Mark Yocca/Supercall

Get a Crash Course in Basic Bar Lingo

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If you’ve ever approached a bartender to order a Manhattan, thinking it’s the simplest thing in the world, only to be bombarded with questions like, “Straight up or on the rocks?” or “Is well okay?” then you know how quickly a standard drink order can get complicated.

Maybe you’re too embarrassed to ask your bartender to clarify what these terms mean, or maybe you just want to be prepared. Either way, knowing basic bar lingo is essential if you want to get the right drink the right way.

To avoid potentially awkward exchanges with your bartender or receiving anything less than your ideal cocktail, get up to speed with these essential bar terms before your next night out.

Mark Yocca/Supercall

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