Bartenders serve a variety of cocktails, which can be classified many ways. Perhaps an essential bartender tool is the cocktail shaker, used to mix and chill different alcohol, juices, and mixers for consistent and delicious drinks.

Some bartenders get very creative with the concoctions they come up with.  James, a bartender at Blackbird Ordinary, recommends using the best tools of the trade.

“I have recommended using the best mixers, etc. that you can afford when just starting out.  If you were starting a bakery for instance, you’d want to make sure that you are using the best rated bread machine (like these) that you can afford.  It’s just smart business.”.

A bartender might serve drinks according to customer’s’ preference either straight up, chilled, without ice, or on the rocks, which means with ice. It is common for straight up drinks to be served elegantly in a martini glasses, while rocks drinks are usually not served in a martini glass. There is such thing as a martini served on the rocks, in which case a martini is poured from the cocktail shaker into a lowball glass that has ice in it.

Some bartenders perform a variety of pouring tricks, aimed to inspire big tips from customers. Bartenders might throw a couple of cocktail shakers in the air simultaneously; others may ignite certain drinks with fire, likely resulting in big tips.

Drinks are usually served three ways, each referring to texture, consistency and temperature. On the rocks, refers to on the ice, straight up, refers to chilled drinks served in a martini glass and requires a cocktail shaker, frappes are partially frozen drinks, usually blended drinks like a margarita or daiquiri.

Puff Drinks

Many cocktails are associated with the time of day they are consumed. Puff is typically enjoyed in the afternoon and has milk and some carbonated liquid like soda water. A pick me up may also be served in the afternoon, but is also meant to revive a person if they are intoxicated and groggy, perhaps after a nip, the term referring to a quarter bottle of alcohol.

After dinner varieties are served following a nice meal, often after many courses of food. These drinks are intended to aid in the digestion process and to be enjoyed for their unique flavor. Similarly, a nightcap is a drink enjoyed before bedtime, intended to help someone sleep.

Box Drinks

Common beverages ordered are referred to as box drinks. A vodka cranberry juice cocktail is one such example, and Box refers to the fact that liquids are added to the cocktail shaker, given a quick mix and poured. A box cocktail includes cocktails that do not require excessive shaking. This variety can also be served alongside food as there is not any ingredient too heavy.

Call Drinks

The term Call Drink refers to a beverage named after its ingredients, for example, a Tanqueray and Tonic. Tanqueray is the brand of alcohol used in this particular drink. These drinks may be mixed lightly in a cocktail shaker. After a shot of straight alcohol, some people like to consume what is referred to as a Chaser. An example of a chaser is a wedge of lime after a shot of tequila to help alleviate the bite from the alcohol.

Cobblers Drinks

Old fashioned varieties tend to be classified as cobblers. Liquors are poured straight into a cocktail shaker, mixed and served over shaved ice in a highball or collins glass, sometimes garnished with mint or fresh fruit.

Collins Drinks

Collins drinks refer to cocktails that offer a sweet and sour flavors, served in a tall glass with soda or seltzer water. Wise tips for making Collins drinks include not favoring sweet or sour flavors, but harmoniously mixing the two. Bartending is a skill just as chefs pride themselves on seamless food preparation.
Cooler drinks consist of one alcohol paired with some carbonated beverage like soda water or ginger ale. Garnishing Tips include adding a fresh spiral of citrus rind.

Crusta libations Drinks

Crusta libations are usually sour and served in a glass, sometimes a martini glass, completely lined with an orange or lemon rind. The best tips for creating a continuous rind would be to use a colorful, ripe piece of fruit that someone would enjoy eating as food, then peeling with a sharp peeler. A cup, punch, and Negus are similar alcoholic libations. Cups and Punches are usually rum or champagne-based and are commonly served in a large self-serve bowl ideal for parties. A common holiday cup is eggnog and may have several alcohols, eggs, and cream. Eggnog is a beverage derived from a heated drink called a posset, once enjoyed in Britain consisting of heated ale or wine mixed with milk, egg, and spices. Negus is another heated punch and usually consists of wine or port.

Sour Drinks

There are several different names for cocktail variations, which either describe flavor, texture or garnish. A fix refers to a sour drink; a fix is a carbonated beverage; a flip is chilled and usually consists of eggs, cream, sugar and a spirit or wine, Fripp refers to a partially frozen, often fruity refresher like a daiquiri.

Highballs Drinks

Highballs simply consist of soda water served in a medium to the tall glass; lowballs are the opposite. A julep is an old fashioned libation with bourbon, mint, sugar and crushed ice. Mist simply describes liquor in a glass over crushed ice, while mulls are sweetened, and spiced liquors served hot, like cider.