Bartending Guide: Bartending Vocabulary


The bartending profession has its own language. Bartender jargon isn’t complex and you can learn these terms quickly.
ABV – Alcohol by volume ( i.e. % alc/vol), called proof in the US.
APÉRITIF – A drink consumed before a meal to stimulate appetite.
A PINCH – It is a measurement term, meaning a small amount used for solid and dry ingredients.
AROMA – the smell of spirit, liqueur, wine or beer.
BACK/ ON THE SIDE – An amount of liquid or ice that is served in a separate glass from a drink. BACK also refers as a chaser.
BAR BRAND – The brand of spirit used by the bar unless a specific brand is ordered.
CALL BRAND – When a customer specifies a certain alcohol brand.
CARAFE – A container from which wine or other beverage is served.
CHASER – A drink served to follow or accompany another.
CHILL – Pre-cool a glass.
COOLER – A drink topped with a carbonated liquid.
DAISY – A large sour drink sweetened with a fruit syrup.
DASH/SPLASH – A small amount of a liquid added to a drink. Usually no more than four drops.
DIGESTIF – A drink consumed after a meal.
DOUBLE – A drink served with twice as much alcohol as a single serving.
DRY – The term applies to the classic martini that requires no vermouth or only 1-2 drops.
EASY – A drink served with less of a specified ingredient than is normal.
FIZZ – A beverage that is made with a carbonated liquid.
FLAMED – A drink/shot of high alcohol that is lit on fire while served.
FLOAT – It is a small amount of liquor poured on top of a drink.
FRAPPÉ – Any liquid served over crushed ice.
HIGHBALL – A drink containing one spirit with one or two mixers, and served in a highball glass ( i.e. screwdriver).
HOT – A drink served with extra spice.
NEAT – A drink served without ice. NEAT also implies unmixed liquor at room temperature.
NIGHT CAP – A drink taken before going to sleep.
OFF WARM – A drink served at room temperature.
ON THE ROCKS/OVER – A drink served on ice.
ONE PART – It is any measurement that you want it to be.
PAR STOCK – The amount of product needed at the bar for a shift.
PICK-ME-UP – Any concoction designed to ease the effects of overindulgence in alcoholic beverage.
PRE-HEAT – To warm a glass or mug with hot water.
RIM – To coat the lip of a glass with sugar, salt or other ingredients.
SHOOTER – A drink designed to be consumed in one swallow.
SHOT – One measure of a liquid, usually one ounce.
SIDE CAR – It is a small glass container that accompanies a drink and holds mix or water.
SQUEEZE – A wedge of fruit for guest to squeeze into a drink.
STRAIGHT UP – Without mix or ice.
SOUR MIX – A pre-sweetened lemon and lime bar mix, and often called sweet & sour mix.
VIRGIN/MOCKTAIL – a non-alcoholic drink.
WET – A martini with more than the usual amount of vermouth.
86 – It means that an item is out of stock. 86 sometimes implies to kicking someone out of a bar.