At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced a situation at a bar or restaurant where we’ve been faced with some fancy booze terminology that simply doesn’t make sense. Whether you’re just 21 and still a newb in the bar scene or pushing 40 and haven’t quite nailed down the lingo, it’s embarrassing no matter what.

We’re not asking you to become the dictionary of bar-talk, but we do believe that a basic foundation of vocab is essential in preventing those awkward moments. You can thank us later.

So. For the basics…

I’ll take it…

  • neat: liquor poured straight from the bottle at room temperature.
  • up: chilled, but served with no ice.
  • on the rocks: a drink served over ice.
  • dirty: when olive juice is added in the preparation of a martini.
  • with a twist: a drink with a citrus garnish or with citrus squeezed in.

Could I have that with…

  • back: a non-alcoholic drink served in addition to an alcoholic one. It can be soda, water, or sometimes even beer.
  • chaser: a non-alcoholic drink consumed immediately after taking a shot.

What brand…

  • call: brand name liquor.
  • super call: really nice brand name liquor. Also known as “top shelf” or “premium.”

How much do I want?

  • dash: just a few drops.
  • splash: 1/4 – 1/2 oz.
  • pony: 1 oz.
  • shot: 1.5 oz.
  • snit: 3 fl. oz.

Go forth bar crawler. Take this knowledge and flourish.