Bartending for Beginners

Whether one is starting a career as a bartender or just entertaining friends with a small home bar, knowing the basic bar terminology is a must.

bartending for beginners

Before jumping behind the bar and pouring liquors in a glass, it is important to learn the basic bar terminology. By learning the basic bar terminology one will have the foundation needed to create cocktails at home or begin training for a bartending career.

The following glossary contains beginner bartending basic bar terms-

Blend/Flash Blend/Mixing – The process of blending/mixing the ingredients in the drink being prepared.

Build – To add ingredients to the glass.

Chilled Liquors –Liquors that are meant to be kept cold and served chilled. Common chilled liquors include Jagermeister, Rumpleminze, Patron, Goldschlager, Sambuca, and Peppermint Schnapps

Cocktail Glass – A traditional stemmed glass for serving cocktails up.

Cocktail – An alcohol beverage made by mixing one or more liquors with or without flavors and non-alcoholic beverages like juices, tonic, soda.

Dash – 1/24th to 1/48th fluid ounces

Dirty – Martini made with a splash of olive juice.

Drizzle – Enhance the appearance of a drink, usually with chocolate or strawberry syrup.

Dry – Martini or Manhattan made with Dry Vermouth.

Extra Dry – Martini made with no Vermouth.

Float – Pouring a 1/8 oz. portion of a spirit or juice on top of drink without stirring or mixing.

Footed Glass – Used for warm alcoholic beverages such as coffee and hot chocolate drinks. A handled glass with a foot.

Garnish – A garnish: Fruit and edible non-alcoholic items added to a drink to enhance flavor and visual appearance. (Examples: lemons, limes, oranges, whipped cream, etc.)

Highball – A cocktail containing one or more classes of alcohol (rum, gin, vodka, etc) mixed with soda or water (coke, sprite, etc). Example: Bacardi and Coke or Dewar’s and Water

Layered Drinks – Liquors of different densities are put into glass one by one without mixing. This technique must be done slowly to accomplish the layered effect. Use the back of the bar spoon. Examples include Sex with an Alligator and B-52.

Martini – Build on rocks in mixing tin. Shake for 15 seconds and strain.

Perfect – Manhattan made with both Sweet and Dry Vermouth.

Rocks – The liquor is poured over ice.

Rocks Glass – A smaller version of a highball glass used to serve single spirits on the rocks.

Shake and Strain – A method used to chill a drink or shooter that will be served up.

Snifter – A stemmed glass used to serve aromatic spirits up (brandy, cognac, etc).

Sours – Any drink made with sour mix like an Amaretto Sour or Tom Collins.

Splash – 1 to 2 ounces of a mixer.

Sweet and Sour – A lemon based cocktail mix that is both sweet and sour.

Tall – Highball drink served in a tall glass. Glass is filled with more mixer, not more liquor.

Twist – A strip of lemon that is twisted over the drink and then dropped in the glass.

Up – A method of serving alcohol mixed or alone with no ice.

Wheel – Fruit, cut into wheel shape that can be placed on the side of the glass.

Now that you have an understanding of basic bar terminology, you can move on to becoming acquainted with basic bartending tools, alcohol types, and techniques. Now get ready to make cocktails that will blow everyone’s minds!

Copyright Amanda-Makenzie Braedyn

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