What It Means To Order A Drink 'Up'

For those who want to properly order a drink from the bar and seem like a real cocktail connoisseur, it helps to stay on top of the different jargon that will guide what goes in your glass. Along with learning the basic dos and don'ts of ordering, understanding lingo like "on the rocks" and "neat" can help ensure that your drink turns out exactly how you want it. Another helpful, if less common, term to know is "up," which describes drinks that are served cold but without ice.

Fans of bourbon and other sipping liquors may already know that ordering a drink "on the rocks" means it will come with ice, while ordering it "neat" means it will be served at room temperature, as is. A drink ordered "up" is first shaken or stirred with ice and then strained into your glass, which allows you a cool sipping experience without having to worry about ice clinking against your teeth or melting and diluting your beverage. 

Order 'up' for a refreshing spirit without the ice

To make things a bit more complicated, ordering a drink "up" is typically reserved for drinks that are just liquor, such as a glass of whiskey or vodka. On the other hand, cocktails and mixed drinks like Manhattans and martinis are ordered "straight up." This phrase is also different from "straight," which is sometimes said in place of "neat."

That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bar terminology. To sound like a real pro, you should also know when to order a drink shaken or stirred, and whether what you're sipping is a cocktail or a mixed drink — yes, there is a difference! Of course, you should never shy away from talking to your bartender about the specifics of different drink variations, so long as they're not too busy. Ordering your perfect drink just takes a little practice and experimentation.