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Lesson 2: Terms

Bartending 101 Lesson 2 (Basic Terms)

TermDefinition
Age Often used as a measure of quality.
Alcohol Common to all liquor. Spirits distilled from grain, grape, fruit and cane are most common
Ale Typically stronger and more bitter than beer. Brewed from malt & hops. Color varies from light to dark amber.
Aperitif A French term referring to a light alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate your appetite & enjoyment of food and wine that follow.
Aromatized Wine Includes French & Italian types of vermouth & the quinined or other aperitif wines of various countries.
Beer Beverage brewed from malted barley & other grains cultured with yeast and flavored with hops. Different varieties include: ale, porter, malt liquor, bock, pilsner and lager.
Bitters A very concentrated flavoring agent made from spices, roots, barks, herbs and berries. Usually used to provide a smoothness to some whiskey.
Black & Tan A mixture of equal parts of light & dark beer or ale.
Blended Whiskey Straight whiskey combined with neutral grain spirits.
Bock German beer that is full-bodied, slightly sweet and usually dark. Heavier, darker, richer and sweeter than lager or ale.
Bottled-in-Bond Whiskey Straight whiskey, usually bourbon or rye, produced under government control and supervision. Must be at least 4 years old, bottled at 100 proof and produced in one distilling by the same distiller.
Bouquet A wine’s fragrance or aroma.
Bourbon American whiskey made using at least 51% corn grain mash combined with wheat, oats, rye and barley.
Box To pour into and out of a shaker, usually only once to give a drink a quick mix without shaking.
Brandy A liquor meaning “burnt wine”, distilled from wine and other fermented fruit juice and aged in oak casks and bottled.
Build Build the drink in a glass starting with the ice and add the ingredients.
Canadian Whiskey A blended whiskey, distilled from rye, corn and barley. Only produced under Canadian government control. If sold in the United States, it is at least 4 years old.
Call Drink A drink made of liquor of defined brand and a mixer.
Chaser A drink of a milder beverage taken after a drink of liquor.
Cobbler A tall drink of any liquor served in a collins glass with shaved or crushed ice and garnished with fruit and mint sprigs.
Cocktail A beverage that combines an alcohol with a mixer and usually served chilled.
Cognac Brandy made only from grapes in the Cognac region of France.
Collins Any basic liquor combined with lemon or lime juice and served on the rocks in a tall, frosted highball glass. Served with sugar and water, along with a lemon slice or cherry garnish.
Cooler A tall drink made with different types of liquor, flavoring, cracked ice, carbonated beverages & citrus fruit rinds.
Cordial A liqueur made by mixing neutral spirits. Fruits, flowers, herbs, seeds, roots, plants or juices, along with sweetener are added.
Corn Whiskey Whiskey made from a mash of at least 80% corn.
Creme A creamy cordial with a very high sugar content. Come in various flavors including cacao & vanilla bean, black currant, mint and violet.
Crusta A sour drink served in a glass that’s completely lined with an orange or lemon peel cut in a continuous strip.
Cup A punch made up in quantities of cups or glasses.
Daisy An over-sized sour drink, normally made with rum or gin served over crushed ice and sweetened with fruit syrup.
Dessert Wines Fortified wines to which alcohol has been added during fermentation.
Distillation The process of separating the components in a liquid by heating it to the point of vaporization, then cooling it so it condenses in a purified form, increasing the alcohol content.
Draft Beer Served from a tap. Make sure to chill the mug! No one wants a hot beer!
Dry A term used to describe the lack of sweetness in wine, liquor or a cocktail.
Egg Nog A traditional holiday drink containing eggs beaten with cream or milk, sugar and brandy, rum or bourbon.
Falernum A syrup from the Caribbean made of mixed fruits, sugar cane & spices. Used as a sweetener in mixed drinks.
Fix A sour drink similar to the daisy, but made with a large amount of crushed ice in a large goblet.
Fizz An effervescent drink made from liquor (typically gin), citrus juices & sugar and shaken with ice and strained into a small highball glass. Soda water, any carbonated beverage or champagne can be used for the “fizz.”
Fortified Wine Includes sherry, port, Madeira & Marsala, etc.
Frappe An often fruity drink that combines several liqueurs and poured over shaved or crushed ice, or partially frozen.
Gin A spirit distilled from grain. Usually colorless, but some have a golden or straw color because of aging in barrels. Juniper and other botanicals give it its flavor.
Grain Neutral Spirits Alcohol distilled from grain at 190 proof. Used for making gin & vodka. It is colorless and nearly tasteless.
Grenadine A nonalcoholic syrup flavoring for drinks, made from pomegranate or red currants.
Grog A rum-based beverage which also includes water, fruit juice & sugar, commonly served in a large mug.
Hard Cider Juice of apples that is expressed and fermented.
Highballs Any liquor served in a medium to tall glass with ice, soda, water, ginger ale or other carbonated beverages.
Irish Whiskey A blend that contains barley-malt whiskeys and grain whiskeys, dried in coal-fired kilns. Heavier than Scotch, and only produced in Ireland.
Jigger A small drinking glass-shaped container used to measure liquor. Also called a shot.
Juleps Made with Kentucky bourbon, sugar and fresh mint leaves and served with shaved ice in a frosty glass with a mint or fruit garnish.
Lace To pour onto the top of a drink, normally the last ingredient added.
Lager A light, bubbly and golden brew of beer that’s stored in a cask or vat until free of sediment and crystal clear.
Lowball A short drink made of spirits served with ice, water or soda in a small glass.
Madeira A fortified aperitif.
Malt Liquor A beer that has a higher alcohol content than regular beer.
Maraschino Cherries Specially treated cherries, pitted and then macerated in flavored sugar. Very popular as a garnish.
Marasala Fortified dessert wine.
Mash Grain or malt that’s ground or crushed before being steeped. Used in brewing beer and in the fermentation of whiskey.
Mead Beverage made by fermenting honey, water and yeast with flavorings such as herbs, spices or flowers.
Mist A liquor (usually an after-dinner liqueur) served over a glass of crushed ice.
Muddle To mash or crush ingredients with a spoon or muddler ( a rod with a flattened end).
Neat A term referring to a drink served without ice, water or mixers. The opposite of “on the rocks.”
Negus A heated, punch-like combination of wine, spices & sweeteners.
Nightcap An alcoholic drink taken before bedtime.
Nip A very small bottle.
On the Rocks Serve the drink over ice.
Orgeat A nonalcoholic flavoring syrup prepared with almonds.
Pick-Me-Up A drink designed to relieve the effects of a hangover.
Port Full-bodied wine fortified with brandy and fermented.
Porter A heavy, dark-brown, strongly flavored beer. The dark color and strong flavor come from roasted malt. Typically higher in alcohol content than other beers.
Posset An old British drink from which eggnog was derived, consisting of heated ale or wine curdled with milk, eggs & spices.
Pousse-Cafe A drink made from several liqueurs and cordials, each having a different weight & color so that when one is poured on top of another they layer and “float.”
Proof The measure of the strength of alcohol. One proof equals one half (1/2) of 1% total alcohol.
Puff A traditional afternoon drink made of equal parts spirit and milk, topped with club soda and served on the rocks.
Punch A mixture of citrus juice with 2 or more liquors or wines, served chilled in a large punch bowl.
Quinine Old term for tonic water. Quinine was used for medicinal purposes in the 1800’s, hence the term Doctor’s tonic. So next time you order a vodka tonic, you can tell your doctor it was in the best interest of your health!
Rickey A drink made with whiskey, gin, rum or brandy combined with lime or lemon juice, cracked ice, soda or any carbonated beverage. Sometimes sweetened and garnished with a lemon or lime rind.
Rum A spirit made by distilling the fermented juice of sugar cane, cane syrup and molasses. It is bottled and sold at 80 proof. Caramel is added to create dark rums.
Rye Whiskey Distilled from a grain mash of 80% corn & usually aged in reused, charred oak barrels.
Sangaree A tall, sweet, old-fashioned sans bitters made with whiskey, gin, run or brandy, with port wine floated on top, or with wine, ale, porter or stout & garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Schnapps A generic term used in Europe to describe distilled liquors.
Shandy A beer cocktail originating in Great Britain, combining beer & ginger ale.
Sherry A wine fortified with brandy, added after fermentation.
Shooter A straight shot of whiskey or other spirit taken neat and swallowed in one drink.
Shot A small amount of alcohol, typically 1 oz.
Shrub A combination of spirits, fruit juices and sugar aged in a sealed container such as in a cask or crock & then bottled.
Simple Syrup Granulated sugar and hot water combined by heating. Used a sweetener for drinks.
Sling A beverage made like a Sangaree, with the addition of lemon juice and twist of lemon peel, served in an old fashioned glass.
Smash A short julep made of liquor, sugar and mint, served in a small glass.
Snifter A short-stemmed, pear-shaped glass used for serving aromatic spirits such as brandy.
Sour A short drink made by combining liquor with lemon or lime juice and a little sugar or sour mix.
Soda Water Also known as carbonated water.
Spirits Alcoholic liquids distilled from fermented grapes, fruits, grains, potatoes or sugar cane.
Splash A quick press of the soda gun provides a splash of the required beverage.
Stout A strong, dark beer made with dark roasted barley, which gives it a deep, dark color.
Straight Up Another term used to describe cocktails served without ice.
Supercall Also known as top-shelf or super-premium. Often higher proof alcohols, or super aged or flavored versions.
Straight Whiskey Whiskey that is distilled from grain but not blended with neutral grain spirits or any other whiskey, aged in a charred oak barrel for at least 2 years.
Sour Mash Whiskey A broad category of whiskey in which a portion of old mash is mixed with new to help advance the character and smoothness of the flavor.
Swizzle A tall, traditional rum-based cocktail filled with cracked ice.
Syllabub A beverage made from a mixture of sweetened milk or cream, wine & spices.
Tall Double the mix in a tall glass but no extra alcohol.
Tequila Mexican spirit distilled from the fermented juice of the blue agave plant.
Toddy A drink, served hot or cold, in which a lump or teaspoon of sugar is dissolved in a little hot water, combined with liquor, and stirred. Served with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon or lemon peel in a tall glass.
Tot A small amount of liquor.
Triple Sec A cordial similar to Curacao, but colorless and not as sweet.
Up Drink A drink served in a stemmed glass.
Variety A term used to classify a type of grape used in the production of wine. A varietal wine uses only one grape variety.
Vermouth Herb-flavored wine fortified with brandy and used in Martinis.
Virgin A drink with no alcohol. A nice alternative for your DD!
Vodka A refined & filtered liquor originally made in Russia from potatoes. Often distilled from corn & wheat in the U.S.
Water Back or Back A small glass of water served at a 45 degree angle behind the customer’s drink.
Well Drink A non-brand name bar drink. Often placed in the speed rail of a bar for easy access.
Whiskey Spirit distilled from a fermented mash of grains such as corn, rye, barley or wheat, aged in oak barrels. After distillation, it is a water-colored liquid and gradually changes to an amber color during the aging period.
Wine A drink made from the fermented juice of grapes. If another fruit is used, it will appear on the label of the bottle.
Created by: Kristina Diamond Kristina Diamond on 2013-08-27



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