"Don't be afraid, it's just a cocktails"... Should be what most people say to themselves before placing an order for a drink at a bar, right?
Honestly, when asked, most individuals have limited knowledge of what they are actually ordering or the terminology behind drink orders. Though cocktail history is deeply rooted, having just an general knowledge of key terms and practices can not only aid but make your overall cocktail experience that much more enjoyable.
When ordering utilize the spirit first chaser second rule unless the cocktail/drink of your choice has an official name (ex. Old Fashioned or Dark & Stormy) or you prefer a single spirit, which we will get into later. Instead of telling your bartender you would like a cranberry vodka, use your confident voice and state "I would like a vodka cranberry". Also, don't be afraid to be specific. I would like a Ketel One and cranberry or an Absolut and cranberry. This shows your bartender that you didn't get off the 21 train yesterday and affords you the grand opportunity to make the "call" on your own cocktail. Hence the term "call" brands vs "well" liquors, but thats for a different blog.
In conjunction with proper ordering, knowing how you like your spirits served, is crucial. Though terminology varies from bar to bar, city to city, spirit to spirit, and even bartender to bartender, a few cocktail serving methods hold true.
Neat - A single spirit that is unmixed as well as not chilled. This is usually reserved for spirits that by their nature are best served and enjoyed at room temperature.
On the Rocks - A single spirit that is served on or over ice. This is usually reserved for drinks or spirits that are enjoyed cold and with the addition of melting ice brings flavor profiles not achieved neat.
Up or Straight Up - A libation that is shaken or stirred with ice, strained and served sans ice. This is usually reserved for specific spirits and cocktails and is either at the discretion of the bartender or the patron.
Cocktail or Mixed Drinks - An alcoholic beverage crafted of varying ingredients and spirits not limited to flavor or amount that is uniquely its own. Most are named. Refer to them by name and trust your bartender as they usually are the experts. Let your pallet for cocktails roam free!
At Leisuremann's we want you to have an excellent cocktail experience no matter where you go. We sample our mix on the rocks, as we find the slightly cold and mellow melting of an ice cube lends subtle flavor profiles not achieved when consumed neat. With that said, enjoy how you please. The beauty of our mix, as well as most cocktails, is that you can make them your own. Try new things, new spirits, new ratios and overall have the cocktail adventure you desire.
Remember Keep Calm and Cocktail On!