Bar, Tools, Liquor, Mixing, Distillation, Production
Current Entry Listing – 201
Light flavor enhancers to finish off a cocktail with the right touch. Accents come in
the form of Liquids, Confections/Powder/Sugar/Spices, Creams, Nuts, Fruits and
Vegetables. Some are listed in the Garnish Extravaganza and Nuts, Spices, Accents, and
Alembic Pot Stills
Made of copper, these stills are used in the distillation of Cognac. Impervious to most
acids and good conductors of heat. Alembic stills process the distillate one lot at a time,
while big commercial distilleries use Column stills and process continuously. The name
is Arabic, for the shape of its head gear.
Alcohol By Volume (A.B.V.)
Also known as the Gay-Lussac scale, it is a percentage of alcohol in a given volume
of an alcoholic beverage. “ABV” is usually specified on beverage labels in addition to
Proof. Example: A liquor bottle that says 80 Proof, is 40% alcohol by volume (ABV),
a 60 Proof liquor is 30% ABV, and so on.
Certain liquid substances that excite the libido and sexual activity.
The word Anaphrodisiac does the opposite, it inhibits this activity.
Slightly fortified by the addition/blending of small amounts of spirits, and flavored with
a specifically chosen variety of botanical ingredients (extracts of herbs, roots, and
spices). Vermouth, Amer Picon, Byrrh, Dubonnet, Suze, and Punt E Mes are all examples
of an aromatized wine.
A device that reduces liquid, by way of separating liquid into small particles, producing a
fine spray or liquid mist. In Bartending, this small glass bottle with spray top is used with
vermouths for the Martini, Manhattan, Rob Roy, and Gibson, as well as herbal liqueurs
and other exotic flavors. To locate and purchase these 2 or 4 ounce cobalt blue, green,
brown, and clear bottles, go to www.bottlesetc.com
As in Soda Back or Water Back, when a customer requests this in a short glass to
accompany and set next to their current cocktail, for purposes of re-balancing the palate,
and dashing away an initial thirst for water in the avoidance of gulping their cocktail.
The interior of the bar, inside and separate from the bar’s actual serving top, housing the
cooler stock, back bar & counter top, and low and high shelving for the Call, Premium,
and Super Premium/Top Shelf bottles of liquor. Also used depending on overall bar
design, for glassware stock.
This is a term used for an illegal fill of a liquor bottle in the backbar or anywhere on-
premise. It is against the law to pour from one liquor bottle into another liquor bottle,
regardless if the liquor bottle was partially full or empty. In regard to Prep Mixes, always
use clean, new generic bottles or containers – plastic or glass, and/or the Stor n’ Pour
plastic juice containers.
Backsplash / Splash-out
When a bartender fills a glass over the top of the rim with cocktail ice, then attempts to
pour in the first shot of liquor, finding out that half of the shot bounces off the top of the
ice and out onto the bar or into the spill mat. This happens more if the bartender is using
a liquor gun, which is more a spraying out than it is a pouring out.
Solution: Don’t overfill the glass with ice.
Add more ice after the pour if necessary.
It only results in a waste for both the customer and the owner of the establishment, not to
mention the potential loss of a customer if the bartender’s ego keeps him or her unaware
of the obvious reflection of being a rookie, and failing to make the correction on their
own. Pay attention to everything you’re doing behind the bar. It’s too easy
to be sloppy. Add more precision to the job of pouring.
One of the crucial positions on the bar staff, especially in a busy night club. It is a benefit
for management to always have this position filled with good, fast, high energy individuals
who don’t mind breakin’ a sweat! What a busboy is to a food server, a barback is to a
bartender. In busy venues, the barback restocks and refills just about everything. They’
re the Ice runner, keg changer, they wash all the glasses, replenish
all the garnishes, and wipe the bartop down during the night when possible. This allows
the bartender to do nothing except Smile-Pour-Serve-and Ring as fast and efficiently
as possible, and extend communications with the customer when you can. The highest
appreciation comes when the barback is promoted to the bartending position. 15 – 25 %
is the variance of tip-out to the barback.
An older side term used in place of or association with the word Bartender.
The individual who keeps the bar in perfect working and operational order
at all times during their shift, and all hours of the bar from open to close.
The term is still used and heard occasionally today.
A long-stemmed stainless steel spoon, with a shallow bowl holding between
one-half and one teaspoon of liquid, with a twisted shaft used to stir together ingredients
in cocktails and mixed drinks. The back of the bar spoon is also used
to break the fall when layering liqueurs for the Pousse Café drink preparations, resulting
in the look of distinct bands.
The medical diagnosis for this term is called Paronychia. It is an infection in the nail
fold. For bartenders, it’s a citrus infection, where the citric acid from the regular cutting
and/or squeezing of limes and lemons combined with the bacteria in dirty dish water
(removing protective skin oils), starts killing the skin and cuticles, leaving the skin dry and
more liable to split.
The front serving counter for all of the bartender’s customers. Should be wiped clean
of any soil and debris at all break-point times during the shift.
The primary, main, or base liquor/spirit of any given cocktail. The white spirits of Vodka,
Gin, and Rum are considered Neutral Spirits that mix with almost anything. Tequila,
Whiskey, Scotch, and Brandy are also legitimate bases, as well as Pisco and Cachaca
are from South America.
A CO2 driven system of thick lines that usually run from the cooler to either the front
or back bar, wherever the tapping is best situated. Beer containers known as Kegs are
used for the tap lines – holding up to 2000 ounces for domestic beer, and a little less for
some import beers. Kegs are very heavy, so never lift alone. When tapping in a fresh keg
for one that just popped, be careful as to not shake it around too much when shifting it
close to the line to avoid “foam for days”. See the page Scenes from the Barley Farm.
Short for Banquet Event Order sheets. Mainly used in Hotels, Country Clubs, and
establishments with space availability for banquets, private parties, and special events.
When an event is booked, this sheet goes out to all required department heads for
staffing and serving, all food preparations, and full or partial bar service. This sheet is
usually on legal size 9 x 14 paper. There may be revisions to the original prospectus
for any given event. Special circumstances, last minute changes, and party size often
This is a hand-held device that comes with a fitted holster, connected to the inner
edge of the bar rail, on either the left or right side of the ice well. A CO2 driven system
dispensing tonic water, club soda, filtered still water, lemon-lime soda, cola soda, diet
cola and other flavors depending on the number of lines and buttons the particular gun
contains. It’s even possible to put other non-carbonated beverage mixers like cranberry
juice, sweet & sour, lemonade, and margarita mix through the lines and into the gun as
well. This time-efficient tool is normally in every bar, including portables used in hotels
and other large activity centers. Also known as Speed Gun, Cobra, or Snake.
Derived from quinine and medicinally related from the roots and herbs, these spirits can
be just the right tonic for a Pick-Me-Up, and to “Lift” the spirits! Usually served alone or
with soda, examples are Campari, Fernet Branca, and Punt e Mes. They stimulate
secretions of saliva and digestive juices, increasing appetite.
A name given when you put a standard stainless steel shaker tin and a 16 oz. pint
glass together (one gently secured inside the other) to be used for preparation of
cocktails and mixed drinks to be “shaken” and strained. There is no such thing as
an individual piece of barware called a Boston Shaker. Rather, it is the joining together of
two specific individual pieces of barware.
A term describing the fruits, spices, herbs, roots, barks, peels, fruit stones, seeds,
and leaves used to flavor and medicinally enhance certain liquors, liqueurs, wines,
Put out by Tanqueray (green) and Bombay (blue), these 4 inch tubular stems screw onto
the tops of these two brand bottles (due to their short necks), so bartenders have a safer
grip to pour from. Hard to find , they also fit perfectly on the popular Ketel One vodka
bottle as well as the Tanqueray 10 bottle which also have short necks, and are
interchangeable. Ask your liquor representative for a couple of them next time you see
them. You may or may not get lucky! It’s too bad Absolut doesn’t make them for their
A vice/lever type of tool used to crack open or bend up and off the tops of various bottled
beverages. If you work in a venue that has a high volume of bottle beer sales, your upper
palm and lower finger area will be raw at the end of the night if you keep using your
hand. Most bars have “top-pops” connected to the front or side of the beer cooler as
Save up underneath (underbar) in a rack or bus tub, all of the liquor bottles you empty
during the shift. At the end, right them down and give the list to whomever is in charge of
pulling fresh ones out of the liquor cage for you to re-stock in the bar. This could be the
bar manager or the M.O.D. (Manager on Duty) who has the keys. This procedure
is simple, but very important. You may also be asked to save wine bottles, and to put
all beer bottles and aluminum cans into separate recycling containers.
Another term for Bottle Par, you will hear this equally as much. Refers to a liquor bottle
being emptied, finished off, out, done with. In the past, before the prominence of glass
recycling, the bartender would actually break/smash the bottle to avoid any less
respectables re-filling that same bottle with cheaper alcohol and re-selling it as the
previous, known as Backfilling.
The closing chores of any establishment with an operational bar, beginning about an
hour or so before the last call for alcohol – when the bar shuts down its service for the
evening, whatever designated time that may be. For optimum cleaning and re-stocking
efficiency, have a closing systems checklist together with your barback (if you have one).
If not, and the bartender is closing down everything themselves, use the checklist sheet
to get a memory rhythm going, and after some repetition you won’t need the
sheet anymore. If this type of sheet is not necessary, great! At closing time, follow bar
policy regarding the re-stocking of beer, wine, liquor, and miscellaneous items. Some
bars re-stock at closing, some at opening. When you leave, leave the bar looking clean.
The liquid/juice contained in jars of olives. It is nothing more than water containing
large amounts of salt.
When the customer says “bruise it”, they are asking the bartender to shake the martini
so forcefully that it cracks the edges of the ice into small slivered ice chips, and as the
cocktail is strained into the martini glass, the sliver chips slip out through the strainer
floating atop the chilled liquid ingredients. When the shaker is cracked (from the sound)
really well, meaning to shake forcefully, it is also meant to “Wake up the Spirits”! Cracked
ice or lenticular - dome-shaped ice cubes are best for producing bruised ice chips.
Burn the Ice
A term used at the end of the night, or at the end of any bartender’s shift depending on
what time they’re cut, to melt all the remaining ice in the bartender’s ice well, and do a
final wipe down. This job is for either the barback or the bartender, depending on how
the job descriptions run for your particular place. This is done as a health and sanitary
Short for Liquor Cage, this is the fenced/walled and locked area of the building where all
of the liquor is stored for requisition to the bars by either the bar manager, restaurant
manager, general manager, or any M.O.D. (manager on duty). If this locked down area is
away from any temperature changing sunlight, and is large enough, it can also stock the
bottles of red wine, backup cases of white wine, and bottle beer by the case. For all of
this product it is good for the stocking room/liquor cage to have a slightly cooler than
room temperature feel to it. This also makes it more conducive to faster icing down for
ready chill. This room should house its own addition and reduction sheet, as bar
requisitions come in, and matched up at the end of each month for inventory control
purposes. Above all, keep clean and organized at all times.
Refers to the liquor poured when a customer requests a specific brand, or calls out for a
brand name. This also, with Premium and Top Shelf, incurs a bump up into the next price
With an operational bar serving many categories of beverages, it is best for the
waiter/bartender communication and service to be as proficient as possible. Depending
on business volume, the bar’s operational working and serving time efficiency, and the
waiter/kitchen relationship, it may be of underrated importance to work up and adhere to
a certain “Calling Order” for drinks. Same goes when cocktail waitresses are on the
barstaff. It normally goes Difficult > Easy > Hot > Cold > Layered.
A term for a vegetable peeler, used to score along the thinner green skin of cucumbers
and other vegetables, taking off strips of peel and used for some cocktail garnishes. A
similar looking tool to the lemon Zester, which has a deeper angled sharp center edge for
stripping the thicker skins of certain fruits. For any professional bar, it’s good to have
both. The kitchen will normally stock these tools as well.
This opener is still useful, even though all beer cans are pop tops. You will need this to
open large cans of tomato juice for Bloody Mary house prep mix, and other juices for
mixer cocktails. The reverse end of this tool usually has a bottle opener as well.
A term used when the host of the party is not paying for the drinks.
Also see Hosted Bar
A dark, cool room kept at 48-55 degrees fahrenheit, housing the restaurant’s listing
of Reds from the wine list, as well as fortified wines like Ports, Oloroso and Cream
sherries, and Madieras. Even fruit brandies (Eaux-de-vie), specialty Liqueurs, and
the best Spirits in the house can be kept here, away from any excessive heat.
A term more prevalent in Bordeaux, it is a warehouse used to store and age barrels
of wine or cognac.
A bar tool that helps avoid the waste of good champagne for about 24-48 hours.
A spring and pressure mechanism, the two sides swing back down and clamp under
the lip of the champagne bottle.
A mild drink sipped or consumed after a shot of any given spirit. This drink can be sodas,
still water, club soda, juices, beer, or even squeezes of lime. Usually consumed after a
shot of liquor to re-balance and/or cool down the palate.
A term used in mixing or shaking, to get a cocktail to its desired temperature.
Preferably very cold, by way of using a Boston shaker, Bullet shaker, or an Antique
shaker with a closed top. For optimum chill factor, make sure the glass used is also
A conical sieve with an extremely fine mesh, used behind the bar with specially prepared
cocktails as a process of double-straining to eliminate residual/unwanted particles from
making it to the glass. A type of filtration.
A – A 5”L X ¾”W X 1/8”D steel strip bottle and can opener, with a puncturing tip at one
end and a crown lifter at the other.
B – A bottle opener/crown lifter with a two-foot chain that re-coils after each use, and
clamps over the top of the pant waist and belt, either on the left or right hip depending on
what hand you use the most. Made by Gatto.
Cigar (Guillotine) Cutter
A small slicing device to cut the tip off the puffing end of one’s cigar. The standard size
fits most ring gauges and can be purchased inexpensively as well as high end gold
plated in the best cigar shops. Many styles available.
Used for either fruit as a garnish, or fresh squeezed. And many more fruit juices are used
for mixing in a wide variety of cocktails, sweet to tart.
Historical reference defines the word ‘Cock tail’ as a stimulating liquor composed of spirits
of any kind, and often but not always with the use of various mixers and other flavor
Computer-Dispensed Liquor Bars
Attempting to become popular around 1985, it failed, thankfully to patrons everywhere.
You may know of an establishment with this type of system in the back bar. If you’d like to
become a non-bartender, work this! Not only do customers steer clear once they realize
their drink has been measured by a machine instead of a human, but no matter how
good the food is, you’ll never see them again. It also causes communication paralysis
between the bartender and the customer. This is an occupation where the human being
as “Bartender” is of actual top priority over a machine. Please share with me a few
seconds towards that imaginary concept, won’t you!
To invent, plan, or devise a preparation by the mixing of certain specifically chosen
ingredients, by blending together or to cook, creating an attractive tasting consumable
Flavoring and coloring agents present in all alcoholic beverages, which some believe
to be a cause of hangovers. Liquors high in congeners are Bourbon, Brandy, and Rum.
Vodka, a clear-colored liquor has a low level, which is safer for some people. Similar as a
result of what Sulfites do in wines. A natural characteristic element in the distillation
process. See also Fusel Oils
A nominal charge to dining customers who wish to bring their own bottle(s) of wine into a
restaurant to enjoy with their dinner. The fee is usually listed somewhere on the menu.
If you stock corked bottles of wine, these are essential for every waiter and bartender
to own. The “Waiter’s Corkscrew” is the most popular, which folds up like a jack knife –
containing a short knife, bottle opener, and the actual curled steel prong that screws into
the cork, where the bottle opener doubles as a leverage puller for the cork to lift out of
the bottle. A tricky one to use is called the “Ah So”, and does not puncture the cork. It
has two 2-3 inch flat prongs, one slightly shorter than the other, and are inserted at the
top of the bottle’s neck between the cork and the bottle glass. Slowly work down and twist
up, raising the cork out of the bottle. May be easier on Reds than Whites. Either way, it’s
tricky. It’s up to you to become the master! Another one is called the “Boomerang”.
Instead of a knife to trim the foil off the top ridge of the bottle, it has four small cutting
wheels connected to a bridge that expands out to fit wine bottle tops perfectly, ridge or
non-ridged. The foil cut, when trimmed, results in the cleanest looking cut on the market
today. It also has the same curled steel prong that screws into the cork, but does not
contain a short knife. The Boomerang can be purchased or special ordered at your
nearest Fine Wines stores, as well as the Ah So and Waiter’s Corkscrew. Wine Sales
Reps will sometimes hand them out to managers and waiters
as a way to advertise the brand stocked in the House, with the brand name etched on the
side of the corkscrew. Also check your local restaurant and bar supply.
Used for the preparation of any cut/sliced fruit or other condiment, for purposes of
garnishing cocktails. Many sizes and shapes available, in hard plastic or fine smooth
wood. All cutting boards should be routinely washed, rinsed, and dried after each use.
About ¼ of a teaspoon in measurement, this pour is usually towards the end of the
cocktail’s preparation, by floating or lacing a dash of a liqueur, syrup, or citrus juice.
A water-based preparation of bark, roots, berries, seeds, or twigs simmered in boiling
A term used to describe the thickness levels of spirited liqueurs, cordials, schnapps, and
2. Thickness of consistency.
3. Volume of liquid under specified conditions of pressure and temperature.
Also see Gravity and Viscosity.
The process of aiding removal of toxins and waste products from the body.
A purification process, where the given mixture is heated to separate the volatile parts
from its less active parts – Liquid >to Vapor >to Liquid. The separation of alcohol from
fermented mash through levels of intense heat. The hotter the temperature, the more
neutral the flavor. The lower the heat, the greater the flavor of the resulting distillation.
The vapor is then cooled, condensed, and then used to produce a fine spirit.
A half-inch (1/4 oz.) tail of designated liquor poured into the glass as the bottle angles
back up to its upright position, in conjunction with, and after the use of the jigger (for the
house measured pour).
Example: If your House pour is 1 ½ oz., but you only have a 1 ¼ oz. jigger,
then simply “drag” the last ¼ oz. over the ice in glass instead.
Also known as Tail.
The resting place for your glassware after just being washed and rinsed. The place
for the glass to completely dry from rim to foot, without the use of a dry towel. The thin
plastic webbed-mesh much of the industry uses to lift the glass above the board (for
the illusion of better and faster drying) doesn't work well. The best thing to use are
what’s known as Egg Shell sheets. There a ½ inch tall in height, and come in 24 x 36
hard plastic sheets and are white in color. There usually what is used for the ceilings
of elevators. Excellent drainage, and very inexpensive. You can get them at your local
hardware and gardening supply stores. The only task is you will have to cut/slice them to
fit in your built-in stainless steel washing and draining area of the bar, but it’s simple. The
measuring is easy.
(Section 25602) of ABC Code
A liquor liability protecting bar owners from losses resulting from customers who become
intoxicated and cause injury or damage to others and their property, either within or
outside of your bar.
Any person who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away, any
alcoholic beverages to any habitual drunkard, or to any obviously intoxicated person is
guilty of a misdemeanor.
After 1979, a bill was passed in California legislature that no longer held the
licensee/owner liable for an intoxicated individual who was of legal age, but does hold
them liable to this day for the serving of an alcoholic beverage to any person or any
intoxicated person found to be under age, who then subsequently ends up in a car
accident on their way home, including the harm, injury, or death of any others involved in
In regards to the correct measured use of Dry Vermouth, an adjective used to describe
when a customer wants their martini (Gin or Vodka) “Extra Dry” or drier than normal.
Vermouths come as Sweet – Red/Rouge color, and Dry – Straw/Blonde color. Based
on the type of vermouth used, or the degree of sweetness desired. Also see Wet
A liquid herbal preparation with a pleasant taste, due to the addition of fruit and honey.
Known as highly nutritive, invigorating tonics for the mind, body, and spirit. Elixer Tonics
& Teas, out of Los Angeles is the place to contact: Store#s – Phone – 310-657-9310
Fax – 310-657-9311 Website – elixer.net Business offices – Phone – 323-850-9450
Fax – 323-850-9451
Not every bar has one, but if so, it’s normally located somewhere in the Back Bar area so
it can be close and connected to a water line, for heating and steaming purposes.
Standard recipes are the Espresso, Cappuccino, Caffe Latte, Caffe Mocha, Cocoa Latte,
and Macchiato. Decaf is available.
French for “Water of Life”, it is a brandy distilled from the fermented mash of any fruit.
These are colorless brandies with an aroma and flavor suggestive of fruit blossoms.
A term not used much today (except in bartending schools). A 2-4 color garnish
combination of a Cherry (Red), and either a Lime (Green), Lemon (Yellow), Orange
(Orange), or all three at your preference, depending on the ingredients, flavor, and
overall color and character of the cocktail.
A method of blending where the intention is not to crush the ice, since there is no blade
to do so, but to force together different consistencies of ingredients in the same way
used in making soda fountain milkshakes. The ice normally used is crushed already,
so as to chill the ingredients at the same time. 5-10 seconds of flash blending is all that is
needed for a cocktail. Pour or strain into glass.
An ingredient for cocktails, such as a syrup, bitters, herbal liqueur, or a dash of an exotic,
A common term used by wine tasters, referring to wine judges at com- petitions tasting
wines in flights (groups of chardonnays, pinot noirs, etc.). Same goes for spirits flights in
restaurants and bars tasting a selection of Tequilas (Blanca, Anejo, Reposado) as
example, for characteristics and quality. Can be set-up complete with product info, or
a more informal presentation by a bartender to educate a curious guest. “Blind Flights”
are a series of wines or spirits tasted by a group, with the tasters unaware of the brand
Float / Floater
In Pousse Cafe’s, liqueurs “float” one atop the other. When making drinks like a Mai
Tai or Singapore Sling, the final ingredient in each of these two classic cocktails is a
“float” or “lace” of dark rum for the Mai Tai, and cherry brandy for the Sling, which sits on
top of the rest of the previously poured liquid ingredients to the recipe.
These half-inch raised rubber mats are not only essential for safety, but required by
law to be on the floors of all back bars and kitchens. Designed rectangular in 3 by 5 foot
squares to fit perfectly, and completely covers the full path of the bartenders’ walkway
behind the bar. Drain holes throughout, excess liquid fall is the main reason why the mats
A wine, as in Madiera, Port, or Sherry, that has a grape spirit added to it.
In regards to cocktails, this term means the use of crushed/shaved ice instead of
cubed ice, with a simple base liquor of choice. See also Mist.
A term used when the bartender measures the pour with an internal count instead of the
use of a measuring tool like a jigger or a shot glass. The knowledge of the speeds of
certain and different pourer tops for liquor bottles used behind bars is extremely
important to accurately measure the House Pour with a gauged count in the mind.
1. A chilled glass, not frozen, but cold enough so the glass looks cloudy or foggy,
yet avoids the lips sticking to the glass.
2. Coating the rim of the glass with any of various granulated food products, such
as coarse margarita salt, sugar, cinnamon sugar, or celery salt. Shaved or crushed
coconut also works provided you use a liqueur, chocolate syrup, or other flavored
syrup for the rim so the coconut will grab and stick. For the others, use a lime, lemon,
or orange squeeze.
With many different sizes available, this is for pouring liquid from one container into
another. Mixers and juices that are purchased in larger containers for cost purposes
will need to be transferred into smaller containers for your ice well’s jockey box.
A by-product of the distillation process, these oils are found in all major spirits. An excess
of these oils is what causes hangovers. This element is part of the spirit’s natural
character. See also Congeners and Sulfites.
Garnish / Tray
The final topping to any given cocktail, though not every cocktail requires or receives
a garnish. It takes experience as a bartender to understand what best goes with what, yet
the key is to remain simple about it. Please see Garnish Extravaganza. The stan-dard
Garnish Tray is rectangular, about 2 feet long and comes with plastic holding containers
for 6-8 different garnishes. Locate and purchase at your nearest restaurant and bar
Before the square, plastic, clear pourer tops with built-in screens became popular, there
were “Whiskey Gates” – a round pourer with a hard black shell, and a metal screen
instead of plastic. These screens, well in use now, save sweeter liquor/liqueur spirits from
the fruit flies entering the bottle, eliminating total waste of the bottle’s remaining contents.
An English liquid measurement, equal to 4 ounces, ¼ pint, or .1183 liter.
There are basically three types:
1. Manual stick-up brushes (set in wash tank 1)
2. Motor-rotation brush units (set in wash tank 1)
3. Glass Machine Washers (completely enclosed and set behind the bar)
(place inside rack, close door, push button)
With the use of #1 and #2, there are three water sinks behind the bar:
A Wash tank, a Rinse tank, and a Soak tank.
Make sure the drain and dry area for the glasses is clean at all times,
and ample time is given for air drying, before you re-stack and re-hang.
A term used to describe the thickness levels of spirited liqueurs, cordials,
schnapps, and fruit brandies.
2. Measuring a weight of liquid substances, with the use of a Hydrometer.
3. The higher the sugar content, the thicker or more viscous the liqueur.
Also see Density and Viscosity.
Hair of the Dog
The morning (or afternoon) after the night before. One of those times during the
hangover hours where it may become necessary to turn one’s mood around and indulge
in a little “Pick-Me-Up”. A reduced-alcohol version of the previous night’s cocktail that
eventually did you in, or just start off with a medicinal Bitters and Soda
to clear how ever many layers of fog you seem to be sensing at the moment. Maybe
this is how the Bloody Mary became so famous on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon!
Other bitter spirits include Campari and Fernet Branca, poured on-the-rocks, and
with club soda. Here’s to the dog in all of us . . . Cheers!
The psychoactive constituents of a medicinal plant or herb that may cause visions
or hallucinations depending on the amount consumed.
Liqueurs made of many herbs and spices, and impossible to acquire the usually long list
of ingredients that result in a complex, hard to duplicate flavor. The Secret Recipe! Far
from a sweet single-flavored cordial, these herbal liqueurs such as Benedictine,
Chartreuse, Strega, Trappistine, China Martini, Izarra, Certosa, and others are mostly
made in France, Holland, Italy, and throughout Eastern Europe. Some are known as
A term used when the drinks for the party are paid for by the host of the party. Another
term for this is Open Bar - which does not mean all night. There are times where the host
will request that the bar be “Hosted” or “Open” from say 6:00 – 8:00 pm, and from 8:00 –
12:00 midnight it turns into a Cash Bar. This can be termed a Split Bar. When drinks are
not paid for by the host, it is termed a No Host Bar. The bartenders for the
party/banquet/function/special event will need to be notified by management ahead of
time, as to start charging for drinks right at 8:00 pm. It may be a good idea not to
announce this to the guests, to avoid some individuals feeling the need to slug em’ down
for that early 2 hour period just before dinner.
The standard pour-per-drink amount that management usually comes up with, deter-
mined from the types, styles and ounce amounts of all the glassware chosen to be used
behind the bar in order to come up with a proper and generous Liquor >to Mix >to
Also see Standard Pour Requirement (S.P.R.)
A device that measures the specific gravity/density/viscosity (thickness) of any given
liqueur. Made with different calibrations, the exact one to get for liqueurs is 1.0 – 1.22 .
Available at any scientific supply outlet for about $15. You’ll also need to purchase a
250ml tall measuring beaker / graduated cylinder, to float the hydrometer once the
liqueur’s been poured in. Also $15. Both are glass, and very fragile.
Usually located in the back kitchen, near the liquor cage, or in an adjacent storage room
near the main bar if you’re lucky enough to have one, where a water line can
be available nearby. There are many sizes depending on the occupancy rate of the
bar/club/restaurant/hotel one works in. Make sure you have the machine fit with the type
of Ice Trays that give you the exact type of ice cubes you prefer for your bar and your
glassware. There are different sizes and types available to choose from; Cracked,
Crushed, Slab Tray cubes, and models that produce Individual ice cubes, as in Lenticular
ice, which is a round or square Crescent/Dome shaped cube (my personal
favorite). Never forget to replace the filters when absolutely necessary, so the cubes
always remain clear and clean, not cloudy or milky which is the result of sodium and
calcium deposits when the old filter can no longer clean the water. This creates not
only bad tasting ice, but a bad tasting drink as the ice slowly melts, and then the deposits
slowly kill the carbonation of the club soda, tonic, and any other carbonated ingredients
within the drink. If you suspect the machine is not operating correctly or breaking down,
for whatever reason, notify the manager as soon as possible. The last thing you want is
to have to call out for an ice truck delivery of 500 or 1000 lbs.of funky cocktail cube ice
on a busy night emergency.
Located in the bottom of your bar’s ice well, this plate assists in the carbonated
beverages from the beverage gun being chilled below room temperature when served
into the glass, so the ice cubes avoid as much diluting as possible. You will notice cooling
tubes/lines connected from the plate to the guns’ syrup calibration box. The plate is
easily movable by hand, even though it’s a little awkward and has some weight to it. The
underside of it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, as does the interior floor of the
ice well. Always run the beverage gun a little bit before the start of each shift, and before
a load of ice gets the plate too cold and freezes the lines.
An indispensable tool behind the bar. The U.S. Public Health Office requires that one be
used. Avoid using your hands or a mixing cup to scoop ice into a glass for a drink.
It has a very unprofessional look to it. Drinking glasses should never be dipped or
scooped into the ice as they can chip and break, contaminating your ice with glass chips
and slivers, where your whole ice well will have to be burned, and replaced with fresh ice
so everything is safe for your customers. The best size scoop is a stainless steel 24 oz.,
and can be purchased at your local bar and restaurant supply outlet for about $6.
Center-holed cocktail cubes, cracked, crushed/shaved, small thin square cubes, and
round dome-shaped cubes called Lenticular ice, designed to chill longer, fit more fully
and easier into glassware, and crushes into a blender really well. These cube styles
listed are not all that’s out there on the market, but offers a good selection to choose
from. Just make sure you have the ice that you want in your club or your private party.
The center of the Bartenders’ work space, surrounded by liquors, juices, and the
speed rack of main-pour liquor bottles. Hopefully deep and sizeable to last between
the barback’s fill-ups. Use a 24 oz. scoop for quicker multiple-glass ice fills. The
garnish tray will usually be on the left or right side.
A water-based preparation in which flowers, leaves, or stems are brewed in a similar way
A long time ago this term referred to 1 ½ oz. of liquor, an actual liquid level/amount.
Today, a Jigger is a term for the actual piece of equipment itself. It is a stainless steel
dual-ended shot measurer. One end always holds twice as much as the other – 1 oz./ ½
oz. - 1 ¼ oz./5/8 oz. - 1 ½ oz./ ¾ oz. The best tool to use if you’re required to measure all
pours at the bar you currently work in. Your local restaurant/bar supply carries all sizes.
Located at either the left or right side of the bartender’s ice well, and sometimes both
sides, depending on how one sets it up. These are the compartments that shelve the
square black containers designed to hold all of the juices, mixers, and other miscel-
laneous bottles if there’s room. At the end of each shift, the underside drip areas of
the jockey boxes need to be rinsed, drained, and wiped down.
Lace / Lacing
Used in conjunction with “Float”, this a dash of a final liquor, also as the last ingredient of
a given recipe, that simply gets poured at the very top, swirling it around. Usually the
color and density of the liquor will create a great looking visual contrast (as it stays
afloat) with the colors and flavors of the cocktail’s previous ingredients. Then just add
a groovy looking garnish!
Clubs, Bars, Restaurants, Hotels etc., close at different times depending on late-night
business volume, demographics, venue/theme, private parties and of course the State’s
hour/time limit on alcohol serving. Here in California it’s 2:00 am. We give “Last Call”
usually at 1:30 am to give ample time for finishing a drink, so you find don’t yourself
rushing a customer at the last moment, which is not cool! Even though all glasses empty
to full need to be off the bar, table tops, and out of people’s hands by 2:00 am,
it’s best not to do this at the last moment either. By no later than 1:55 am, glassware
should not be seen out in the open, much less in a customer’s hand. (continued on
next page) Also, make sure your wrist watch, the house clock on the wall, and the closing
manager’s watch are all in sync, and all in correct time.
In short, the general rule is to make the call at 20-30 minutes before state law curfew.
If you tend bar in an establishment that closes up their bar before the state’s designated
curfew, then there’s no potential for legal trouble, so you can give the call
at 10-15 minutes before the bar stops serving, since there’s no rush to consume.
Also known as Cordials in the U.S., this French term is used for the fruity, mint, herbal,
chocolate, and syrupy sweet spirits such as flavored schnapps, liqueurs, and fruit
brandies like apricot and blackberry.
This is a hand-held apparatus that comes with a fitted holster, and a thick coil filled with
smaller individual lines usually ran to the back bar storage area and connected to a
Liquor Tree. It is connected to the inner edge of the bar rail, on the opposite side of the
Beverage Gun. Not in every bar, I’ve used ones that contain some 15-18 lines and
corresponding buttons. This gun also pre-measures the standard pour of the house,
as well as other pre-sets like short pour (for Long Islands) and long pour (for Martini
drinks). Real handy when you’re crankin’ it out, and pretty easy to use once you get the
feel of it. You can see how you would have both guns in your hand at the same time for
Vodka/tonics, Rum/Cokes etc. Well, Call, and Premium brands are all used in the liquor
gun, prioritized of course by level of usage/sales.
Some back bars have locking liquor doors, some do not. If you work in a place that has
them, never forget this will be one of the last steps for you to complete before you take
off. Very important to the managers. Make sure you finish re-stocking your bottle par-up
beforehand, and return the key when locking is complete.
Usually located in either the liquor cage/stockroom, or a small stockroom adjacent or
directly in back of the main bar. This is a multi-tier floor/wall unit that’s air pumped
through the lines to the liquor gun(s) in the main bar and anywhere else there’s a line
need, like a separate service bar. Holding 1.5 liter bottles upside-down with as many lines
that are being used at the time. Also has a built-in measurer and counter. It needs to be
checked and re-filled from time to time, as well as regular filter cleaning. Minor upkeep for
a useful tool!
To soften by soaking or steeping in a liquid, to separate the constituents.
French for brandy distilled from the pomace (remnants) – pits, seeds, skins, stalks of
grapes, and other fruits. In Italy it is known as Grappa, and in South America it is known
A fermentation term for the introduction of yeast to produce Wine (fruit and fruit juices),
or Beer (cooked grains), then distilled to produce Spirits.
Once a spirit is bottled, it’s process of maturing stops, as it only matures in the oak
cask or holding tank.
Using a jigger, shot glass, or other device in the preparation of a cocktail. The opposite
of Free Pour, where the bottle’s to the glass and the bartender is using an internal count
to measure when the house standard pour has been met. Also used for proportional
precision with classic drinks.
A small scooping tool used to create an attractive garnish with a round ball shape. Great
for honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon.
A spirituous liquor made in Mexico, in the same vein as Tequila, from a fermented
mash of the agave plant. Please go to the more expanded definition of Mezcal located in
the Liqueur Definition Log.
A French culinary term, pronounced (MEEZ-ahn-plahs), meaning “everything in it’s
place”, in regards to preparation and station set-up, therefore fitting for the bar as well.
In regards to a specific ice request, where the liquor/spirit of choice is poured into a glass
filled over with a mound of crushed/shaved ice.
The art of measuring and balancing flavors and strength of liquids – spirituous liquors
(Bases), juices and mixers (Modifiers), and other Accents, Infusions, Flavoring Agents,
and Garnishes to properly manage to perfection the taste complexity of a cocktail. Like
the design of foods, Mixology is a Culinary Art. A Mixologist is a specialist in mixing drinks.
Measuring the degree of attention and difficulty in the preparation of a wide variety of
History’s cocktails. Elementary > Basic > Moderate > Difficult > Advanced
Ranging from 14-16 ounces, this mixing (Pint) glass is used for Martinis, Manhattans,
Rob Roys, Gibsons, chilled shooters, shaken cocktails of all sorts, in conjunction with the
mixing/shaker Tin – creating the Boston Shaker, and is made from a heavy, heat-treated
chip-proof glass. When a cocktail is required or requested to be “Shaken”, not “Stirred”.
Mix in Sales
Due to seasons, weather, and business volume, the fluctuation in the Pour Cost (PC) has
to do with what people are drinking more of, at the moment. There is less profit in wine by
the bottle than that of liquor by the bottle. If people are drinking wine more than liquor for
any determined amount of time, say 1-2 months, than the PC for this time will naturally
Also known as mixers, these are the ingredients that complement the chosen base
spirit/liquor, creating an extended flavor to the cocktail, such as citrus juices, cordials,
sweeteners, cream, egg, and/or carbonated soda and syrup waters.
A bar tool made of wood, about 8 inches in length, similar in shape and function to a
pestle, and used to muddle/mash together fruits, leaves/sprigs, sugars, and bitters at the
bottom of an empty glass as the primer, before the main/secondary phase of the cocktail
preparation. Muddled drinks include the Old Fashioned, Mint Julep, and the Mojito.
A substance consumed for the relief of pain, but causes drowsiness or stupor.
A spirit served straight from the bottle into the empty bar glass of choice, whether it be
Port, Sherry, Cognac, Brandy, Single Malt Scotch, Cordial / Liqueur, or any other spirit,
without the use of ice or mixes of any kind. Served at room temperature, with the option
of warming the glass with either the hands or a snifter warmer.
Distilled to such a high purity (190 Proof or higher), it is very difficult to taste the source
(beets, cane, corn, potato, other grains) from which their distilled.
A drink served over ice. When a spirit only is requested, simply pour it over the ice.
When a cocktail is ordered, you have the option of building it in the glass over the ice, or
chilling it first – the way you would for a drink served up, then straining it over the ice in
the chosen glass. This method allows the drink to remain colder, longer, with little or no
Similar to Splashback, it is a form of spillage that occurs when you begin the prep-aration
of the cocktail with the ice to high above the rim of the glass, and if the pour of the base
spirit is not aimed correctly, it splashes off the ice and ends up outside of the glass
instead of inside where it belongs. The same goes for the last ingredient of the
preparation, whether it be a juice, soda, or liqueur, if the liquid starts to overflow over the
These are the little cocktail umbrellas (not to be consumed) used as a visual garnish,
and is placed in the top of the glass after whatever fruit garnish has been selected for
the cocktail. There are assorted colors to choose from.
A small-sized knife used for cutting/slicing and creating attractive fruit and
Peel / Peeler
Peel – With the use of a knife or a Zester, to peel a piece of the outer skin
of a fruit (usually lemon or orange) as a garnish oil for the cocktail.
Simply kink the outer skin over the top of the glass, and watch as
the mist (or zest) of oil comes spraying out.
Peeler – A simpler term for Zester, a tool used to separate the outer skin of
citrus fruits. Can be peeled to short or long strips depending on
how much of the flavored oils you want released or extracted from
the skin – into the drink. By simply kinking the zest of the skin
over the top of the cocktail or mixed drink, usually leaving the
twisted skin curled up on the top. Also see Zester
To cause a fluid, as in boiling water to pass or ooze through or force up and
through a filter, containing ground coffee for example. A form of percolated
A term used to designate the use of both sweet and dry Vermouth in the Martini,
Manhattan, or Rob Roy. And a twist/peel of Lemon as the garnish.
See in Categorical Drink Code
The giving of free drinks, the stealing of any bar product by anyone for their
The remains (grape leaves, pits, seeds, skins, and stems) of the winemaking process.
Used for making pomace brandy, such as Grappa, Pisco, and Marc.
A shot glass type of short glass, holding no more than one ounce of liquid, used as a
measuring tool much in the same way as a dual-ended jigger, which holds both less and
more than one ounce of liquid. Very small snifter, sherry, and cordial sipping glasses can
be also termed a Pony glass.
An instrumental device in the making of distilled spirits. Consisting of a large pot for
holding the fermentation, a heat source, and a coil that collects and condenses the vapor.
Pour Cost (Liquor %)
A term and formula used to manage and control the Liquor Pour Cost for any
establishment with a bar.
The formula is:
A. Beginning Inventory + Purchases = Total Available for Sale
B. (minus) – Ending Inventory = Usage x Bottle Cost = Total Cost
C. Total Cost (Liquor) divided by Total Sales (Liquor)
(minus) – Waste/Spillage/Comps/Transfers (which gives adjusted cost)
(equals) = Pour Cost (adjusted)
D. Cost of Inventory Used – (minus) – Subtract B) from A)
E. for Pour Cost Percentage,
Divide D) Cost of Inventory Used by Total Liquor Sales
Multiply the resultant by 100 (equals) = Pour Cost Percentage (PC%)
Use this Calculation Sheet
Value of Beginning Inventory _____________
+ Value of Purchases _____________
= Value of Adjusted Beginning Inventory (A) _____________
Value of Ending Inventory _____________
+ Cost of Waste/Spillage/Comps _____________
+ Cost of Transfers (if any) _____________
= Value of Adjusted Ending Inventory (B) _____________
Cost of Inventory Used – (subtract B from A) _____________
Less Cost of Waste/Spillage/Comps/Transfers _____________
= Total Adjusted Cost of Inventory _____________
Divide the – Cost of Inventory Used
by the – Total Liquor Sales _____________
(Multiply by 100)
= (PC%) Liquor Pour Cost Percentage
Pour Spouts / Pourers
There are basically two types – ones that pour freely leaving the bartender to measure,
and those that measure out a pre-determined amount of liquor calibrated anywhere
between ¾ oz. and 1½ oz. Precision pour tops (with floating balls) pour slower when the
liquor is cold, instead of room temp. For free-pouring, you can find slow, medium, and
fast/speed pourers. They come in stainless steel and hard plastic. Both can be pur-
chased with built-in filters to eliminate fruit fly access. Pourers come in many styles,
and can be found at your local bar and restaurant supply house.
Usually considered for very busy nights only, for sales efficiency purposes.Kamikazes,
Long Island base mix, Cosmopolitans, and other popular shooters in your club can be of
benefit not only to the operation, but to the customers as well. After the bartender preps
the mix in a pouring container, he or she could keep it in the ice or the cooler so it never
has to be chilled with ice (causing dilution). Also, don’t be skimpy when putting the prep
mix together. It’s not necessary, and you want your customers to love every super-cold
drop! They may just ask for a 2nd round if it’s done right .......
A term used by most bars to create a price category containing certain Call brands
whose costs are somewhat higher than those of the lower-end call brands. This is a
category used for extended pricings only; cost cannot always reflect the quality of a
When you realize through checking yourself, or being notified by the previous shifts’
bartender that you’re out of stock on something/anything, the term “86” is used to let
your entire serving staff know that at this time the bar is Temporarily Out of Stock on
a particular product, and will let it be known when it’s re-stocked from delivery.
A code used when a decision has been made by managers and/or bartenders to
physically remove an out of control guest from the establishment, usually after countless
requests to cool it! The hired doormen take it from there. If they walk out
on their own, they’re more often allowed in next time, but if they have to be carried
out causing physical harm, they’re 86’ed for a year.
Speakeasy’s poured 100 proof alcohol, and when someone acted up, they “86’ed”
them by pouring 86 proof in their next drink. If they continued to cause too much
disruption, then the Patron “86” definition applies.
From 1920-1933, a federal law in the United States that prohibited the manufacture,
transportation, and sale/purchase of liquor/spirits/alcohol. Speakeasies and Boot-legging
were the winners while this law was enforced, and a big reason why Canadian whiskies
are still popular in the U.S. today. Some things are just uncontrollable!
The Great Lakes were very busy .....
A term used to designate/measure the degree of alcohol in a given spirit/liquor beverage.
The actual alcohol amount (ABV) is always half the number of the proof.
For example, if a liquor is said to be 80 Proof, it is 40% alcohol by volume, and so on.
In another sense, 40% of the entire contents of that bottle is nothing but alcohol.
Also known as Bar Rail, Drain Rail, Drip Rail, Spill Rail, Tip Rail, Gutter Rail, Mat Rail, and
Spillage Rail. The 3-4 inch area of the top of the bar, inside-closest to the bartender,
which is recessed about ½ inch, and used for multiple purposes.
Requisition Sheet (Liquor)
Used by bartenders at the end of the shift to Par Up any and all liquor bottles that have
been emptied/broke (Breakage) during the sales of the night, so the backbar stock is
always re-set to the predetermined amount of liquor bottle inventory and ready-to-go for
the next day’s business. The bar manager and/or manager (M.O.D.) is responsible for
acquiring and keeping track of these sheets for end of the month inventory pur-poses, as
well as distribute with fresh/new liquor bottles requested by the bartender.
A type of drug taken to reduce activity and nervous excitement.
Deposits in old wine, vintage port, etc.
An area either in the Main Bar, or in a completely separate area somewhat distanced
from the main bar, where Waiters/Food Servers and Cocktail Waitresses go to place and
have their drink orders made – for more speed efficient service. A Well in the main bar
may be designated as the service well, or the service bar may be in a 5 x 5 foot space
somewhere in the back of things, built-in completely operational, and for no one except
the waiters and/or waitresses. This type of bar (away from the main bar) is not designed
for customer walk-up service.
All bars have these so servers don’t carry the drinks in their hands over to the
customers’ table. Preferred trays are the round ones in both the 10 and 14 inch sizes.
Having cork or non-skid fabric surfaces, this prevents glasses from slipping and sliding.
There are many different styles on the market to choose from, and squared trays are
also available. Again, your local bar and restaurant supply.
Shakers / Shaker Tin
A stainless steel mixing cup used to mix drinks via bar spoon, or together with the
mixing glass (one atop the other) creating the Boston Shaker.
When a customer simply orders a straight shot of any liquor of choice. Bottle pour is
straight in to the shot glass with whatever the House Standard Pour is. If mismatched, ask
the manager to match the size of shot glass ordered for stock with the Standard Pour of
the house. This eliminates any accidental over-pouring loss/waste. When ordered, you
can request lined or non-lined, which dictates when the house pour
has been reached.
A small glass or vase-type of container used in some establishments as an attractive flair
to contain the remainder of the mixture after the martini glass has been filled to its
desired capacity. Insert this sidekick into a large bucket glass semi-filled with crushed ice
for best visual results.
A type of whisky produced and single-distilled in Scotland from a fermented mash of
malted barley, and aged at least three years in oak casks.
Orange, Lemon, Lime , Pineapple, Watermelon, and other fruits cut in a shape that
fits comfortably, split onto the rim of the glass, floating on the top of the drink, or
speared/skewered with other fruits and garnishes.
Behind the bar, in the beverage gun, and/or in the backbar coolers, there can be many
different soda/carbonated beverages. The basic flavors to always have are cola soda,
lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, orange soda, root beer, diet sodas, tonic (quinine) water,
and of course club soda/bi-carbonate of soda – clear, clean, sparkling, and no syrups.
If you have additional space for stock, there are other flavored sodas to consider
Still manufactured today from the classic designs of decades ago, it comes in stainless
steel or glass container with wire mesh exterior. About 12” tall, it is filled with fresh clean
water, and carbonated by the use of CO2 charger. 1 charger lasts per 1 full container.
These were widely used when bars did not have carbonated beverage dispenser guns.
A small steel-wired glass holder (held at an angle), with a tea light candle centered in the
interior base, where the flame warms up the desired liqueur in about a minute, while
slowly rotating the snifter/cordial glass as it rests on top at an angle so the widest part of
the glass is receiving the flame.
NOTE: The flame should never touch the glass. Trim the wick if necessary.
A short glass of an alcohol-free drink (with or without ice) either ordered between
cocktails, or placed next to the cocktail at hand, in hopes of keeping one’s equanimity.
And for clearing the palate. Also known as a Side of.
Also see Training Wheels and Chaser.
A term that goes back 200 years, where alcohol-based drinks were sold illegally, and
without license. 1920-1933 in the United States were the Prohibition years. Known as
“Speak Softly” shops in England, one could gain entrance by speaking “Easy” or “Softly”,
and to credit your connection in. “Underground” or “After-Hour” parties are similar today,
just without a front business, and of course without prohibition.
This is your main rack of liquor bottles used and poured most. The rack itself, with
designated Well and/or House brands, is connected between the ice well and the front
part of your body and legs, just above your knees where your main stance of work is
done. These racks range in bottle length (based on Liter size) from 8 – 16 bottles,
Mistakes by over-pouring, wrong pouring, order mis-communication, or accidentally
dumped. The simple inaccuracies within the operation of a bar that one hopes to
keep to a minimum in any business.
Where some of the spillage is occasionally spilled. A ½ inch raised brown rubber grill,
with a 3 x 24 inch rectangular dimension for the basic mat, and is used as drainage when
preparing the cocktails on top of it, where the chosen glass is placed.
An alcoholic beverage produced by Distillation, a fermented mash of grains or fruits
to a certain Proof/Alcohol By Volume (ABV). The proof equates to the concentration
of ethyl alcohol in a given liquid, before/after necessary dilutions of water prepare it
for the specific proof requested by the distiller.
Certain cocktail recipes ask for a splash of some liquid ingredient either somewhere
in the middle of the preparation – building the cocktail, or as a quick top-off once the
main ingredients are in. Club soda is used in this way for many drinks. Yet, a splash
of peach schnapps may be the third ingredient in a five ingredient drink. That works
as a splash in the middle. The term Dash is also used in place of.
Associated Terms include the following:
Dash Drag Dust Float Lace Rider Splash Stripe Swirl Tail Top Off
In rimming any glass with a sugar, salt, spice, coconut, or other powdered condiment /
garnish, this term is used when a customer requests that only half the rim of the glass is
dipped in to the desired confection, and so the other half of the rim remains clean, clear
and untouched. This is an option for the benefit of your customer, and takes no extra
time of the bartenders.
When ordering a Cadillac Margarita, one can also order on-the-side what’s known as
a split-shot – a shot glass half-filled with premium gold Tequila, and the top half filled with
Grand Marnier. A modified form of a Side Kick. Some Mexican restaurants will
serve their margaritas with the shot of Tequila on the side, instead of inside the glass. As
long as you ask for it in advance, it’s a nice variation to try sometime.
Hired from an outside security agency when management feels it necessary. These
incognito individuals come in and analyze the bar and wait staff, usually evaluating your
standard pouring techniques and measurements as per bar procedure, along with all
types and methods of payment transactions. Management will usually brief these hired
decoys as to current Policy and Procedure at the bar and on the dining floor, as well as
some special requests the managers may have. Unless you’re not following simple house
pouring and transaction procedures and adhering to policy, you have absolutely nothing
to fear or worry about, since they’re not hired to create a bad guy. Your managers do not
pay these people hundreds of dollars to turn back around and tell untruths about their
Adding a cool flair to any bar, these small glass bottle containers with spray tops can
be used for Vermouths to be sprayed into the chilled Martini glass – for measuring a
more accurate balance. For a request of an “extra extra dry” Martini, the bartender can
simply wave it over the top of the glass. Blue Curacao and many other liqueurs can also
be used for some other cocktails. The best size is the 4 ounce cobalt-colored bottle.
Other colors available. Also known as Atomizers, you can get these at www.bottlesetc.com
The shape you cut a lime, lemon, or orange so the direction the fruit juice will go once
the bartender squeezes the fruit, is straight down into the top of the glass, not upward
towards the eyes of your customer or yourself. The best shape to cut is a triangle block.
Three points to the fruit – three fingers to the mid-points – squeeze and sink. A Squeezer
is also a steel fruit press.
Standard Pour Requirement (S.P.R.)
A determined ounce amount that the ownership and management decide upon as the
“House Pour” for a single shot liquor cocktail. This usually ranges from 1 – 1 ½ oz. per
shot/per drink. The house may also decide to pour a higher ounce content for a single-
shot liqueur/cordial, which is usually poured straight-up in a snifter. If so, the house may
be charging more for this higher content since liqueurs tend to be expensive, yet shows a
good pour to the customer. Also known as the Standard House Pour.
Example: Liquor house pour – 1 ¼ oz. Liqueur house pour – 1 ½ oz.
When hired in any bar, ask what the House Standard Pours are, in case they don’t let
you know by the time you start your first shift.
Something taken or consumed to increase rate of activity and nervous excitement.
This is used to strain drinks that have either been mixed, shaken, or stirred in a
straight-up fashion, separating the ice from the liquid ingredients of the cocktail.
It is made of stainless steel and should be frequently cleaned (drenched in hot water),
especially when straining cream-based drinks. 2-prong, 4-prong, and Julep strainer
is also available.
Chilled or shaken with ice, but not sipped with ice. Rather, the liquid is strained through
the ice in the shaker into a chilled glass of choice, while the ice is held back in the
shaker. This way the drink no longer dilutes over time, and the strength and color remain.
A whiskey distilled to a maximum of 80% alcohol by volume (ABV), aged in oak barrels to
acquire flavor, and diluted with water to not less than 40% ABV.
Striping / Swirling
This term has to do with Blended Cocktails that have a thick consistency to them,
which makes it open and available as an option for a flavored liqueur or strawberry
preserves to create a swirl effect in the glass for a creative visual flair.
Example: If you’re making a Strawberry Colada.
Get the blender going with the prep of the recipe, but keep the
strawberry preserves out of the blender. Instead, put a small ladle
full directly into the (usually large) empty glass you’re using for
the cocktail. Make sure the blender liquid is fairly thick, yet just
pourable. Pour quickly into the glass all the way to the top.
The preserves create a “swirled” effect against the inside of the
glass, like a “parfait” cocktail. Colorful liqueurs can do the same.
Contained in wines as a form of preservative, and common in white wines. The presence
of Sulfur Dioxide wears off in the glass, but should not be too intrusive.
The scent is not an attractive one, emitting a nose-prickling odor similar to rotten
eggs, or a just-struck match.
Bar snacks such as popcorn, nuts, granola, pretzels, crackers, etc.
Refers to high-quality, expensive liquors and liqueurs usually displayed on the top
shelves of the back bar, and incurring the highest bottle cost expense in the house. Also
known as Top Shelf.
In regards to the correct use of (Sweet) Vermouth. An adjective used to describe when a
customer requests their ”Manhattan” or “Rob Roy” a little sweeter than the normal,
by adding a bit more. Vermouths come as Dry – Straw/Blonde color, and Sweet –
Red/Rouge color. Also see Wet.
Also known as Swizzle Rods, Stirring Rods, and Stir Sticks. Made and used initially
for the drinks in the Swizzle category of cocktails, whereby the base ingredients are
a Spirit, Citrus Juice, Simple Syrup or a Liqueur, and a carbonated Soda/Beverage.
Served in Collins size glasses, this is why the average swizzle stick is 6-8 inches long,
and originally used to stir the drink until the glass became frosty. The swizzle stick also
goes well with many other cocktail categories.
What is not enough, just right, and too much ? Evaluating the degree of, with your
own palate and measuring stick, the taste complexities of various liquids chosen to
be together in the creation of a recipe for a great cocktail/concoction.
Drinks are usually: Sharp Sweet Sour Tart Fruity Bitter
Mild Dry Wet Sparkling Balanced Aromatic
Tastings of Distilled Spirits
A skill developed over time and experience, by the ability to detect certain qualities of
a given spirit with the use of four senses – sight, smell, taste, and touch. When doing so,
allow no distractions to your careful and focused attention. Take your time (5–10
minutes) with each individual tasting, nosing it a few different passes. Sweetness,
bitterness, sourness, and saltiness are the most common resulting extractions from
a tasting, and it’s not mandatory to consume the spirit. Merely spit it out to avoid intox-
ication. Above all, never warm the spirit, regardless of sampling formality or enjoying
at home. If this was necessary or an option, the distiller would announce it on the bottle’s
label. If your tasting a spirit with a fairly high proof, slightly part the lips to avoid any
unnecessary nasal burn.
A whiskey made from the fermented mash of grains, then filtered through charcoal
produced from maple trees which gives it a sweet finish, prior to aging in barrels.
Plant medicine prepared by macerating herb in water and alcohol.
5 x 8 flat tray Leather/Vinyl folding booklet Cocktail Server’s cash and tip Caddy
Used for delivering a check to a table, and returning change or a credit card and charge
slip to be signed. The customers usually leave their tips in these trays for the servers.
The cocktail server’s caddy has a top that opens and closes, and also attaches in a
corner at the edge of the Serving Tray.
Exerts a restorative or nourishing action on the body. Strengthens and restores body
The final “top” dash of liquor or liqueur in the recipe and building of a cocktail.
Refers to the high quality, expensive liquors and liqueurs, usually displayed on the top
shelves of the back bar, and incurring the highest bottle cost expense in the house. Also
known as Super Premium.
A small side glass of water or soda (with or without ice) requested by the customer to
accompany a liquor served straight or on-the-rocks – to tame the fire if necessary! Also
known as a “Soda Back” or “Water Back”.
Also see Back and Chaser
A term used for a strip of the outer skin/peel of a lemon. When kinked or twisted, the
natural mist/zest of lemon oil sprays out over the rim of the glass and drink, then set
inside to float on top of the liquid ingredients of the finished cocktail, as a garnish.
Also known as a Zest.
A very important part of the bar, located directly on the underside of the bar top, housing
sinks, wells, coolers, equipment and supplies, allowing the flow of the bartender magic,
and greatly affecting the type of service and flare you can offer
to your guests and customers.
A term implying that the ingredients of the drink will be mixed, shaken, or stirred with
ice, then strained into a chilled glass with no ice.
A modification, addition, or deviation to an already existing cocktail recipe. For example,
there are a few variations on how to make the Mai Tai. They’re all pretty good tasting.
Same goes for the Kamikaze, Margarita, and fruit flavored accents to the Long Island Ice
Tea, just to name a few.
See Canelle Knife.
Infused with some 50 herbs and flavorings, Vermouth is an aperitif wine more popular
in Europe than in the U.S. Aromatized and Fortified, some favorites are Dubonnet (rouge
or blonde) and Amer Picon. Dry and Sweet Vermouth are mild compared.
Dating back to the ancient Greeks, it was used as a digestive tonic, along with Bitters.
Any recipe-based cocktail which has no alcohol, or has been made without the alcohol,
being prepared and served out of a live operational bar with alcohol, by a professional
bartender – is considered a “Virgin” cocktail, and is usually served in the same tall collins
glass as you would serve an orange soda or other soda beverage. If the bar
was not serving alcohol, there would be no need to use the word “Virgin”. This term
is also used when ordering a normal cocktail, say “Virgin Mai Tai”, just with the alcohols
The word “Mocktail” was used for a drink looked at as a ”fake or weak” cocktail (with no
alcohol). This soon applied to any drink made with little or no liquor. This term is rarely
The virgin drinks “Shirley Temple, Roy Rogers, and Ginger Rogers” are safe sounding
names for children’s drinks while at the bar.
Shirley Temple ( Lemon-lime soda with a splash of Grenadine & a cherry)
Roy Rogers ( Cola soda with a splash of Grenadine & a cherry)
Ginger Rogers ( Ginger ale with a splash of Grenadine & a cherry)
A term used to describe the thickness and proof levels of spirited liqueurs, cordials,
schnapps, and fruit brandies.
1. Having relatively high resistance to flow.
2. Degree of being viscous (thick).
Also see Density and Gravity.
Plant constituent distilled to produce essential oil.
In regards to the preparation of a Martini, Manhattan, Rob Roy, or Gibson.
A technique where the bartender moves the vermouth spray mist bottle or Atomizer
by “Waving over the Top” of the Martini glass, creating the illusion that vermouth is
slightly added when it’s really not. For imbibers who like their drink extremely Dryyyyy ...
In regards to liquor/base spirits. Well/Generic brands are also called “bar brands”.
They are generally inexpensive, unknown brands poured when no specific brand
name is called for. These bottles are usually found in your Speed Rack or Well.
There is also a Premium Well, used in some bar establishments, where the owners
and managers have decided on Call brands for their well product instead of using
Generic brands. This is a generous step up and a nice benefit for the clientele.
Also known as Super Well.
When vermouth is called for in a cocktail, this term means the more vermouth used – the
“wetter” the drink will be. The customer will let you know by special request if they want
their drink “wet” or “a little wet”. This is called upon more for “Sweet” vermouth, than “Dry”.
Used in all kitchens, this is a miniature size whisk designed for use in a bar, about 8
inches long with a swish head no larger than a medium-sized marble. Great for Premium-
Build cocktails, and waking drinks up.
A metal ring, usually in gold or silver, with a soft absorbing cushion cloth on the interior,
that fits over and slightly down the neck of a wine bottle, to help the waiter or bartender
avoid any drippage on the table or bar top when pouring from glass to glass. A very
handy little tool.
Normally seen only in restaurants serving/selling a great deal of wine (House and/or
Premium). Nitrogen driven lines for multiple-tap release pouring, it comes in very handy
in a wine-popular house. An average dimension of 3 x 3 x 2 ft, with interior lighting, a cold
side for White and Blush wines, and a room temperature side for Red wines. The wood
exterior adds a nice touch to the bar or back bar. This size comes with a total of
6 lines – 4 / 2.
This word is used after a waiter or waitress has called out orders for bottle Beers,
or Margaritas. For Beer, “With” means the need or request for a cold mug to pour
the beer into. For Margaritas, “With” means the need or request to rim the glass
with coarse/kosher margarita salt.
A tool used for stripping any length of peel from fruits with normally thick skins, as an
orange or a lemon. The center cutter of the tool is angled down slightly more than the
Canelle Knife, to cut deeper into the thicker skin. The angle is also adjustable by the
hand as you’re peeling.
Also see Peel / Peeler.