Glossary

A guide to some key terminology used on this site:

Absinthe – an anise flavoured spirit

Añejo (tequila) – literally ‘aged’, aged for over a year in oak barrels

Angostura bitters – concentrated bitters, see The Bitter Truth

Apéritif – a drink served before dinner to stimulate the appetite

Bittered sling – the original ‘vulgar’ name for a cocktail, see Bittered Slings

Bitters – alcoholic drink flavoured with herbal essences

Bourbon – a sweet whiskey distilled from corn, made primarily in Kentucky

Brandy – a spirit made from distilled wine or fermented fruit juice

Campari – an apéritif infused with herbs and fruit

Canadian whisky – a light and smooth whiskey distilled from a blend of grains

Champagne – fermented wine from the Champagne region of France

Cocktail – a mixed drink containing a spirit and at least one other ingredient.  Originally a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters, see Bittered Slings

Cognac – the most famous variety of brandy, made from wine from the Cognac region of France

Crème de violette – a violet flower flavoured liqueur

Dark rum – a rich caramel and molasses flavoured rum, dark brown in colour

Digestif – a drink served after dinner to aid digestion

Dry vermouth – a paler and more bitter vermouth

Gin – a spirit made by re-distilling grain-based alcohol with juniper and other botanicals

Grand Marnier – a bitter orange liqueur

Irish whiskey – a whiskey aged for at least three years and made in Ireland

Light rum – a colourless, sweet rum

London dry gin – the most popular variety of gin, unsweetened

Maraschino – a bittersweet cherry liqueur

Muddle – to mash herbs, fruits or peels to release flavours and allow for easier blending

Orange bitters – a bitters made with orange flavouring

Pastis – an anise-flavoured liqueur and aperitif from France (also known by the brand names Pernod and Ricard)

Peychaud’s bitters – concentrated bitters, see The Bitter Truth

Plymouth gin – slightly sweetened gin

Prosecco – a white Italian sparkling wine made from prosecco grapes

Reposado (tequila) – literally ‘rested’, aged for two months to a year in oak barrels

Rum – a spirit made from distilled sugar cane

Rye – a spicy and fruity whiskey disilled from rye, made primarily in the USA

Scotch whisky – a whisky made in Scotland and aged for at least three years

Silver tequila – also known as white tequila, colourless and strong flavoured, bottled straight after distillation

Sours – a traditional family of cocktails containing liquor, lemon or lime juice, egg white and a sweet syrup

Sploosh – Also known as “a dash” this mystical measurement is really a matter of personal taste, though the Savoy Cocktail Book recommends 1/2 a barspoon or 3ml.

Sugar syrup – also known as simple syrup, sugar dissolved in water.  My homemade syrup is 4 parts sugar to 3 parts water

Sweet vermouth – a dark red coloured, sweeter vermouth

Tequila – a spirit distilled from the blue agave plant

Twist of peel – a small piece of lemon or orange peel, usually squeezed for its oil and used as a garnish, see A Twist of Peel

Vermouth – a fortified wine flavoured with herbs and spices

Vodka – spirit made from fermented grain or potatoes

Whiskey – (Irish and American) spirit made from distilled grain.

Whisky – (Scottish) spirit made from distilled grain

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