BAR Service Terms and Definitions

APERITIF : Comes from the Latin word aperio, meaning “to open.” An alcoholic drink taken before meals to open or enhance the appetite. Apéritifs include Vermouth, Campari, Dubonnet, Pernod, and Amer Picon, to name a few.

BACK : Any mixer or beer served separately, accompanying a shot or alcohol served neat. Also called Chaser.

BAR BACK : An assistant to the bartender, responsible for keeping the bar stocked, clean, and running smoothly. A great way to learn the bartending profession.

BAR KNIFE : Keep your bar knife sharp for attractive garnishes. A paring knife is best.

BAR SPOON : A long spoon; use either end for stirring drinks.

BAR TOWEL : Keep them handy around the bar. Towels should be clean, damp and rolled neatly.

To roll : fold the towel in half, then in half again. (This will leave two folded edges and two open edges). Begin to roll from an open edge. Roll the towel so that it finishes with a folded edge.

BOTTLE OPENERS : If you do not have a permanent opener installed next to your beer cooler, make sure to have a sturdy, hand-held opener and a back-up nearby.

BREAKAGE : The alcohol bottles emptied during a given period. Keeping track of breakage is one way of monitoring the amount of alcohol poured.

CARD : To check someone’s identification card.

CHASER / BACK / ON THE SIDE : The term used when requesting a beverage to follow a hard liquor. A shot may be requested with a beer chaser or soda back.

CLUB SODA : Water that has been filtered, carbonated, and flavored with mineral salts.

LIQUEUR : See Cordial.

LIQUOR : A distilled alcoholic beverage.

MIST: A drink served over crushed ice.

MUDDLER : A wooden pestle used to mash and mix ingredients.

NEAT : Liquor served without ice.

“ON THE ROCKS”: A beverage served over ice, usually in a rocks glass.

ORANGE FLOWER WATER : An orange flavoring agent used for making Ramos Fizzes.

ORGEAT : A sweet, non-alcoholic almond-flavored syrup.

OVER : Alcohol served over ice.

P.C .: A term used when referring to ‘pouring-cost’ percentage.

POUR SPOUTS : Pour spouts are used to control the speed at which you pour. Use regular size pourers for most liquors. Thick or chilled liquors and juices may require a pourer with a larger spout (called speed pourers).

POUSSE-CAFÉ : A drink made by layering or floating liqueurs of different densities.

SELTZER : Similar to club soda but without the addition of mineral salts.

SHAKER GLASS : Available in different sizes, usually made of metal. Some shakers will fit over bar glasses, others are available with a matching mixing glass.

SHOOTER : A drink intended for quick consumption.

SOUR : A drink made with sour mix. The most popular is the whiskey sour.

SOUR MIX : Also called sweet and sour. A mix combining lemon and/or lime juice with sugar.

COLLINS : A tall, sweet drink made with sweet-and-sour mix and club soda or Seven-Up. The most popular being made with vodka and gin (Tom Collins).

CORDIAL : Also called liqueur. Cordials are made by either infusion or maceration. Infusion mixes the alcohol with fruits, plants, herbs, flowers, juices, and sweeteners. In maceration, the flavoring agents are steeped in brandy or neutral spirits. Cordials are usually sweet, syrupy, and concentrated.

CORKSCREW : Keep your own handy. No bartender should be without one.

CORKSPOON : A tool used to remove broken cork from inside of bottles.

COOLERS : A tall drink made with spirits or wine and mixed with a carbonated beverage (usually Seven-Up or soda water).

CUTTING BOARD : Always use one. Cutting on stainless bar surfaces will leave scratches and a dull knife. In addition to general cleaning, cutting boards should be periodically cleaned with bleach.

DRY : A term used when referring to the type and/or amount of Vermouth used to prepare a drink.

HOSTED BAR : Open bar for a special event. Drinks are included and paid for by the host.

HOUSE : The restaurant or bar that you work for.

FLASH BLEND : Using a blender just long enough to mix ingredients and crush the ice.

FLOAT : Liquor used or “floated” on top of a drink.

GRENADINE : A sweet, red flavoring made from pomegranates.

HIGHBALL : A basic drink containing liquor, served over ice with a carbonated liquid or water.

ICE SCOOP : Keep one in or around your ice well. Always use your scoop. Broken glass in your ice can ruin a good night.