Bar Lingo & Measures


What does ounce, build, float, and layer mean? If any of these words sound foreign to you then no worries...these links will put ya in the know know.


Bar Terminology


Build; Fill a glass with ice and pour in the ingredients.

Stir; Fill a glass with ice, build, then stir with a straw. In the case of stirring a classic Martini or Manhattan, you are stirring the mixture in a shaker glass of ice with a bar spoon then strained with a julep strainer.

Roll; Fill a glass with ice, build drink, then pour it into a shaker tin or glass then pour it back into the original glass. It’s like the chemistry set pour.

Shake; Fill a glass with ice, build the ingredients, then pour everything into a shaker tin and shake. Pour everything back into the original glass. Or, if you are an experienced bartender then you will be able to fill the shaker with ice and ingredients in perfect porportions.

Shake and Strain; Pour ingredients into a shaker tin filled half with ice, shake and strain into the glass. This method is typical for shooters and Martinis.

Shake and Strain over ice: Pour ingredients into a shaker tin filled half with ice, shake and strain into a glass of ice.

Float; Gently pour on top of a drink. You’re floating it on top.

Layer; Spirits and or ingredients poured on top of one another to create layers. An object such as a bar spoon is often used to break the fall so that it gently layers on top of the spirit below. The most popular spirit layer is a B-52. Before you begin to layer, gather all your bottles and line them up next to you.

Blend; To mix up in an electric blender. In America, the south calls these frozen drinks and in the North they say blended drinks.

Rim; To add something to the rim of the glass. For example, to add salt to a Margarita rim you can take a lime wedge and wet the outside rim of the glass, then roll the outside edge of the glass in kosher salt. Most bars carry rimmers that hold sections of limejuice, salt, and sugar. Just remember to wet and rim the outside edge of the rim, not directly on top of the rim because too much of the salt or sugar goes into the glass. Oh, and one more thing, always clean the rimmer after every shift. Please.

Chill; To chill a glass add ice then water to the glass and allow it to chill while you are making the drink. When ready, empty the glass and it is chilled. Mostly, you are chilling martini/cocktail glasses. A lot of bars these days keep martini glasses in coolers, so you don’t have hand-chill them like this.

Muddle; To crush up ingredients with a muddler so that it extracts essential oils and flavors.

Flame; To set a drink on fire. The most common method is to float 151 rum on top of a drink then light with a match. You don’t want to use a lighter because lighter fluid goes into the drink. Other popular spirits used for flaming are Grand Marnier and Sambuca. Also, lemon and orange zests can be squeezed releasing oils at a match flame for a small burst of light. Cinnamon sprinkled on top of a flame creates a mini firework show. Other spirits can be flamed if you heat them up slightly first and then put them into a heated glass as well. Heating can be done on the stove or microwave. Some tableside pyrotechnic presentations involve heating in a pan on a burner then lit with a long fireplace match (I love those matches!). It can then be poured into glasses while flaming. Extreme caution and alertness must always be taken when fire is involved. I, and the publisher of this book are in no way responsible for any mishaps or fire-related accidents based on this information.
On the rocks; Over ice.

Straight up; Chilled in a shaker tin and strained. The term up is the same has straight up.

Neat; Room-temperature-pour straight from the bottle. No ice.


Additional Terms To Know


Well, Call, Premium, and Ultra Premium; this refers to the quality and/or price level of spirits you offer at your bar. Everything in life has levels. With automobiles it’s compact, midsize, luxury, and dream on. Behind the bar, for example, the vodka that you keep in your speed rail/well is the well vodka. Next, Smirnoff will probably be the call vodka, then Absolut is typical premium vodka and Ketel One is considered ultra premium vodka (sometimes called super premium or boutique). Just so you know, there wasn’t an Ultra Premium category until the Greygoose, single batch-type boutique spirits hit the market.

Back; Back means an extra glass of something to accompany a drink. Some guests will order, Bourbon on the rocks with a water back. What they want is Bourbon on the rocks with a short glass of water set about an inch in back of the Bourbon. Not a tall water glass of water.

Chaser; A chaser is an extra glass of something to drink right after a spirit (chase down your throat). A common chaser is a shot of a spirit with a beer chaser.
Free Pour; To free pour means that you are making drinks by freely pouring out of the bottle without using a measuring device.

Speed Rail; It’s a long stainless steel shelf about the height of your knees that holds the most commonly used well liquors and is sometimes called the speed well. It’s usually connected to the ice well.


The Mega Converter


Bar Measurements

Dash 1/8 barspoon 0.625ml
Splash 1/4 ounce 7.5ml
Lace 1/2 ounce 15ml
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon 2.5ml
Floater 3/4 ounce 22.5ml
Pony 1 ounce 30ml
Shot 1 1/2 ounces 45ml
Cup 8 ounces 230ml
Pint 16 ounces/2 cups 460ml
Quart 32 ounces/4 cups/2 pints 920ml
Gallon 128 ounces/4 quarts/16 cups 3.68L
Olives in a Martini 1 dropped or 2 speared same
Coffee Beans in Sambuca 3 3
Sprig of Mint 3 leaves 3 leaves

Spirit Bottle Sizes

Miniature/Airplane 1.6 50ml
Half-Pint 8 200ml
Pint 16 500ml
Fifth 25.6 750ml
Quart 32 1L
Half-Gallon 64 1.75L

Wine Bottle Sizes

187ml (split) 6.3 1
375ml 12.7 2
750ml 25.4 5
1L 33.8 6
1.5L 50.7 10
3L 101.4 20
5L 169.0 34


Champagne Bottle Sizes

Split 187ml 1
Half 375ml 2
Fifth 750ml 4
Magnum 1.5L 8
Jeroboam 3L 17
Rehoboam 4.5L 24
Methuselah 6L 34
Salmanazar 9L 50
Balthazar 12L 68
Nebuchadnezzar 15L 112

Alcohol Freezing Point

How many times have you asked yourself, I wonder if I can put this bottle in the freezer?

12 24 +20 -6.7
20 40 +10 -12.2
27 54 -10 -23.33
38 76 -20 -28.89
42 84 -30 -34.44

Beer Calories & Carbs

Most Light Pilsner Beer 95-110 3.2-6.9
Most Regular Pilsner Beer 130-145 8.7-11.7
George Killian's Irish Red 163 13.8
Guinness 170 20
O'Doul's 70 13.3
Red Hook 188 12.6
Sam Adams 160 18
Sierra Nevada 200 12.3


Wine Calories & Carbs

Red Wine 95-105 1.7
White Wine 90-100 1.1
Rose/White Zin 90-100 1.1
Champagne 100-105 2
Dessert Wine 225 20
Port 170-180 13
Sherry 112 4
Vermouth (dry) 120 6
Vermouth (sweet) 150 8

Spirit Calories & Carbs

Bourbon/Whiskey/Scotch/Brandy 65-83 trace
Vodka/Gin/Rum/Tequila 65-83 0
Advocaat 167 30
Anisette 75 7
B & B 95 3
Bailey’s 121 10
Coffee Liqueur 117 5
Crème de Banana 145 8
Crème de Cassis 120 7
Crème de Cocoa 150 10
Crème de Menthe 185 9
Curacao 155 8
Drambuie 165 3
Fruit Flavored Brandy 130 5
Peppermint Schnapps 125 7
Pernod 120 4.3
Sloe Gin 125 5
Southern Comfort 180 4
Tia Maria 138 3


Cocktail Calorie & Carbs

Apple Martini 148 3.5
Bloody Mary 116 7
Brandy Alexander 300 11
Black Russian 117 5
Bourbon & Soda 150 0
Classic Martini 155 1
Daiquiri 110 5
Gin Rickey 115 3
Gin & Tonic 80 14
Gin & Diet Tonic 80 0
Irish Coffee 210 8
Long Island Iced Tea 180 15
Mai Tai 310 17
Manhattan 140 3
Margarita 170 4
Mint Julep 215 8
Old Fashioned 180 5
Pîna Colada 270 32
Rum & Coke 80 14
Rum & Diet Coke 80 0
Screwdriver 175 15
Sloe Gin Fizz 230 11
Tequila Sunrise 200 14
Tom Collins 120 9
Whiskey Sour 170 6
White Russian 280 17

All alcohols have different weights. Usually, the higher the alcohol content, the lighter it will be, but sometimes if other ingredients are mixed with it then the weight can change. This chart works best if you try not to layer spirits 5-10 weights from each other.

Cream White Milky very light
151 Rum Light Amber fire light
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Dark Amber Bourbon 0.941
Hiram Walker Kirschwasser Clear Cherry 0.941
Dekuyper Kirschwasser Clear Cherry 0.941
Sauza Silver Tequila Clear Tequila 0.945
Jameson’s Irish Whiskey Amber Irish Whiskey 0.948
Rain Clear Vodka 0.9498
Sauza Gold Tequila Gold Tequila 0.95
Skyy Citrus Vodka Clear Lemon Vodka 0.9555
Pernod Clear Anise/Licorice 0.985
Ouzo Clear Anise/Licorice 0.984
Southern Comfort Dark Amber Peach Apricot 0.99337
Hiram Walker Ginger Brandy Light Amber Ginger Brandy 0.995
Tuaca Amber Vanilla Orange Caramel Brandy 1.0157
B&B Amber Sweet Herbal Cognac 1.0245
Dekuyper Sloe Gin Dark Red Sloe Berries 1.0261
Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps Clear Peppermint 1.027
Grand Marnier Amber Orange Cognac 1.03
Malibu Clear Coconut Rum 1.03
Hiram Walker Root Beer Schnapps Brown Root Beer 1.037
Cointreau Clear Orange 1.0385
Dekuyper Apricot Brandy Dark Orange Apricot 1.0437
Dekuyper Triple Sec Clear Orange 1.05
Chambord Maroon Black Raspberry 1.05
Lady Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur White White Chocolate 1.05
Baileys Irish Cream Tan Creamy Spiced Irish Whiskey 1.05
Irish Mist Dark Amber Honey Herb Whiskey 1.05
Dekuyper Blackberry Brandy Dark Purple Blackberry 1.0552
Campari Red Bitter 1.06
Benedictine Light Amber Herbal 1.07
Dekuyper Blue Curacao Blue Orange 1.0704
Dekuyper Root Beer Schnapps Brown Root Beer 1.0705
Drambuie Light Amber Heather Honey Scotch 1.08
Amaretto Di Saronno Dark Amber Almond 1.08
Sambuca Clear Anise/Licorice 1.08
Frangelico Clear Hazelnut 1.08
Tia Maria Brown Coffee 1.09
Dekuyper Anisette Clear Anise 1.0921

Dekuyper Melon Liqueur
Bright Green Honeydew Melon 1.0924
Dekuyper Wildberry Schnapps Clear Berry 1.0894
Dekuyper Green Menthe Dark Green Mint 1.0885
Dekuyper Bluesberry Clear Blueberry 1.0863
Dekuyper Grape Pucker Purple Grape 1.0864
Dekuyper Banana Yellow Banana 1.0822
Marie Brizard Blue Curacao Blue Orange 1.0999
Dekuyper Coffee Liqueur Brown Coffee 1.189
Hiram Walker Crème de Noyaux Red Almond 1.148
Marie Brizard Coffee Liqueur Brown Coffee 1.142
Hiram Walker Crème de Banana Yellow Banana 1.142
Midori Bright Green Honeydew Melon 1.15
Kahlua Brown Coffee 1.152
Marie Brizard White Crème de Cacao Clear Chocolate 1.1602
Marie Brizard Dark Crème de Cacao Brown Chocolate 1.1602
Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis Dark Red Black Currant 1.179
DeKuyper Razzmatazz Red Raspberry 1.139
Marie Brizard Anisette Clear Anise 1.1371
Hiram Walker Dark Crème de Cacao Brown Chocolate 1.136
Dekuyper Buttershots Schnapps Amber Butterscotch 1.1225
Dekuyper White Cocoa Clear Chocolate 1.1204
Marie Brizard Green Crème de Menthe Dark Green Mint 1.1204
Marie Brizard White Crème de Menthe Clear Mint 1.1204
Dekuyper Cassis Dark Red Black Currant 1.1211
Hiram Walker Butterscotch Schnapps Amber Butterscotch 1.126
Galliano Yellow Vanilla Licorice 1.11
Dekuyper Thrilla Vanilla Clear French Vanilla 1.1193
Dekuyper Hot Damn Red Cinnamon 1.1191
Jägermeister Black/Green Herbal Bitter  
Marie Brizard Parfait Amour Purple Vanilla Orange Almond 1.1163
Goldschlager Clear w/ Gold Flakes Cinnamon 1.1111
Dekuyper Strawberry Liqueur Red Strawberry 1.1005
Dekuyper Watermelon Pucker Red Watermelon 1.1051
Dekuyper Peachtree Clear Peach 1.1037
Dekuyper Mad Melon Red Watermelon 1.0971
Dekuyper Island Blue Light Blue Fruity 1.095
Dekuyper Apple Pucker Lime Green Sour Apple 1.0944
Dekuyper Cheri Beri Pucker Red Cherry 1.0937
Dekuyper Coconut Amaretto Clear Coconut Almond 1.0925
Grenadine Red Cherry/Pomegranate Heavy