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.
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
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.
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.
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?
It's your money and your bourbon, so drink it how you like it best.
My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?
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!"
We had a blast listening to him tell family stories for a few hours sampling their small batch bourbons.