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View Full Version : "neat" vs. "straight", vs. "on the rocks"



Randy_Ricchi
11-09-2008, 19:14
Oftentimes in a bar or restaurant I will order a bourbon "straight" or "neat", which I assume to be interchangeable, and I will get bourbon on the rocks, while I am expecting a glass with nothing but bourbon in it.
I know "neat" means no rocks, no nothing, but could "straight" honestly allow for just bourbon, but with ice?

Rughi
11-09-2008, 19:18
The meaning of "straight" seems to be regional or perhaps even less well defined than that. Here (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8592&highlight=straight) is a thread that may be of interest.

Roger

p_elliott
11-10-2008, 07:04
I was at my local bar the other night and order WT101 neat and the bartender who I thought was knowledgeable said I don't know what that means.

birdman1099
11-10-2008, 08:02
I always order neat.

75% of the time they know what that means
30 % of the time I have to explain that neat meand "out of the bottle and into the glass"

5% of the time I get a "chilled" (shaken with ice then drained off)

Attila
11-10-2008, 08:18
I always order neat.

75% of the time they know what that means
30 % of the time I have to explain that neat meand "out of the bottle and into the glass"

5% of the time I get a "chilled" (shaken with ice then drained off)

Wow, 110%.

Both "straight" and "neat" get me room tempurature bourbon in a glass here in Japan. "Straight up" always gets me shaken with ice then drained off.

Nick
11-10-2008, 15:06
The only way I am ever able to predict what I am going to get is if I order "neat" and speak very very clearly. If I do anything else, it's anyone's guess how the bartender might serve me. Usually the mistake they make is to serve it in a shot glass, but I have gotten rocks on occasion.

I will sip out of a shot glass, but I send it back if it comes on the rocks.

Scoots
11-10-2008, 18:54
One time I ordered "Pappy neat" and this is what I got ...........................


http://www.noplacebuttexas.com/images/pappy.jpg

:slappin:

Rob K
11-10-2008, 19:14
My mom's maiden name is Neat, and they called her grandfather (her father's father) "Pappy Neat". Is that my great-grandpa?

funknik
11-10-2008, 19:15
Usually if I order a quality bourbon, my bartender asks me, "Neat?" because they know how it should be served. In New England instead of "straight", I tend to hear "up" although typically used to describe a mixed drink (manhattan, martini) which may explain the strained ice.

Dramiel McHinson
11-10-2008, 19:45
In Europe and Korea where drinking is a national sport of the common man I have never been able to communicate my desire to be served a premium bourbon or scotch in the proper glass without ice. Usually, I follow the waitress to the bar and provide an entertaining dissertation on the proper serving and then the bartender hands the waitress a rocks glass with lots of ice and a carefully measured dram of whisky. The waitress then turns and hands me the glass of fouled nectar with a puzzled look on her face as if I may be the very first neanderthal man she has ever served. If she's really cute and has good cleavage then I smile and go sit down. If not, then I just go sit down.

ILLfarmboy
11-10-2008, 19:51
..... as if I may be the very first neanderthal man she has ever served.


I know that look............:grin:

Gillman
11-10-2008, 20:11
I think it was Chuck Cowdery who pointed out to me that neat means undiluted and without ice and straight means whiskey is combined with water or possibly ice. Prior to that I did not really discern the difference in the terms. Of course on the rocks means the spirit is poured on ice, and the types of ice can vary - shaved ice being commonly served in lieu of the literal rocks - but the ability today to specify ice type in a restaurant or bar is probably minimal or nil. I think generally a "rocks" order is taken to mean without addition of water or soda. The drinker can specify either if one is wanted.

Gary

spun_cookie
11-10-2008, 20:34
Depending on where I am in the states, I have to say "on ice' or "the rocks", "neat" or "plain" or "strait up" or "with nothing".

I find that when I say "on ice" everyone knows what I mean, but the old school gives me crap and says "you mean on the rocks".

each area has their own speak, but when in doubt, I go with the most basic.

"Please give me a pappy 23yr with nothing in it".

I never let them hose up a good bourbon... for a JB Black, I say "give me the beam black neat".... who cares what they do to that one :D

ROTYDE
11-10-2008, 21:43
Here in most parts of Alabama when you order neat it's poured straight into the glass.If you order it straight it's chilled and poured into a glass.

Gillman
11-11-2008, 01:09
That's a good point about pouring cold into the glass, often (it would be) after mixing with ice first, and I've heard that termed "straight up", or just "up", but not straight alone. Maybe straight though doesn't extend as far as mixing with water, soda or ice. I'd be interested in Chuck's comment as to how he understands that term exactly.

Gary

OscarV
11-11-2008, 10:53
Here in most parts of Alabama .



Another 'Bama member, welcome.
There are at least 4 from the Heart Of Dixie here, I am one in exile.

OGD90proof
11-11-2008, 11:04
I too drink it neat and have had to explain to the bartender what that meant....But I also drink it "neat with a side kicker of diet coke". That gives them some place else to put the ice and they usually get it right that way.

Is a side kicker sacrilege here? :skep:

Steve

callmeox
11-11-2008, 11:06
Nope.

It's your money and your bourbon, so drink it how you like it best.

Merlin_AZ
11-11-2008, 11:24
Is a side kicker sacrilege here? :skep: Steve
I'll quote Fred Noe, who I met at a bourbon tasting.
He said, "I've met fancy scotch guys at whisky meetings who said you can't do this or that with the whisky. S4!t. I don't care what you do with it as long as you drink it! My moma still has a Jim Beam every night with dinner, and sometimes she starts at Lunch time!":slappin:
We had a blast listening to him tell family stories for a few hours sampling their small batch bourbons.

ROTYDE
11-11-2008, 11:26
Another 'Bama member, welcome.
There are at least 4 from the Heart Of Dixie here, I am one in exile.
Thanks glad to be aboard.Hope to meet you all.

NeoTexan
11-11-2008, 11:45
I just hand one of these to the waitress.

7454

jburlowski
11-11-2008, 14:01
I was at my local bar the other night and order WT101 neat and the bartender who I thought was knowledgeable said I don't know what that means.

I have found that (truly) knowledgeable bartenders are a rapidly vanishing species.

ratcheer
11-11-2008, 14:30
Is a side kicker sacrilege here? :skep:



Not the side kicker, but the Diet Coke is. At least, to me. :skep:

Tim

ratcheer
11-11-2008, 14:33
I have found that (truly) knowledgeable bartenders are a rapidly vanishing species.

Sad, but true. However, if you order a chocolate raspberry "martini", they will be all over it. Just don't expect them to understand anything about traditional bar methods. :smiley_acbt:

Tim

OscarV
11-11-2008, 14:42
Sad, but true. However, if you order a chocolate raspberry "martini", they will be all over it.

:slappin:
Like you said Tim, sad but true.
Ya hafta laugh.

cowdery
11-11-2008, 15:04
"Neat" is the best order and if that draws a blank look, say "just whiskey in a glass." Language barriers notwithstanding, that usually works. If the place seems hopeless, I drink beer.

onmytrack
11-11-2008, 18:00
Never had any trouble when ordering "neat", however based on the varied response to this question, I suggest a pocket flask of your favorite and just ask for a glass.

Jim

jburlowski
11-12-2008, 17:14
Never had any trouble when ordering "neat", however based on the varied response to this question, I suggest a pocket flask of your favorite and just ask for a glass.

Jim

...or a brown paper bag.

Hondo
11-12-2008, 17:42
"Neat" is the best order and if that draws a blank look, say "just whiskey in a glass." Language barriers notwithstanding, that usually works. If the place seems hopeless, I drink beer.

Tried this just last week... she served my VOB in a shot glass. Well... at least it didnt have ice in it! :lol: