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How To Order A Cocktail - Tips For Correctly Ordering Cocktails


Ordering a drink at a bar or restaurant should be simple, but for many people, it isn't. Like confusing terms on a menu, there's a lot of terminologies when it comes time to order a drink.

bartender at Forklift & Palate

To avoid a possibly embarrassing situation or to just make sure you're getting what you want, here are some tips for ordering cocktails on your next night out.

Common Cocktail Lingo

You've surely heard some phrases or terms thrown around while people are ordering drinks, whether it's been in person or when you were watching a movie — but do you know exactly what a "dirty" martini is or what a drink served "neat" is? Here are some of the most common terms used to describe drinks and what they mean:

  • Chilled: When you order a drink chilled, it means you want it served cold. Oftentimes, chilled drinks are a shot of a particular type of liquor, like bourbon.
  • Dirty: This is a term used to describe a martini. If you order a dirty martini, you're asking the bartender to add olive juice and olives. If you ask for it to be extra dirty, they'll add in more olive juice.
  • Double: If you ask for a double, you'll get a drink with twice the amount of alcohol.
  • Dry: Another term to describe a martini, it means the bartender will add less vermouth to the drink, making it more bitter.
  • Neat: Neat is the opposite of chilled. A "neat" drink is served at room temperature with no ice.
  • On the rocks: This means your drink will be served over ice.
  • Straight Up: This is another term for chilled.
  • Well: A "well" drink means that you have no preference when it comes to the liquor or mixer that's used in your drink. Usually, it means you'll get the cheapest version.

Tips for Ordering Cocktails

If you've been to a restaurant that serves drinks, you've probably seen people with bad manners — snapping their fingers at the bartender, not tipping or drinking a little too much. Don't be that person.


You've probably also seen the person who struts up to the bar and orders with confidence. You do want to be that person!

Here are a few tips for when you're out ordering a cocktail:

  • Ask questions: If you don't know what a term means or you just need clarification, don't be afraid to ask your waiter or bartender a few questions. You'd rather do that then get a drink that you don't like, right?
  • Be ready: Sometimes, getting the bartender's attention can be hard. When you do catch them, make sure you know your full order. If it's busy, you shouldn't be wasting their time while you try to decide what you want.
  • Tip: Like waiters, bartenders are often relying on tips. Even if the service isn't what you were expecting, try to think if it was really their fault or if it was out of their control. Was the bar just busy that night? Don't stiff the person making your drinks.

At the Forklift & Palate at Spooky Nook Sports, we have a drinks menu to satisfy any taste. Order one of our specialty cocktails or find a great beer or wine. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or are just enjoying a fun night out, Forklift & Palate is the place to go.

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