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All cocktail terms, tools and methods you need to know

On the blog, you will find many recipes for cocktails, and they often contain terms that are not exactly everyday occurring. Below, they are all described, so that you can get a better understanding of what they mean. Cheers!


Build: The easiest method of all: just build the cocktail in your glass. Throw ice in your glass, pour one ingredient after the other into your glass and voilà: you're done!

Shake: Yeah you know this one! Shake it, baby!

Dry shake: With the dry shake method, you shake twice. First, without ice, and then once more with ice. Dry shaking is mainly done to activate egg white or aqua faba extra well so that it expands and creates a nice foam layer.

Whip shake: Shake with a small amount of crushed ice in your shaker. Often used for tiki cocktails.

Strain: Pour using your Hawthorne strainer.

Fine strain / double strain: Strain using your hawthorne strainer AND fine strainer.

Stir: Stirring. Easy does it.

Churn: Stir, but vertically. So you start at the bottom of your glass and go up with your bar spoon while you stir.

Muddle: Crushing ingredients like strawberries, lemons, mint leaves, etc.

Slap: The "slapping" of an herb on the back of your hand. By gently "slapping" the herb, you open the pores of the herb (for example mint), making the smell even stronger.

Free-pouring: pouring alcohol directly from the bottle through a spout.

If you know the right rhythm, you will know by counting as you pour exactly how many millilitres you pour.


Highball: A tall, wide glass.

Collins: Similar to a highball, but just a bit taller and narrower.

Rocks: A low glass. Also called a tumbler or whiskey glass.

Neat Rocks: A low glass, but a lot smaller than a rocks. Typically used to drink whiskey without ice.

Coupe: A round shaped cocktail glass, like the one Leonardo DiCaprio is holding in his hand.

Martini: The V-shaped classic cocktail glass.

Nick 'n Nora: A slightly smaller, oval shaped cocktail glass.

Flute: A champagne glass.

Balloon: A rather large, round glass. Primarily used for Gin & Tonics.


Cubed / On the Rocks: When someone orders "on the rocks", they simply mean they want ice cubes in their glass. Preferably the one and only square cubes.

Blocked: One big block of ice. Great for sipper cocktails.

Crushed: The only real cubes, but processed with a very large hammer. Smaller pieces. Often used in Tiki cocktails.

Up: This is the most sought after term. Up means: "I want my cocktail cold, but without ice in the glass". So, this applies to most "fancy" cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan and Vesper Martini: No ice in the glass, but chilled beforehand with ice and therefore nice and cold.

Neat: No ice in the glass.


Shaker (2-piece): In the case of a 2-piece shaker, you have your small shaker of 18 oz or 532 milliliters & your large shaker of 28 oz or 828 milliliters.

Cobbler shaker (3-piece): A 3 piece shaker: Your large shaker, the top piece with strainer & the cap.

Fine strainer: A small strainer.

Hawthorne strainer: The classic cocktail strainer.

Julep strainer: Even more classic than the Hawthorne. Beautiful thing, but made redundant with the arrival of the hawthorne. Used for straining stirred drinks.

Barspoon: The beautiful long barspoon with curled handle.

Jigger: Your measuring buddy.

Mexican elbow: Simply the best juicer ever. Slice a lemon or lime in half, place the half upside down in the mexican elbow and use both hands to quickly and firmly squeeze all the juice out of your citrus fruit.

Pourers: AKA free pourers. These allow you to pour your alcohol directly from the bottle.

Am I missing a term, or do you have a question about something else cocktail related?

Simple send me a message here!



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