20 Must Know Mixology Terms

bartenderI thought I would post 20 must know mixology/bartender terms.

Brandy - by definition is any spirit made from distilled grape wine.   Brandy is made all over the world, the most famous coming from the Cognac Region of France.  Brandies are also made from other fruits such as apples or cherries. 75% of Brandy sold in the US comes from California, while 75% is consumed in Wisconsin.

Build - To pour ingredients directly into the serving glass on top of the previous ingredient. When Building you usually want to add the ingredients in the order they are given in the recipe.

Call Drink - A liquor and mixer, of which the liquor is a defined brand. (ie. Tanqueray and Tonic, Bacardi and Coke)

Chaser - a mild drink, such as beer, taken after a hard liquor

Cocktail - Any of various alcoholic beverages consisting usually of brandy, whiskey, vodka, or gin combined with fruit juices or other liquors and often served chilled.

Collins - A drink akin to a sour which is served in a tall glass with soda water or seltzer water.

Grenadine - a thick, red syrup used in cocktails, traditionally made from pomegranate juice

Gin - A spirit made from grain and flavored with a mixture of botanicals and juniper berries. It is the berries that give gin its distinctive aroma. Although first made in Holland, Gin was popularized by the English.

Highball - Any spirit served with ice and soda water in a medium to tall glass (often a highball glass).

Lowball - A short drink made of spirits served with ice, water or soda in a small glass.

Muddle - To muddle is to combine ingredients, usually in the bottom of a mixing glass, by pressing them with a muddler before adding the majority of the liquid ingredients.

Muddler - Small wooden pestle shaped like a baseball bat. One end is large and rounded and it used to mash the ingredients. While the other end is skinnier and flat and is used to mix ingredients.

Neat - The consumption of a spirit as a straight, unaccompanied shot.

On the Rocks - Serving a drink over ice. Often the term is used when referring to a straight shot of liquor poured in a short glass filled with ice, i.e. "I'll have a Scotch on the rocks."

Rum - Once so important that the British Navy gave every sailor a half-pint a day ration, Rum is made of fermented sugar cane or molasses (also from sugar cane).

Shooter - A straight shot of whiskey or other kind of spirit taken neat.

Tequila - made from the fermented juice of the agave plant, is the national drink of Mexico. It is double distilled and then aged in wood casks.  Just like a fine cognac tequila gets better with aging.

Toddy - A sweetened drink of liquor and hot water, often with spices and served in a tall glass.

Vodka - a clear spirit that is generally made from grain, but can be distilled from other starches such as potatoes, corn and beets. Vodkas are commonly flavored with essences of citrus or other fruits, or spices such as pepper.

Whiskey (Whisky) - Made principally in five countries:
Scotland, Ireland, Canada, The USA, and Japan. These varieties can be extremely varied as they are similar.  A Kentucky Bourbon and a Single Malt Scotch are both whiskey, but very, very different.


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