Cocktail Hour

How You Should Order Your Cocktail

Neat? Up? Straight up? Straight up now tell me, do you really wanna love me forever? What does all of this mean at the bar?

Well, that last one would just be a terrible pickup line (unless you happen to say it to a huge Paula Abdul fan). But the first three are ways to order your drink. Let’s go through them—and other ways—to find out what they mean.


No ice. No other liquids. No nothin’.

On the Rocks

Served over ice.


Also known as “straight up,” this means the drink has been chilled either by shaking or stirring with ice, then strained into a glass without ice.

With a Twist

Given a squeeze of citrus and garnished with the peel—usually lemon, orange, or grapefruit—depending on the drink.

Shaken vs. Stirred
If the cocktail calls for fruit juices, cream liqueurs, egg, dairy, or some other kind of thick or flavorful mixer, shake it up to mix all these substantial parts more evenly. You’ll also get faster chilling and a cloudy appearance for the drink.

Most drinks, though, are meant to be stirred. Stirring more delicately combines distilled spirits, light mixers, and the other elements of the more common cocktails.

Tell us your favorite cocktail and/or Paula Abdul song in the comments below!


On the List?

Subscribe to Plated's Newsletter

Thanks for signing up!

There was an error signing you up.
Please check that your email is valid. Try again