Mixology 101: A Glossary of Terms

Nearly a century has passed since cocktails made their debut, but they haven't gotten any easier—or less intimidating—to prepare. We're here to help! In a new cocktail series beginning next week on Lonny, I'll break down the science, share one-of-a-kind recipes, and give carefully crafted advice on the art of a good libation. But before we dive into our first drink, let's take a moment to define all you’ll need to know for mixing at home or ordering at the local speakeasy.

Tools of the Trade
Once you've got the vessels and equipment down, you can move on to the confusing stuff.

Illustrations by Genevieve Garruppo/Lonny

Key Phrases
Straight up: aka "no ice." Most simple drinks (one or two spirits alone) are served this way. Take a martini, for example—vodka or gin and dry vermouth with an olive garnish, served cold but not freezing.
On the rocks: otherwise known as over ice. Your greyhound or bloody Mary is served with ice, due to the fruit juice. It must stay cold as you sip.
Neat: one beautiful spirit, alone in a rocks glass. It needs no frills or masks—it's perfect all by itself. My current favorite is the Japanese single malt Yamazaki 12 year.

A Word of Advice
Cocktails that are shaken almost always have fruit juice as an ingredient. Shake them vigorously (it’s not just for show!) to break up the ice, chill the liquids, and enhance the booze's flavor. If you're adding a carbonated substance, be sure to add a splash after you pour the shaken contents into the cup. Shaking seltzer or tonic will cause a cocktail explosion.

James Bond enjoys his vodka shaken, not stirred but he clearly didn’t consult a mixologist.
Delicate drinks sans fruit fillers, such as martinis and sazeracs, should always be stirred. But if you like your martini served with a thin film of ice at the top, then, by all means, shake up. 

Now you're ready to order up! Check back here next week for a healthy New Year's Resolution cocktail that packs a punch without all the guilt!
I'm the former Photo Editor at Lonny Magazine
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