Online Bartending Lesson 2: Mixed Drink Terminology

Mixed drink terminology is a way of describing a type of drink and also tells the bartender how to make the drink. Learning these terms is a basic requirement for bartenders.


A shaken drink means you are mixing the drink directly into a shaker. Close the shaker with either the other half of the tin or another glass and shake until the drink is cold (usually 5 times is a good estimate). Then pour the shaken drink into its serving glasses. This method is used to prepare a single drink up to several shots.


Chilled drinks require an ice cold glass before adding your concoction. Glasses are chilled in one of two ways. They are either kept stored in the freezer until served. Or do the following bartender’s trick to instantly chill any glass yourself. First, fill the glass with ice. Second, add water to the glass until it is almost full. Leave it on the bar while you perform the next step. Third, prepare your drink in a strainer or blender if required. If not, wait until the glass feels chilled on the outside usually displaying frost on the surface. Finally, pour out the ice and water and add your prepared drink or make the drink as normal in the newly chilled glass.


A build is the most basic drink you’ll be making. Its called a build simply because you add ice to your glass, pour in your mixer or two, then add your alcohol. You’ve just “built” a drink.


A float contains an ingredient which is added at the end of a drink and does exactly what its name suggests, floating the final ingredient on top of the previously added liquids. The floating ingredient usually adds a level of character to the drink and a hint of an additional flavor. How does it differ from a Layered drink? Floats contain less of the final ingredient, usually around half an ounce.


The technique of layering drinks requires pouring different liquors or beers on top of one another without mixing them. This is possible because different alcohols have different consistencies. The most common way of layering is using a bar spoon to soften the pour of the top layer onto the previous layer in the glass.


Straining a drink requires preparing it in a shaker, then covering half of the shaker with the strainer tool before pouring the drink over ice.


Neat drinks are simply a drink poured at room temperature.


Most bars nowadays will not allow flaming drinks. For the more outgoing bars that prefer to put on a bit of a show, take caution when flaming any drink always stifling the flame before serving to the customer. The preferred method of putting out the flame is to quickly cover the entire rim of the glass with a coaster. Your bar will walk you through their methods when you are hired.


To roll a cocktail, add its ingredients to a shaker. Then close the shaker, roll it back and forth once, pour the drink into a glass and serve.


Muttled drinks require a special crushing tool such as a mortar. Muttling simply refers to crushing specific ingredients in glass before you add liquid to the mixture.


The most common way of making a stirred drink is simply to pour all of the ingredients then use the stir to mix the ingredients.


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