Bar Lingo Every Cocktail Enthusiast Must Know
Want to know all the secrets of bar lingo? Don’t worry we got you covered! Whether you are exploring cocktail bars and want to familiarise yourself with all the jargon or an aspiring home bartender to get your basics right, here’s the complete guide specially curated for you!
Bar Lingo To Speak Like A Bartender
Mixology is the art of mixing multiple ingredients, creating a delicious drink and presenting it beautifully. It’s not just an art, mixology involves science too. A bartender needs to understand how various flavours come together, how ingredients complement each other and the kind of liquor to be used for each drink. Craftsmanship, science, art, everything come together to create drinks that tickle the taste buds and leave a lasting impression! So, here’s a brief guide to understanding the secret language of bartenders and all the bar lingo that you need to know.
1. Cocktail Ingredients
Bartenders have an arsenal of cocktail ingredients at their disposal. To create a classic cocktail or a unique signature drink, multiple ingredients will be used. Each ingredient plays a vital role in creating a delicious symphony of flavours. So before you begin to understand the bar lingo, try to know more about various cocktail ingredients. This includes different types of alcoholic spirits like whisky, gin, vodka, tequila, and bourbon as well as mixers like tonic water, club soda etc. There is also a range of liqueurs that are used in cocktail recipes to give a drink a delicious twist.
2. Bar Tools
To make a cocktail, bartenders use an assortment of bar tools. Here’s a brief list of barware that’s widely used:
(i) Cocktail shaker: to combine ingredients
(ii) Cocktail jigger: to precisely measure the ingredients
(iii) Bar spoon: for stirring ingredients together or sometimes can be used to place ingredients into the glass
(iv) Mixing glass: to combine cocktail ingredients. This is used in cocktail recipes which doesn’t call for a shaker
(v) Muddler: Just like a pestle, it’s used to crush the ingredients
(iv) Cocktail strainer: a fine sieve used to strain the mixture into a cocktail serving glass to get rid of impurities and unwanted pieces of ingredients
3. Bar Techniques
Bartenders master various techniques to craft cocktails. Whether you are a home bartender or someone simply interested in understanding the bar lingo, here are a few techniques that are commonly used.
(i) Shaking: This technique involves vigorously shaking the ingredients to combine. This will help in mixing the ingredients thoroughly and it also helps in creating a frothy texture.
(ii) Stirring: This technique involves gently stirring the ingredients to combine.
(iii) Straining: Once the ingredients are mixed, they will be strained into the cocktail serving glass using a strainer. Straining will get rid of any ice pieces, impurities, fruit pulp etc.
(iv) Muddling: This method is gently crushing the ingredients together to release their essence and aroma.
(v) Layering: Pouring different liquids with varying densities and colours one after the other. This is done very carefully to create stunning drinks.
(vi) Flaming or Smoking: Cocktail ingredients are briefly stroked with fire using a blow torch or a match. In some recipes, alcoholic spirits are also set on fire for a brief moment to enhance the aroma of the drink.
(vii) Rimming: This technique refers to coating the rim of the cocktail glass with sugar, spice or salt.
(viii) Garnishing: A final touch to enhance the presentation and flavour of the cocktail. Common cocktail garnishes are cherries, citrus peels, lime wedges, cucumber slices, etc.
4. Cocktail Glassware
To present the cocktail right away, you need matching cocktail glasses. Each cocktail has its relevant glassware which not only enhances the visual appeal but also the drinking experience. You will have to familiarise yourself with the different types of cocktail glasses that are available. Some of the notable ones are highball glass, coupe glass, rocks or old-fashioned glass, martini glass, shot glass, margarita glass, hurricane glass, Collins glass, etc.
5. Bar Lingo For Drinks
Bartenders often use a variety of terms and jargon while working behind the bar. Whether you simply want to understand the bar lingo for drinks or you are an aspiring home bartender to get all your knowledge in place, here’s the list of terminology that you need to know. If you frequent cocktail bars, this bar lingo can come in handy to strike up conversations with bartenders.
(i) Neat: A drink that is served without any ice or mixers.
(ii) On the Rocks: A drink that is served over with ice.
(iii) Up: This refers to cocktails that are shaken or stirred with ice and then strained into the serving glass without ice.
(iv) Dry: Typically used in Martinis, this term refers to the lower amount of vermouth in a cocktail.
(v) Dirty: Another term used around Martinis, this refers to a Martini cocktail that uses olives.
(vi) Free pour: Pouring cocktail ingredients without using any measuring tools like a jigger or a shot glass.
Bar lingo isn’t just about a type of drink or a technique or an ingredient used, it’s a vast knowledge of mixology. However, with the above-mentioned information, you will be able to get started as a home bartender or easily strike up a conversation at a cocktail bar with ease.