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Bartending Terminology

Bartending Terminology

There are some specific terms all bartenders use. Probably, you’ve heard most of them before, but still there are few nuances you should know before you start to mix.

Blending – Some drinks must be blended to properly mix their ingredients. A good thing to do is to partially blend the ice before adding anything. When the ice has been broken into small chips you can add other ingredients through the hole in the blenders cover called the drop slot. You should also add frozen items before liquids, too.

Floating – or layering, is adding a layer of liquor to the top of the drink. You can use your bar spoon for this purpose.

Frosting – Frosting a glass means giving it a thin layer of ice on the top. To do this simply place a glass in water and then freeze it for a half an hour or so. It is easier to frost pewter and other metal cups because water doesn’t stick to glass very well.

Garnish – Garnish is a decoration for a drink that actually impacts its taste, e.g. a lime wedge or a salary stalk.

Garbage – Decorations that do not influence drink’s taste are called garbage. Those can be plastic swords, paper umbrellas, etc.

Mixing – An important thing to remember about mixing is the order of adding ingredients. Add the ice first, then pour in the alcohol, and only then add the mixer. This is also cold “building” a drink; it helps to keep the alcohol within the drink the same cold temperature.

Muddling – Muddling is crushing or smashing something against the sides of the glass. You should use either a wooden muddler or a bar spoon with an attached muddler in order not to damage your glassware.

Rimming – For some drinks you may need to rim the glass with salt or sugar. To do this just rub a lemon or lime across the rim of the glass, then put the glass rim-down in a plate with salt or sugar. The rimming must be rather thick and about 1/8 of an inch high.

Stirring – When you mix liquor with a carbonated drink you probably won’t have to stir it a lot – the bubbles will do it for you. However, with still drinks you may need to do as many as a dozen quick stirs. Stirring is helpful when you don’t want to cloud the drink.

Shaking – All you need to do is put the ingredients into your cocktail shaker and shake it rather aggressively for 10 to 15 times. That should be enough. Shaken drinks tend to be more thoroughly mixed, but cloudier. It is up to you which method to use for a certain drink.


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