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The Secret To Ordering A Cocktail Like An Expert

a glass of orange juice

Ordering a cocktail used to be a pretty straightforward request, not until the innovation of treats and varieties. Now, you need to have a very good level of experience with what you want, or you may end up having a mix that does not satisfy your taste. The truth is that ordering a cocktail is more objective than subjective. You need to ensure that certain metrics are reached when making an order to get the best taste.

Follow this piece to get quick and in-depth tips on ordering your cocktail like a professional.

How to Order Cocktail Like an Expert?

Ordering a cocktail to your taste has to come with specifications, terms that may not necessarily be known to the average diner. Here's a breakdown of some of the most relevant terms when ordering your cocktail.


A vermouth term describes equal parts of dry and sweet vermouth. It is one of the standard terms with amateur diners. An example is the Manhattan, which mainly was served with only sweet vermouth but perfected with an introduction of dry vermouth.

Neat or Excellent

As it sounds, neat is a term that defines alcohol in its purest form, with no mixers, water, or ice. Excellent mostly goes for individuals with a simple and uncomplicated taste in cocktails.

On the Rocks

It is the contradiction of neatness, which is served with ice. It can be used with cocktails like margaritas and whatever with just an addition of the phrase 'on the rocks.' Believed to be coined from the practice of using river rocks to cool whiskey.

Back or Chaser

A back is simply a substance served in a drink to reduce the intensity of the flavor or burn. They are usually none alcoholics. It is filled in a shot of hard liquor, meant to complement the alcohol.


These are cocktails made from the cheapest alcohol at a bar. They are mostly made of alcohol brands that are not so popular. For example, instead of gin and tonic, Tanqueray and tonic is a perfect example of a well.

Dirty or Stained

A cocktail mixed with a brine, which adds an acidic vinegar taste, as well as cloudiness, is termed dirty. There is a variety of brines that cut through tomato and olive brines.

Top Shelf

The Top shelf term describes the best alcohol available at a bar. It is also primarily associated with elite individuals, as they come with special treats and services.


Double the alcohol. This informs the bartender about one's decision to go beyond the average level of alcohol.

Order a Cocktail At Harvard Gardens in Boston

Knowing how to order a cocktail like an expert will help you get the best drink every time. Now that we've broken down the cocktail lingo put it to use on your next visit to Harvard Gardens in Boston! Explore our drink menu to see what we have to offer and don't be scared to ask our bartenders any questions or impress them with your newfound cocktail knowledge!  Make a reservation today, we hope to see you soon!