The Galley | Top bar lingo to make you sound like a pro
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Top bar lingo to make you sound like a pro

Is it us or has cocktail culture gotten a little out of control? Don’t get us wrong: We love a good mixed beverage, and we have the utmost respect for today’s mixologists. We also love a good beer (as you can tell from our extensive draft list), but there are times when we want something more than just a nice cold one. When the mood strikes, there really is nothing like having a well-mixed cocktail. Of course, you want to order something that’s a good fit for your tastes.

Here’s some bar lingo (in alphabetical order) that will ensure you get something delicious, and you might even impress your friends.

Dash: An imprecise measurement, this usually refers to just a few drops or at least less than a capful of an ingredient. Such as a dash of bitters, where adding too much will make a drink unpalatable (at least to most).

Double: Quite literally two jiggers of alcohol.

Down: Sort of the opposite of straight up, use this when serving a drink into a tumbler.

Garnish: Any fruit (or even sometimes vegetable) that gets added to a drink, such as a twist of lemon or lime, a cherry, etc.

Jigger: The standard 1.5 oz measuring instrument at bars.

Neat: The opposite of on the rocks, it means an alcohol served with no ice and not mixed with anything. As in, “I’ll take a scotch, neat.”

On the rocks: A drink or spirit poured over ice, such as having a bourbon on the rocks.

Pony: You’re probably familiar with a shot, which is 1.5 oz of alcohol, and a pony is slightly smaller at 1 oz.

Shot: One jigger of alcohol, usually 1.5 oz.

Splash: More than a dash, but less than a shot, this means the bartender will add an ingredient to taste. It could be a lot or a little.

Straight up: Also sometimes knowns as just “up,” this refers to a cocktail that is shaken or stirred over ice, and then strained into a stemmed glass without ice. Think a martini or a cosmopolitan.

Ready to order your next cocktail? Feel free to practice these terms or even learn some new ones from our bartenders!

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