Bartending 101: Common Bar Terms

With all the excitement of my first brewed beer slowly subsiding, its time I hit the blog with some notes about Bartending. I want to start by defining some common terms used at the bar. Some of these are still pretty popular, while others are slowly fading in this new commercial generation. Use these and show-off the next time you’re at a bar, and you might end up with a new drink that you like.

On the Rocks: A drink served over cubed ice

Neat: Drink served at room temperature without ice

Straight Up: The ingredients of the drink are chilled before they are poured into the serving glass. No ice!

Virgin (or Unleaded): A drink without any alcohol in it

Back (or Chaser): A mix served in a seperate glass
Example: “Dewar’s on the rocks with a soda back” means Dewar’s served in a glass over ice, and a seperate glass of soda. “Neat whiskey with a beer chaser” means whiskey served as is and also a glass of beer.

Bruised: A “straight up” Martini that is shaken, instead of stirred

Ditch: A drink with a water mix
Example: “Give me a Johnny Ditch” means the person wants a Johnny Walker Black Label with water.

Double: A drink with double the amount of liquor
Example: “Double Rum n Coke” means double the amount of Rum but the same amount of Coke that would have been used for a “single”.

Mexican Style: A drink with Tequilla poured on top
Example: “A Slow Screw Mexican Style” means the drink prepared as usual, but topped off with (extra) Tequilla.

Electric: A drink with Tequilla mixed in
Example: “An Electric Slow Screw” means the drink prepared as usual, but contains (extra) Tequilla.

Screaming: A drink with Vodka poured on top
Example: “A Screaming L.I.T.” means a Long Island Iced Tea finished with some additional Vodka on the top .

Frappé (or Mist)A drink poured over crushed ice

ToplessA Margarita without the salted rim on the glass

(With a) Squeezelime “squeezed” on top of the drink and dropped into it

(With a) Twistlemon “twisted” on top of the drink and dropped into it

Frangelico, Kahlua & Galliano

WetMore of the mix
Example: “A Wet Scotch and Soda” means more of the Soda and less of the Scotch than usual.

Stone: Any drink that has the word “stone” in it, contains Oranje Juice

Dirty / Brave / Black: Any drink whose name has any of these three words in it, contain Kahlua
Example: Black Russian, Dirty Mother and Brave Bull – all three drinks contain Kahlua.
Exception: Dirty Martini, off course!

Multiple: A drink with Frangelico poured on top
Example: “A Multiple Black Russian” means the drink prepared as usual, but topped off with Frangelico Liqueur.

Against the Wall: A drink with Galliano poured on top
Example: “A Vodka and Soda Against the Wall” means the drink prepare as usual, but topped off with Galliano Liqueur.



  1. Wow Spanky! I have to print this out when I go to the bar next time ;).

    • Orr, you could just take me with you! 🙂
      You keep checking back here or what? ‘Coz I don’t see you subscribed to the blog.

  2. I did not know this web site existed! Nice!

  3. Hadn’t heard of a few of these. I will have to remember “Mexican Style” 🙂 Thanks for the list.

  4. nice terminology…haven’t pass through these terms..i m gonna printing this out..

  5. Is there a term for asking for a drink in a man’s glass?

  6. Why do people make up these stupid new terminologies when they can just say “add francesco please” or “add galliano please”? Got to make something simple so complicated…

  7. well, you have perfectly described terms but you can check out other terms to add this list.

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