Cask

Another name for the wooden barrels used to store spirits. Sometimes charred, casks can impart unique flavours such as smoke, vanilla and caramel into the spirits it’s storing.

Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of Northeast France. Typically has very small bubbles and a yeasty dry flavour.

Champagne Flute

Long, tall, slender narrow glasses used to serve sparkling wine and Champagne. The design of the glass allows those precious bubbles to fizz for as long as possible. Hold from the base of glass to keep your champagne chilled for as long as possible.

Channel Knife

A specialized knife that has a notch used to cut citrus garnishes for mixed drinks and cocktails.

Chaser

A Chaser is a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) consumed immediately after a shot to create a different taste.

Chilling Glasses

Ideal for straight up cocktails like martinis and daiquiris, put your glasses in the freezer. Clear out non essentials and get the glasses in. Not only will they look great when you serve your drinks (nice and frosted and groovy looking), but they will keep the cocktail delightfully cold.

Churn

This is when the ingredients are stirred with crushed ice ensuring that the drink chills very quickly.

Classic Cocktail

A Classic Cocktail is one that appeared after the 1887 publication of Jerry Thomas’ Bar-Tenders Guide but before the end of Prohibition in the United States (1934).

Cobbler

A tall drink of any spirit that is served in a Collins or highball glass with shaved or crushed ice and garnished with fresh fruit and mint sprigs.

Cobbler Shaker

A Cobbler Shaker is one style of cocktail shaker that has three parts – metal cup, lid (with integrated strainer) and cap.

Cobblers

Dating back from the 19th century, these drinks are traditionally wine or sherry-based with plenty of fresh fruit or sweetener thrown in for good measure served in a Collins Glass over crushed ice.

Cocktail

A generic reference to any drink comprised of at least two ingredients, one of which is alcoholic.

Cocktail Glass

The default glass for many alcoholic drinks, the Cocktail Glass is also known as the Martini glass. Gained popularity after World War II due to its futuristic V shape and long stem.

Cocktail Shaker

Also called a standard shaker and comes with a built-in strainer, these shakers are great for making cold cocktails shaken with ice. When cocktails are shaken with ice, small ice crystals become incorporated into the drink, adding to its mouth feel. Shakers come in several kinds such as the three-piece shaker, also known as a cobbler shaker, the Boston Shaker and the Parisian Shaker.

Cognac

A type of brandy named after the French district of Cognac, which must meet a set of strict quality standards. These standards include the use of a specific grape variety, two distillations in a pot still and then aged for at least two years in specially constructed oak barrels.

Collins

Collins is a family of drinks characteristically made with a spirit, sweetened citrus juice and soda which is served in a Collins glass. Classic favourites include – Tom Collins (Gin & Lemon), Greyhound (Vodka & Grapefruit) and John Collins (Rye Whiskey & Lemon).

Collins Glass

A Collins Glass is a tall, cylindrical glass and often confused with a Highball glass, the Collins is taller and thinner. As you might think, the glass is typically used for drinks from the Colllins family of cocktails.

Condiment

Like cooking, a condiment can add body or ‘seasoning’ to the drink. Cocktail condiments can be anything from Bitters and Sugar Syrup to Tabasco, horseradish and Grenadine.

Cooler

A Cooler is a general type of mixed drink created using a base of spirits, wine, or liqueur with the addition of soda over ice. The addition of fruit juice and/or fruit garnish is optional.

Cordial

An alcoholic beverage flavoured with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts. Often referred to as a liqueur in some geographies, a cordial is often sweet and syrupy.

Coupe Glass

A Coupe Glass is a shallow, broad bowled glass with a stem commonly used to serve champagne and cocktails. Its history dates back to the 17th century when it was originally designed to enjoy sparkling wine. This was before people discovered that champagne flutes, with their narrower shape, were better suited for the bubbly drink. The still classy coupe is a popular alternative to the standard cocktail glass for shaken or stirred cocktails. Some typical cocktails that use the Coupe include the Martinez, the Daiquiri and the Sidecar.

Crème de Cacao

Crème de Cacao is a chocolate liqueur made from cocoa beans and bottled in two styles, dark and clear. Used as a flavouring for various cocktails and can be found in old school classics like the Grasshopper and the Chocolate Martini.

Crème de Cassis

A sweet, dark red liqueur made from black currant.

Crème de Menthe

A sweet, Mint-flavoured liqueur available in two varieties – white (clear) and green. A component of popular drinks like the Grasshopper and the Singer.

Crusta

A term that has a couple meanings –

  • A service style that where the glass’ rim is coated with fresh lemon and dipped in sugar.
  • A drink type that contains citrus juice and any spirit, although brandy is most common.
  • 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.

Curaçao

Named after a Caribbean island where bitter oranges are grown, Curaçao is a liqueur flavoured with the dried peel of the citrus fruit. Curaçao is particularly useful in tropically flavoured drinks

Daiquiri

A family of cocktails that consist of a base of rum, citrus juice (usually lime) and sugar. Often confused with the frozen daiquiri which has the consistency of a smoothie, the daiquiri is served up.

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.

Dash

A rough measurement used to indicate a very small amount, often used with bitters in cocktail recipes.

Digestif

Typically a fortified wine or distilled liquor. It is a drink reserved for after dinner.

Dirty

Dirty is a service style primarily associated with the Martini. “Dirty” refers to the addition of olive brine with the olive in a martini.

Distillation

The process of purifying spirits, where the fermented product is heated to separate the alcohol from the water. Distillation typically takes place in a pot still or a column still.

Double Strain

A drink preparation technique where you use two strainers, typically a Hawthorn strainer and fine mesh strainer, for pouring the drink into the serving glass to prevent any small particles from entering the finished cocktail.

Dram

Another name to describe Scotch, the word derives from the Gaelic word meaning “drink”. Originally, a dram meant a liquid measurement, but has been adapted to mean a small sip or drink of alcohol.

Drink Mixer

A non-alcoholic beverage or ingredient used in preparing cocktails. Among the many different types are – carbonated sodas, juices, dairy products, sauces and prepared mixes.

Dropper

Spherical glass container. It is used to drop a very small amount of liquid in the cocktail.

Dry

Dry refers to the lack of sweetness in the beverage. When used in reference to a Martini as it often is, dry means less or no Vermouth is added so the finished cocktail is less sweet.

Dry Vermouth

Dry Vermouth is a fortified white wine that is flavoured with and assortment of botanicals (roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, spices). While consumed as an aperitif, Dry Vermouth is often used in a variety of cocktails including the Martini, the Brooklyn and the French Kiss.

Eau de Vie

Derived from the French translation Water of Life. It is a clear, colourless fruit brandy that is typically light in flavour. Produced in many other countries under different names like Schnapps (Germany), Grappa (Greece) and Rakia (Bulgaria). Common flavours include Pear, Apple and Peach.

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.

Eighty-Six

Slang for out of stock products behind the bar.

Ethyl Alcohol

Also known as grain alcohol, ethyl alcohol is the intoxicating ingredient in any spirit, wine or beer. 

Expressing

Squeezing or twisting a piece of citrus peel to free its fragrant oils into or above your cocktail. This can add complexity and aromatic nuances to the drink.

Falernum

A sweet, spiced syrup often used in Caribbean and tropical drinks. Include flavours of almond, ginger, cloves and lime; sometimes vanilla or allspice is used. Examples of cocktails that use falernum include the Zombie, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the Bermuda Rum Swizzle.

Fermentation

The process in which sugars are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide by using various agents such as yeast or bacteria. 

Fix

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

Fizz

A mixed drink category that features an acidic element, such as lemon juice, a sweetener, a base spirit, and carbonated water.

Fizz Cocktail

The Fizz Cocktail is a variant of the Sours drink family. Fizzes include an acidic juice and soda water to a base spirit. Popular Fizzes include the Gin, Sloe Gin and Whiskey Fizz.

Flair Bartending / Flairing

Flair Bartending is the practice of entertaining guests by manipulating spirit bottles and bar tools.

Flaming Zest

It involves taking a piece of citrus peel, usually orange, and squeezing the oils then igniting them over the drink. The peel is then wiped around the rim of the glass before dropping it in.

Flash Blend

A technique used to quickly combine ingredients into a partially frozen drink. In this process, ingredients are added to an electric blender and mixed for 3-5 seconds.

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.

Flip Cocktail

A class of cocktail which dates back to the 17th century described as a mixture of beer, rum, and sugar.

Float

A mixology skill for creating layered drinks. The heaviest ingredient goes on the bottom, and then a bar spoon is held upside down. The lighter liquid is slowly poured over the back of the spoon and on to the top of the drink, so that it is floating.

Fortified Wine

A wine to which a spirit is added and available in many different styles and flavours. Originally created to extend the shelf life. Common examples of fortified wines include Vermouth, Sherry and Madeira.

Frappe

An iced drink that has been blended to produce the thick consistency of a smoothie or milkshake. Most popular Frappés tend to be non-alcoholic, an alcohol example is the Absinthe Frappe.

Free Pour

A technique where liquor is poured without measurement using a jigger or shot glass.

Garnish

A garnish is a decorative object, typically edible, placed in or on a cocktail to enhance the appearance.

Gimlet

A popular cocktail made from gin and lime juice.

Gin

A neutral spirit infused with a variety of botanical elements. While juniper is one popular element, others frequently seen include coriander, lemon peel, orange peel, fennel, cassia, anise, almond, ginger and others. Generally there are a number of different styles of Gin all of which are very different, including London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom and Genever.

Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer is a carbonated, sweetened beverage that is available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. The alcoholic version is fermented, while the non-alcoholic version is carbonated using pressurized carbon dioxide.

Glassware

What you drink your cocktail from is not essential but consider this – do you really enjoy tea from a plastic cup? Examples of glassware are the Martini Glass, Margarita Glass, Collins Glass, Highball Glass, Old-fashioned Glass, Shot Glass, Champagne Flute and Punch Cup.

Gomme Syrup

This is a Sugar syrup. Usually added to drinks for extra sweetness and body.

Grappa

A fragrant brandy distilled from grape Pomace (leftover skins, seeds and stems) which results from the winemaking process. This spirit can only be produced in Italy, Italian regions of Switzerland or San Marino.

Grenadine

A thick, bright-red syrup that is traditionally made from pomegranates. This cocktail syrup is non-alcoholic. 

Grog

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

Handle

Handle is a term used for a bottle containing 1.75 litres. It’s called a handle because the bottle possesses a handle to make it easily portable.

Hawthorne Strainer

A device used to stain ice from a cocktail. Featuring a flat piece of perforated metal with a wire coil along the perimeter, this strainer fits well into most mixing cups.

Highball

A highball is a drink composed of a spirit, typically whiskey or Gin, mixed with a carbonated beverage in a 1 -2 ratio. It’s served in a tall glass, known as a highball glass, over ice.

Highball Cocktail

The Highball Cocktail is family of mixed drinks that include an alcohol base and a larger component of a mixer served over ice in a tall glass. Typical Highballs include the Gin & Tonic, Dark and Stormy, Screwdriver.

Highball Glass

A tall glass that is described by some as a taller version of the Old Fashioned glass, the Highball is named for the family of cocktails it is used to serve. As its name suggests, it’s most often used for highball cocktails or drinks with a high proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer.

This includes cold, refreshing drinks like the Gin and Tonic, Mojito and Moscow Mule that don’t require shaking and are served with lots of ice. The tall and narrow shape of the glass also keeps fizzy cocktails bubbly for longer as it limits the surface area of the drink exposed to the air. The highball glass is similar to the Collins glass, with the highball being shorter and wider.

Ice

Frozen water that is added to different shapes and sizes and added to a drink for decorative and cooling reasons.

Infuse or Infusion

A method of adding flavour into a liquid by soaking herbs, spices or fruits in it for a length of time.

Irish Whiskey

A full-bodied, smooth whiskey that meets a strict set of standards, including its distillation in Ireland. There are several types of Irish whiskey including Single Pot Still, Single Malt, Single Grain and Blends; each of which has its own unique flavour profile.

Jigger

Used to measure spirits in the mixing of cocktails. Although the term “Jigger” also refers to a shot, the measuring device traditionally is two-sided with uneven measures and looks like an hourglass.

Juicer

Device used to extract juice from citrus fruits. While there are many different types including hand, mounted and electric juices and the hand juicer.

Julep Cocktail

A family of sweet drinks made with a base liquor, water and sugar. Other types of Juleps include Peach Brandy, Pineapple and Apple.

Julep Cup

A silver or tin cup that a mint julep is traditionally served in.

Julep Strainer

A device used to strain ice from a cocktail. Crafted with perforated metal featuring a flat, rounded shape and a handle.

Kosher Salt

Due to its larger grain size, kosher salt is the most commonly used salt when garnishing the rim of a drink.

Lace

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

Lager

A style of beer that’s fermented and then stored in cooler temperatures creating a light body and flavour.

Layering / Layered

Layering involves the careful addition of multiple spirits to create a visibly layered appearance. One example of a layered cocktail is a B-52.

Lemon Twist

A thin piece of lemon zest used to add aroma and visual appeal to cocktails. Drinks that normally require a lemon twist include an Old Fashioned, Horse’s Neck, Side Car and Rusty Nail.

Lewis Bag

A Lewis Bag is a canvas bag used to crush ice. If you want to go old school in crushing ice for Mint Juleps and other Smashes, a Lewis Bag and a wooden mallet is the ticket. The canvas used in the Lewis Bag’s construction absorbs the water created during the crushing process to produce a drier ice for creating cocktails.

Liqueur

A Liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from a distilled spirit that has been flavoured with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts and bottled with added sugar or other sweetener. Normally syrupy sweet, liqueurs are often consumed either as cordials (shots) or added as a component within mixed drinks.

Liturgy

Everything that involves the art of mixology.

Long Drink

Cocktail or mixed drink with a larger volume. As a result, Long Drinks tend to be more dilute and therefore weaker by volume.

Lowball

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

Maceration

A technique used to extract flavour from herbs, botanicals or fruits by soaking them over time and then straining the solids from the mixture. Maceration is used to flavour a variety of spirits and liqueurs.

Manhattan Cocktail

A popular and traditional cocktail made with whiskey and sweet vermouth.

Maraschino Cherry

A preserved, sweetened cherry traditionally used as a garnish for an assortment of cocktails.

Margarita

A Margarita is a popular cocktail made with tequila, orange flavoured liqueur, lime juice and margarita mix.

Margarita Glass

Originally called the Coupette, this glass is now pretty much always called the Margarita Glass due to the fact that’s what it is used for.

Martini

Originally the name Martini refers very specifically to a gin or vodka and vermouth cocktail. Over the years it has evolved to describe any short drink in a classic Martini glass. Now it can contain any number of fresh fruits, infusions or whatever takes the bartender’s fancy.

Martini Glass (Cocktail Glass)

The classic long stemmed V-shaped top. Once upon a time this was known as a Cocktail Glass. Now generally considered the Martini glass you are likely to see all sorts of subtle variations in its design.

Mash

A mixture of crushed malt or grains and water that is converted into fermentable sugar. Alcohol is distilled from the fermented mash.

Measure

Also called a Jigger and this tool is essential! Sometimes recipes refer to ounces, sometimes to ml and sometimes to the actual measures.

Measurements

When you are browsing cocktail recipes, you will mainly come across ingredients listed in ounces, ml, splashes and dashes. You will sometimes come across ingredients listed in shots. For reference, the standard shot size in the UK is 25ml whilst in the US it is 1 fluid ounce, so if you can stick to one of these, all the better.

Mezcal

A spirit distilled from the Maguey plant which and often famous for the presence of a worm in the bottle. Generally this spirit is consumed straight and is not used in any mixed drink or cocktail.

Mise en place

The place where the bartender does his work.

Mist

A spirit served over crushed ice.

Mixer

A non-alcoholic ingredient in a cocktail or mixed drink, typically a soda or juice.

Mixology

The process of mixing drinks with art and imagination.

Mixto

A term that refers to the type of Tequila that uses both Agave and other sugars in the distillation process. Must contain at least 51% Agave, versus the other type that uses 100% Agave.

Modern Cocktail

A cocktail that appeared after the 1934 end of Prohibition in the United States but before 1990. One example is the Cosmopolitan.

Mojito

A popular cocktail made from rum, mint, sugar, lime juice and soda water. Originally from Cuba, the Mojito is a member of the highball family of cocktails and is a refreshing option for warmer weather.

Muddle

To muddle is the act of combining and mashing ingredients in the bottom of the glass using a muddler. Soft fruits such as strawberries blueberries and raspberries are often muddled to release their flavours into the mix. The act of muddling, which is essentially a careful crushing motion, is done using a special tool called a cocktail muddler.

Mulls

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

Naked

A Martini that is neither stirred nor shaken. Instead, you get an ice-cold Martini which is rinsed or sprayed with vermouth. The glass is filled with gin or vodka straight from the bottle, ice-cold from the freezer. So basically you are drinking neat spirit.

Neat

A single Spirit or Liqueur served without ice, water or anything and is served Straight Up.

Negus

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

Nick and Nora Glass

Glassware that became popular in the 1930s. Named for the main characters of the Thin Man series of films, the Nick and Nora Glass is used for cocktails like Gimlets, Manhattans and Martinis. While these aren’t considered a piece of basic barware, these glasses are more of style play.

Nightcap

A drink that is consumed before bed time.

Nip

A quarter of a bottle.

Officiating

The art of making cocktails.

Old Fashioned Cocktail

A classic cocktail made from a spirit (e.g. whisky, brandy), bitters, sugar and water. Although created in the 19th century, the Old Fashioned is a modern day favourite.

Old Fashioned Glass

This short, stocky, straight-sided glass is named after the Old-Fashioned cocktail. The traditional old-fashioned glass. Its heavy bottom makes it a great choice for cocktails that require muddling, while its short stature makes it ideal for smaller, higher proof pours.

The old-fashioned glass is most often used for built drinks or drinks that are not shaken, but made in the same glass they are served. It’s also great for pours of individual liquors like whiskey, as the wide brim helps one appreciate the complex aromas. Other names for this type of glass are Whiskey Glass, Rocks Glass and Tumbler.

On the Rocks

A service style where the beverage is served over ice.

Orange Bitters

A type of alcohol-based bitter flavoured with the bitter peel of oranges.

Orgeat

A sweet syrup made from almonds sugar and a flavoured water (typically orange or rose water).

Ounce

measure that equals 28.70 grams.

Ouzo

An Anise flavoured liqueur normally consumed in Greece and Cyprus. Generally drier and more potent than Anisette, Ouzo has a flavour that’s similar to Sambuca.

Parisian Shaker

It is one style of cocktail shaker. While similar to the Cobbler Shaker, the Parisian Shaker features a two-piece construction.

Perfect

To describe a Manhattan that is neither too dry nor too sweet.

Pick-Me-Up

A drink designed to relieve the effects of overindulgence in alcohol.

Pisco

A brandy distilled in the wine producing regions of Chile and Peru. Although both countries lay claim to being the originator of this spirit, each version is significantly different.

Port

A Portuguese fortified wine often served as a dessert wine. Normally sweet, Port is also available in dry, semi dry and white varieties.

Posset

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.

Pour

The act of pouring a drink.

Pour Spout

A rubber or metal attachment that fits on the neck of the bottle that helps with a cleaner pour and regulating the flow of liquid.

Prohibition

A time in American history, from 1920 to 1933, in which the federal government banned the production, transportation and sale of alcohol. Prohibition affected everything from popular bitters to whiskey sales.

Proof

Alcohol proof indicates the amount of alcohol present in a beverage. Proof in the United States is equal to double the Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of the product. For example, our 10% ABV bottled cocktails are 20 proof.

Puff

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

Punch

A multi-serving drink, made with five ingredient variations – sugar, spirits, water, spice and citrus. Punch is typically served in large bowls.

Punch Cups

These delightfully old-fashioned cups are clear, rounded and similar looking to a teacup – perfect for showing off the fruity concoctions that add colour and personality to the best tasting punch.

Quinine

An extract from the cinchona tree. In the 17th century, British colonists in India adopted and consumed this substance as a tonic with sugar and soda water. Today, most tonic water contains synthetic quinine.

Rail Liquor

Rail Liquor (also known as Well Liquor) is the least inexpensive liquor commonly served by a bar. Generally, if a patron orders a drink without specifying a particular brand, they receive Rail Liquor.

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.

Rickey Cocktail

The Rickey Cocktail is a family of traditional cocktails that contain either gin or bourbon with a half lime and soda water. Essentially the Rickey is a Collins without the sugar.

Rim

A mixology term for coating the rim of a cocktail glass in sugar, citrus peel or salt.

Rocks

Any drink that is served with or over ice. Most commonly in a Short or Rocks glass but also in a Long or Highball glass such as when one is enjoying a Mojito.

Rocks Glass

Usually a robust tumbler. Perfect for any drink that needs ingredients to be muddled such as the Mojito.

Rolling

A gentle to-ing and fro-ing motion, hypnotic movement requiring the careful pouring of the drink between two cocktail glasses and is usually used to blend the perfect Bloody Mary or any other drink made with tomato juice.

Rum

Rum is a spirit distilled from molasses, sugar cane juice or syrup and aged in oak barrels. Rum is available in several grades including light, golden and dark.

Rye

A whiskey typically produced in America or Canada, distilled from a mash containing a minimum of 51% rye, with the rest being a mix of wheat, corn and malted barley.

Rye Whiskey

An American whiskey made with at least 51% rye.  Known for imparting a spicy or fruity flavour, Rye is a favourite for use in the Manhattan, the Sazerac and an assortment of other cocktails. Several popular Rye Whiskeys include Rittenhouse Rye, Sazerac Rye and Old Overholt.

Sake

Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. Often referred to as “rice wine,” Sake is not fermented like wine but actually brewed like beer.

Saltshaker

Utensil used to introduce salt to cocktails.

Sambuca

An Italian, Anise-flavoured liqueur. Commonly clear, Sambuca is available in several other varieties that are deep blue (black Sambuca) and red.

Sangaree

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

Sangria

Sangria is a wine-based beverage originating from Spain and Portugal. Commonly made with red or white wine, sugar and fresh fruit, Sangria is a good warm weather option for parties or special events.

Schnapps

Schnapps is a strong, clear liqueur that may be flavoured with a variety of different fruit. Routinely served as a shot, the word Schnapps is derived from the Low German noun “swallow.”

Scotch

A whisky produced in Scotland from malted barley and aged for three years in oak barrels. Most scotch has a distinct smoky flavour from drying the malt with a peat fire. Scotch can get pretty complicated, since there are five primary types –

  • Single Malt
  • Single Grain
  • Blended Malt
  • Blended Grain
  • Blended

Served Long

Often more diluted than a Short drink therefore perfect for summer or when a Martini-based option feels a little too full-on. A Long or Tall drink is served in a Collins or High-ball Glass.

Shake

The vast majority of cocktails are served cold and shaking with ice is the best way to achieve a suitably chilled mixed drink. Most bartenders use the Boston shaker to mix drinks. It consists of a mixing glass and a stainless steel container that overlaps the glass.

Shaken

Shaking is the process of chilling a drink with ice and mixing the ingredients by moving it back and forth swiftly in a shaker. It is a more thorough method of mixing than stirring, however it can leave certain ingredients foamy and cloudy.

Shaker

A device used to mix cocktails by shaking. There are three types of shakers. 1) The Boston Shaker, which is made up of a tin can and tempered glass. 2) A cobbler shaker, a large metal tumbler with a metal lid and built-in strainer. 3) The French shaker, a metal tumbler with a metal lid.

Sherry

Sherry is a fortified wine made from white palomino grapes primarily in the Jerez de la Frontera district of Spain. Aged in casks made from American Oak, Sherry is produced in a number of styles. There are two types of sherry, dry and sweet, the latter being a dessert wine.

Shooter

A straight shot of spirit taken neat.

Short Drink

A drink served in a wider, shorter glass. While a Long Drink may be served in a tall, narrow Collins glass, a Short Drink can be served in a Rocks glass.

Shot Glass

Glass used to serve a very little quantity of cocktail or small amounts of distilled alcohol.

Shrub

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

Simple Syrup

A liquid sweetener created by mixing equal parts of sugar and water. Simple to make, Simple Syrup is often preferred for use in cocktails because it will dissolve completely in cold liquids. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water over medium heat.

Single Malt Whiskey

Single Malt Whiskey is a Scottish barley-based spirit produced by a single distillery in one season. Single Malt Whiskey is bottled straight or used as a blending agent in blended Scotch Whiskey. Popular single malts include Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Glenmorangie…

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.

Sling Cocktail

The Sling Cocktail is a family of classic cocktails with an inexact set of ingredients. Normally made with a base spirit, fruit juice, water (still or carbonated) and sugar, Slings can be served cold or hot (gross). Slings can be created with Gin, Rum or Brandy.

Sloe Gin

Sloe Gin is a red liqueur made with Gin and Sloe drupes (a small fruit, related to the plum).  Sloe Gin is normally used as a component in a variety of mixed drinks.

Smash

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

Smash Cocktail

The Smash Cocktail is a family of cocktails that defy an exact definition. Created as a refresher for hot summer days, they generally include a base spirit, seasonal fruit and ice.

Snifter

A Snifter is a short, stemmed glass often used for serving aged brown spirits like Whiskey and Brandy. Also known as a Brandy Snifter, Cognac Glass or Balloon, the Snifter features a rounded shape with a wide bottom that tapers to a relatively narrow top.

Soda Water

Water into which carbon dioxide has been dissolved. Also known as Club Soda, Soda Water is stored under pressure and bubbles only appear once that pressure is released.

Sour

A sour is a type of mixed drink made from a base liquor, a citrus, such as lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener. Some examples of sours are a margarita, a whiskey sour and a sidecar.

Sour Cocktail

The Sour Cocktail is a family of cocktails that are created with a base liquor, lemon or lime juice and a sweetener. Popular Sours include the Margarita, the Sidecar and the Daiquiri.

Sour Mix

A mix made of approximately equal parts lemon or lime juice and simple syrup.  Often times, you can purchase premade sour mix.

Spirit

Any alcoholic drink of at least 20% which is produced by means of Distillation, including whisky, vodka, gin and rum.

Splash

A Splash is a small amount of an ingredient.

Spoon Bar

Long spoon ideal to mix drinks.

Spritzer

Created as a refresher for a hot day, the Spritzer is a lower alcohol cocktail made with wine and carbonated water.

Standard Shaker

Delightful in appearance due to its deco associations, this is a self-contained piece with built-in strainer. An elegant and efficient tool for the home mixer.

Stick

Tool used to remove long drinks.

Stir

When a mixed drink contains a distilled spirit, it`s is often preferable to stir instead of shake. When you stir a drink the trick is to gently combine the ingredients and dissolve enough ice to water down the potent mix. Stirring takes longer than shaking to chill a drink so patience is required.

Stirred

A term used when the ingredients need to be gently mixed, often with a bar spoon. Stirring works best with clear spirits.

Straight Up

This term generally refers to a drink that is shaken or stirred with ice and then strained and served with ice. Occasionally it is confused with the term “neat.”

Strain

If a cocktail contains ice or muddled fruit it will often need to be strained. There are two main types of strainers, firstly a Hawthorne strainer, which is the most common and will remove large particles such as ice and the tea strainer, which will remove finer particles, particularly from muddled fruit.

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet Vermouth is a fortified red wine flavoured with and assortment of botanicals (roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, spices).  Barrel-aged and closely associated with Italy, Sweet Vermouth finds its way into a wide range of cocktails including the Manhattan, the Negroni and the Rob Roy. Common brands include – Carpano, Cinzano & Dolin.

Swizzle

A tall, traditionally rum-based cocktail filled with cracked ice. A stirring rod or swizzle stick is quickly rotated between the palms of the hands to form frost on the glass.

Syllabub

A beverage made from a mixture of sweetened milk/cream, wine and spices.

Tall

A drink order that refers to a cocktail served in a tall glass, such as a Collins glass, over ice, with a non-alcoholic mixer.

Teaspoon

Measure that corresponds to a classic coffee spoon.

Tequila

A Mexican distilled spirit made from the Blue Agave plant. There are three main types of tequila which are determined by age –

  • Silver Tequila is bottled without being aged (< 2 Months)
  • Reposado is bottled after aging in wood barrels (2 – 12 Months)
  • Añejo is bottled after aging in wooden barrels for at least one year (=> 12 Months).

Tequila is commonly enjoyed by itself as a shot as wells as in cocktails including the Margarita and Tequila Sunrise.

Tinctures

Similar to bitters in that they deliver added flavour to cocktails. But unlike bitters that have a mixture of flavours that play off each other, tinctures focus on one flavour that can pack a punch.

Toddy

A hot drink composed of a base spirit, usually rum or whiskey, plus sugar, water and sometimes spices.

Tonic Water

A bitter carbonated drink made with quinine and sugar. It is often used as a mixer with gin and vodka.

Tot

A small amount of liquor.

Traditional Cocktail

One that appeared before the 1887 publication of Jerry Thomas’ Bar-Tenders Guide. One example is the Old Fashioned cocktail.

Triple Sec

Triple Sec is an orange flavoured liqueur made from the dried peels of bitter and sweet oranges. Commonly used as a mixer, Triple Sec is often included in cocktail recipes like the Margarita, Cosmopolitan and Long Island Iced Tea.

Twist

Peel of citric used to add flavour to the drink, squeezing it gently and sometimes served inside the cocktail as a decoration in order to enhance the flavour.

Up

Another way to order a cocktail “straight up”. Up is a drink that has been shaken or stirred with ice, but then strained to remove the ice before serving.

Vermouth

A fortified wine flavoured with aromatic herbs. There are two styles of Vermouth, sweet or dry, and it is often used in famous cocktails like the martini.

Virgin

A term referring to a cocktail prepared without alcohol.

Vodka

Vodka is a colourless, odourless spirit distilled from grain or potatoes. Served up or as an ingredient in cocktails and mixed drinks, Vodka must meet a specific set of standards depending on geography. Popular drinks that use Vodka include the Screwdriver, Greyhound and Bloody Mary.

Wedge

A wedge is a tapered slice of fruit (normally lemon or lime) used to garnish a drink.

Well Drink

A spirit and mixer, of which neither are defined brands (Gin and Tonic, Rum and Coke)

Wet

Refers to a martini style made with more vermouth. Rather than the standard 4 -1 gin to vermouth ratio, a wet martini utilizes a 3 -1 ratio or a 1 -1 ratio for an extra wet martini.

Wheel

A wheel is a common type of garnish made by cutting a fruit across so it creates a circular shape, about ¼ inch thick. A small slit is made in the wheel and placed on the rim of a drink.

Whisky

Whiskey / Whisky is a spirit distilled from a fermented mixture that can include corn, rye, un-malted barley, malted barley or wheat and typically aged in oak barrels. Whiskey is a strictly regulated spirit worldwide with many classes and types that differ primarily based on base product, alcoholic content, quality and geography. The USA and Ireland spell whiskey with an “ey”, whereas in Scotland and Canada, the extra “e” is omitted. 

Zest

Zest is the flavourful and aromatic outer portion of un-waxed citrus fruits. A twist (e.g. lemon) is essentially a piece of zest.

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