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Alcohol geekery glossary

Neat: Straight out of the bottle, into a glass, nothing else.

Over: Straight out of the bottle, into a glass with ice (as in "over ice"). Don't know if they're still teaching this at bartending school, most folks order "rocks" instead these days.

Shaken: Put in a shaker with ice and shaken until very cold. Chills better, but can result in cloudiness because shaking aerates the liquid.

Stirred: Put in a pitcher with ice and stirred until cold. Doesn't chill as quickly, may water down a bit more, but gives you a glass-clear result.

Mixed Drink: A drink that includes only one alcoholic ingredient and a mixer. If it's got two ingredients in its name joined with an "and" and comes in a glass with ice, it's a mixed drink.

Cocktail: A drink that (almost always) includes more than one alcoholic ingredient, and often more than two ingredients total (not counting garnish).

Up: Iced (shake or stir) and strained into a glass to remove the ice.

Rocks: Iced (shake or stir) and poured into a glass with the ice (in a really classy joint, strained into a glass containing new ice). Also commonly used in place of "over."

Single spirits can be ordered neat, up or over, tho it depends on the spirit if it's a good idea or not. Gin neat is usually a bad idea. Good whisky up or over will get you lynched in most places (tho Rye Over can be a delightful thing). Vodka (and flavored vodkas) work in any case.

Mixed drinks always come over ice, it's just assumed.

Cocktails can be ordered up or rocks, though some have traditional styles. That inverted-cone "martini" glass is an "up glass," and martinis are assumed to be served up. Daiquiris were originally up drinks, but evolved to rocks and then to blended. Same with Margaritas. A Mojito, on the other hand, always is a rocks drink (it's defined in the recipe).

If you don't put any vermouth in your martini, though, it's really just Gin Over or Gin Rocks, and it's time to admit you have a problem.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
Good whisky up or over will get you lynched in most places

On the other hand, the flavour of most single malts opens up and develops an appreciable amount of extra complexity, with the addition of a small splash of water (still, spring, room temperature for preference).
Jan. 7th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
Most Americans accept drinking whiskey over, or on the rocks, without even thinking about it. Order it in Europe and they'll just think you're an American barbarian.

As for martinis, I think it was Keroac who said that the perfect martini is to keep a refrigerator full of gin, and once a month open the door and whisper "vermouth".
Jan. 7th, 2005 11:20 pm (UTC)
Rye over a single large ice cube (and I mean large) is the best way to enjoy it. As it waters and chills the flavor changes radically; it's really the only way to taste everything in it.

Cask strength Bourbon or Scotch with a splash of spring water, as sinick said. 80 proof neat.

Canadian? Forget about it. Same with Japanese (who drink it 2 water x 1 whisky).

Alameda single malt? Any way you can get it, but neat or a splash of water are best. It's worth it.

Kerouac was a bum. A martini without vermouth is just iced gin, the refuge of depressed housewives.

I learned martinis from an old New York society couple who moved to godawful nowhere in the midwest when they were young (they were in their late seventies when I met them). Jim bought 3 bottles of Gilbeys Gin and one bottle of M&R Dry Vermouth, poured them together in a kettle, funneled them back into the bottles, kept them in the freezer, and every afternoon at 4:00 they made up a tumbler of rocks, dropped in an olive, and poured a martini from the freezer. Very 50's.

I also do the traditional "Vesper" (aka the "James Bond Martini"). 3 gin, 1 vodka, 1/2 Lillet Blanc, shaken, up with a lemon twist. It's what Fleming wrote in Casino Royale.
Jan. 7th, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC)
I also do the traditional "Vesper" (aka the "James Bond Martini"). 3 gin, 1 vodka, 1/2 Lillet Blanc, shaken, up with a lemon twist. It's what Fleming wrote in Casino Royale.

And that's how we confirmed my silly little allergy to gin. Man, I can still feel the itch!!

Me, I loved K's "Expanding Cosmo" and really could use one right about now.
Jan. 8th, 2005 02:33 am (UTC)
Karisu-Dilandau is so Teh Klewless about alcohol geekery, especially when it drifts into anything with ice, or multiple ingredients. My usual standard drink is a nice glass of preferably fine wine, any type of wine, as long as it's a good wine (translation: I like the taste.) Not that I won't occasionally have other drinks, though.

But not usually beer. I am in general NOT a beer person. >.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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