How To Order Drinks at a Bar: What You Need To Know

How To Order Drinks at a Bar

Do you feel embarrassed and conscious for not being able to order the drinks perfectly in the bar? Then cheer up, buddy, as you aren’t the only one.

Learning how to order drinks at a bar is not a very long and tedious process. You just need to figure out the mixing etiquette and a few terminologies. And you know how it will help you? You won’t look like a schmuck in front of people. 

So, let’s buckle down through the article and find the easy way out.

How To Order Drinks At A Bar

Before knowing the standard drinks and terminologies, the first thing that needs to have your attention is the order of mixing.

Bartenders always add liquor first, followed by a mixed drink. Therefore, you should always mention the liquor first, followed by the mix or addition you want to go for. 

Moreover, always specify the brand whose liquor you like. For example, if you ask for Rum, Tonic, and cranberry juice, you will end up getting three separate drinks, and probably that isn’t what you aimed for.

Instead, if you ask the bartender if you want a gray goose Martini mixed with cranberry juice, the bartender will easily bring you the desired drink. 

Level Of Alcohol 

Additionally, most bars have levels of alcohol too. Therefore, you must be up with them too to enjoy the drink you long for. Else, you will end up sipping the drink your friends like just because you don’t know how to order one.

Therefore, it is best to spend a few minutes, get up with things, and enjoy sipping your favorite booze without feeling awkward. 

Some Common Terminologies To Learn About 

One of the prime areas where people lack is the use of basic terminologies. The people aren’t up with these terminologies that can help them get the drinks that meet their expectations. A few of these, which are most commonly used, are:

  • Straight Up

It means to shake the drink in the shaker and strain it directly into the glass. Moreover, it includes no ice cubes.

  • Sour

Sour, as the name indicates, refers to the sourness of lime mix. 

So, if you want to mix any liquor like rum or vodka with lime, you can ask for a Vodka Sour from the bartender. 

  • Dirty

Dirty means the addition of extra olive juice in Martin’s drinks specifically. So, if you want to enjoy lots of olive juice in your Martini, all you need to ask for is a dirty Martini.

  • Shake And Strain

Shake and Strain, also known as “Shooters and Martinis,” refers to terminologies in which we place ice and required ingredients in a shaker, shake it properly, and then strain it into the glass. It differs from straight-up in a way that it includes the addition of ice.

  • Neat

Neat means the perfect shot in its purest form without dilution or ice addition.

For example, if you long for a shot of vodka coming directly from the bottle without any added ice, you can ask the bartender to provide you with a vodka neat. 

  • On The Rock

It simply means a drink with ice in it.

  • Dry

Dryness means less amount of vermouth. So, if you ask for a dry Martini from the bartender, it means add little to no vermouth to your Martini.

  • Premium Drink (Top-quality Drink)

Premium means you are asking for the best quality alcohol from the bartender, present on the top shelf.

  • Frozen One

If you want a drink full of ice, more like a smoothie, then you ask the bartender to provide you with a frozen drink.

  • Back

Back means a glass of soda drink or simple water, followed by a beverage.

So, these are a few terminologies you should be familiar with. Moreover, it is recommended to go to the menu of the bar you visit to learn more and get better ideas of what to order.

Types Of Drinks At A Bar To Look For

How To Order Drinks at a Bar

Moving on to types of drinks, in bars, drinks are named and classified on the level of alcohol present in them. For example, vodka comes in three classes:

  1. Grey Goose– the premium one
  2. Absolut- the second level 
  3. Smirnoff- the cheapest one

Similarly, there are levels for other drinks too.

So, let’s toggle through the types and classes to get more up-to-date with the information. 

Rail Drink

These include the most commonly ordered alcohols, lime vodka, rum, gin, and tequila. This section consists of the cheapest drinks; if you don’t specify a particular brand to the bartender, he serves you these alcohols.

Call Drink

This includes all those drinks which are called by the brand they belong to. For example, you just need to say patron screwdriver, and the bartender knows what you are aiming for.

Premium Drink

Premium drink, as the name itself indicates, contains the most top-quality alcohol present in a bar.

House Wine

House Wine is the most common wine in a bar. But ever thought about what it is? It’s the cheapest wine available at a bar.

Draft Beer

It is a unique type of beer that is pulled from a barrel made of metal. It is one of the finest quality craft beers one can drink. In fact, some people find these beers to be better than canned ones.

Leaving A Tip For Your Bartender 

One generous step is to leave a customary tip of 15 to 20% of the total (especially if you plan to become a regular customer). It seems to be a sweet act.


Now that you are up with the basic terminologies and some common ways to order a drink at a bar, why not try buying one?

You can easily order one without asking your friends or feeling dumb. Moreover, you won’t have to rely on the bartender’s choice anymore. You know what you exactly need.

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