Bartender Lingo You Should Know About

No matter if you want to understand your bartender on your next day out or you simply want to gain additional knowledge to impress your friends, I am here to help. I was always fascinated by bartender jargon, which is why I researched on my own. So, I came up with this article in which I shared the most interesting (and funny) bartender lingo you need to know. By the end of this article, you will be able to impress your friends with your knowledge!

Neat, up or straight up?

When it first heard these expressions, I laughed. I really thought the bartender was laughing about me. In most cases, `straight up` means that you want a glass of alcohol without any fancy addition and accompanied by ice. Yet, if you want something served at room temperature, you might say `neat`. It means the same thing as `straight up`, but it is served at room temperature without ice. And if you want a cold drink without ice in your glass, you will say `up`.

A jigger, a splash, a nip, or a pony shot?

If you were in a bar and asked for a shot the bartender most likely asked you how you’d like it. And to help you clarify things, I discovered there are plenty of variations when it comes to shots. A `jigger` is the term used for serving a shot glass with an alcohol content of an ounce and a half of liquor. A `pony shot` is the one measuring one ounce of alcohol, while a `nip` has two ounces. And the `splash` is the most consistent, as it will have an impressive eight ounces.

Cocktail or mixed drink?

When I didn’t possess a lot of knowledge about cocktails, I always assumed these were mixed drinks. But to my surprise, I discovered that cocktails and mixed drinks are not the same thing. Basically, if it were to read the definitions in a bartender’s book, you will see the following. A mixed drink is the one that features some liquor mixed with a flavored ingredient. And a cocktail is a more sophisticated drink, consisting of a mix of spirits, bitters, sugar and water.

Back or chaser?

Admit it! You were asked at least once by a bartender whether or not you want a back or a chaser. So, if you want something non-alcoholic alongside your drink, you will have to ask for a back. But if you want something to drink after a shot, you will have to ask for a chaser.


Even though Martini might appear to be a simple drink, in reality is rather complicated. It can be served wither shaken or stirred, while not all types of Martini can be accompanied by olives. As an example, Vermouth is the main ingredient in any glass of Martini. Yet you need to decide on the dry levels. This refers to the amount of Vermouth you want in your drink. A dry Martini has little Vermouth, while a Wet Martini has a lot of Vermouth. And you can even order the Perfect Martini, which will have a balanced amount of Vermouth.

Article written by Terry DeVaughn, writer for The Atlantic, MacWorld, and Credit Glory.