BAR SPOON: an ideal tool for mixing drinks. A bar spoon has the capacity of a teaspoon and a long, thin handle, which is usually threaded to make it easier to grip and rotate.

COCKTAIL SHAKER OR TIN: a device that is used for shaking cocktails together with ice in order to chill them and combine their ingredients. A shaker is closed by fitting its pieces together, to contain drink ingredients during the shaking process. There are many varieties of cocktail shakers, but the most common are: the Boston shaker (basically two glasses—one made of metal, larger than the other, which is glass—that get fitted together, then shaken); the Cobbler (a three-piece shaker with a large metal bottom, a metal lid with a built-in strainer, and a metal cap, which is fitted on top during shaking); and a French shaker (similar to a Boston, it has two pieces, a large metal bottom and a lid to be attached for shaking).

JIGGER: both a standard unit of liquid measure equal to 1 1/2 fluid ounces and a measuring tool—which measures one jigger—used for pouring out liquid ingredients. This tool is usually incorporated into the classic hourglass-shaped measuring device called a double-ended jigger. Your standard double-ended jigger holds 1 1/2 fluid ounces on one end and 1 ounce on the other. But jiggers also exist in 1/4-, 1/2-, 3/4-, and 2-ounce measurements and having the proper jigger for each amount called for in a recipe ensures that you're getting the right quantity of each ingredient in your drink. This allows you to maintain the expert bartender's intended ratio and flavor. If you're unsure of your jigger's capacity, you can test it: 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. And most importantly, when measuring a liquid ingredient, remember to put your jigger on a level surface and keep pouring until you hit the meniscus!

MIXING GLASS: a tall container made of glass or metal used for mixing drinks within it, usually by stirring with a bar spoon, before straining them into serving glasses.

MUDDLER: a tool, similar to a pestle, used to press—or muddle—fruit, herbs, and/or spices into the bottom of a glass to release their essence. This tool is typically made from wood or metal and has one flat end for pressing.

STRAINER: a tool that is placed over a shaker or glass to allow you to pour out the liquid while trapping all chunks or slivers of ice and other solid ingredients, keeping them from escaping. The two most common variations are the Hawthorne strainer (a flat disc with a spring coil designed to fit snugly over the opening of a mixing glass or shaker), and a julep strainer (bowl shaped and perforated all over with small holes).


CHAMPAGNE FLUTE: a stemmed glass with a tall, narrow bowl that is specially designed to retain champagne’s carbonation by reducing the surface area at the bowl’s opening.

COLLINS GLASS: a tall, thin tumbler typically used for a mixed drink served with ice, especially the Tom Collins.

COUPE: a shallow, broad-bowled stemmed glass that generally holds 3 to 6 fluid ounces. Introduced in the 1700s, legend has it that it was modeled after the shape of Marie Antoinette's breast. The coupe was originally used for champagne, but, as its shape is ineffective at preserving the bubbles, it's now commonly used to serve a cocktail without ice.

DOUBLE ROCKS GLASS: a 12- to 16-ounce tumbler used for serving double-shot mixed drinks and larger old fashioneds over ice.

HIGHBALL GLASS: a a versatile bar glass that is tall, straight sided, and slim, used to serve a fizzy, long drink over ice. Frequently interchangeable with a collins glass.

NIC & NORA GLASS: a a type of coupe that is tulip shaped. Its name refers to the main characters in The Thin Man movie and book series from the 1930s.

ROCKS GLASS: a short tumbler used for serving a drink over ice—great for smashes, old fashioneds, and straight liquor “on the rocks.” Also known as a whiskey glass or old-fashioned glass.


CARAMELIZING: a cooking process—used for its resulting nutty flavor and brown color—wherein foodstuff is slowly cooked over medium-low heat until its carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) oxidize and break down.

CRUSHING ICE: if your refrigerator doesn't make crushed ice, do not use a blender. Our preferred method is to place ice cubes into a medium or large Ziploc bag, cover with a kitchen towel, and then hit a few times with a hammer. The crushed ice should resemble small shards of ice, not a slushie.

DOUBLE STRAINING: straining twice simultaneously by holding a fine mesh strainer over your serving glass while pouring through your bar strainer. This technique is especially useful for cocktails mixed using torn herbs or other small solid ingredients that are not desired in the drink, or if you want your cocktail to be especially clear.

FLAMING CITRUS ZEST: holding the zest above a lit match and pressing out and igniting its oil. Not only does this technique put on a good show, it enhances the flavor by adding a smoky complexity.

MUDDLING: using a muddler to press fruit or herbs into the bottom of a glass, usually with added sugar or syrup. When muddling, be very careful not to destroy the fruit or herbs. You want to release their oil and flavor, not to pulverize.

ROLLING: a way of mixing a drink, using two glasses, that is more forceful than stirring but less so than shaking. To roll, simply put all of your ingredients into one glass, pour all of the contents into another glass, and then pour it all back into the first glass. You have now rolled your drink and it should be well mixed but, hopefully, not too diluted.

SHAKING: mixing a drink by putting all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, adding ice cubes, and shaking vigorously until it is ice cold. Be careful not to overdo it, because that will overly dilute the drink.

SPANKING: a way to gently release the flavors of an herb and make it aromatic. To spank, place the herb on one hand and gently clap several times with your other hand.

STEEPING: soaking a solid (e.g. a bunch of tea leaves) in liquid (usually water) to extract its flavors.

STIRRING: mixing a drink by stirring it with a bar spoon in a circular motion from the bottom up, to chill it and combine the ingredients with minimal dilution.


CITRUS TWIST: a piece of the peel of a citrus fruit, such as an orange, lemon, or grapefruit that's been twisted to use as a garnish.

CITRUS WHEEL: a round cut of citrus often used for garnishing.

DASH: traditionally, cocktail recipes are written using dashes as measurements. Though they don’t have to be perfectly precise, one dash is equal to approximately 1/8 teaspoon. Typically a dash is achieved by forcefully shaking the bottle of bitters into your glass or shaker one time. For our recipes, a dash is equal to about one half-full dropper that is provided in each bottle in this kit.

HAND-CUT CITRUS ZEST: a slice of citrus zest, often lemon or grapefruit, cut off with a peeler or—done the old-fashioned way—with a paring knife and your thumb. (If the recipe calls for juicing the citrus as well, be sure to cut off the zest first!)

SHRUB: an acidulated syrup made of vinegar, fruit, and sugar. Mildly sweet and tart and versatile, it can be combined with carbonated water, alcohol, or both.

SPRIG: one stem (including leaves) of an herb.