Home Bartending Essentials by Jason Wilkey - HTML preview

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Having good bartending skills and knowing your way around your home bar will make you a very entertaining host at any get together you are having.  Bartending is not complicated once you learn the basic terminology and skills.  Once you have that knowledge, you can easily follow any recipe you find in a cocktail recipe book or online.

Our goal is to just give you the knowledge you need and skip the things that you will never need to know. We start with the basic terminology, next we move to what you need to stock your bar. We quickly move to what tools you will need and explain the basic techniques you will need to use.  Since it is sometimes hard to visualize what is written about a technique, we have put in links to videos that should be helpful.


Now that you have the skills to bartend, we have included some recipes to the most popular drinks.  We can only scratch the surface of the many drink recipes out there.  You should be able to find many more on your own.  This is one of the funniest parts of having a home bar. It is fun trying out new recipes.


We then answer a few common party planning questions and then as an added bonus, we have include the popular Apple Pie Moonshine Recipe and a few more of our favorites.  Now let’s get started.





A lot of the terms and phrases listed below are standard throughout the industry. A good bartender will know his or her terminology inside out. Even though you’re just tending bar at home, you’re sure to impress people with your vast knowledge. Here are some of the more common terms used in bartending.






Pour the drink into and out of a shaker, usually only once. This gives the drink a quick mixing without shaking



Call Drink



A liquor and mixer, of which the liquor is a name brand (ie. Tanqueray and Tonic, Bacardi and Coke, etc.)






A chaser is a mixer that is consumed immediately after a straight shot of liquor to create a different taste.












This can be any of various alcoholic beverages consisting usually of brandy, whiskey, vodka, or gin combined with fruit juices or other liquors and often served chilled.






A drink similar to a sour which is served in a tall glass with soda water or seltzer water






A drink consisting to ginger ale, soda water, and a fresh spiral or twist of citrus fruit rind and served in a Collins or highball glass






A sour- type drink served in a glass that is completely lined with an orange or lemon peel cut in a continuous strip








A punch-type drink that is made up in quantities of cups or glasses in preference to a punch bowl






An oversize drink of the sour type, normally made with rum or gin. It is served over crushed ice with a straw and sweetened with a fruit syrup







Normally applies to the last ingredient in a recipe meaning to pour on top of the drink






A traditional holiday drink containing a combination of eggs beaten with cream or milk, sugar, and a liquor such as rum, brandy, or bourbon






A sour-type drink similar to the daisy made with crushed ice in a large goblet






An effervescent beverage – one which is carbonated and emits small bubbles






A chilled, creamy drink made of eggs, sugar, and a wine or spirit. Brandy and sherry flips are two of the better known kinds of flips






This is a partially frozen often fruity drink. It is usually a mixture of ingredients served over a mound of crushed ice.







A rum-based beverage with water, fruit juice, and sugar commonly served in a large mug






Any spirit served with ice and soda in a medium to tall glass (a highball glass)





A drink made of bourbon, mint, sugar, and crushed ice






A short drink made of spirits served with ice, water, or soda in a small glass






A liquor served over a glass filled with crushed ice – often as is the case with an after dinner drink






A sweetened and spiced heated liquor, wine, or beer served as a hot punch





The consumption of a spirit as a straight, unaccompanied shot







A quarter of a bottle





Wine or liquor often consumed right before bedtime



On The Rocks


A drink served over ice





A drink designed to relieve the effects of overindulgence in alcohol





A party-size beverage consisting of fruit, fruit juices, flavorings and sweeteners, soft drinks, and a wine or liquor base






A drink made of a liquor, usually gin, a half lime and soda water. It is sometimes sweetened and often served with ice




A straight shot of liquor taken neat