Introduction:

Drinking alcohol is common in most countries in the world (and especially in the English-speaking world). Many people drink alcoholic drinks (which are also called alcoholic beverages) in many different business and social situation. And because it is so common to drink in a pub, bar or restaurant it is very useful to know the English vocabulary connected to drinking or not drinking alcohol.

In this online exercise on alcohol, you'll learn and remember the essential English vocabulary for alcoholic drinks/beverages. You'll learn the basic vocabulary used when drinking alcohol and the English vocabulary used for ordering drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) in a pub, bar or restaurant. In addition, you'll also learn specific vocabulary connected to strong alcoholic drinks (e.g. whisky, gin, rum etc...).

If you want to learn the English vocabulary used for drinking beer or wine, you should do the following exercises after you have done this:

English vocabulary for beer and drinking exercise

Essential wine vocabulary & terms exercise

Or to see all of our exercises on food, drink and restaurant vocabulary, go to our Food and Drink Vocabulary Exercises Menu


Exercise: Drinking in a pub

Read the following conversation in a pub between Vicky and Joss a British couple and their Italian friends Luco and Bianca about what drinks to order.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Vicky:'It was a good meal. I'm feeling a little full now. It's not very common in Britain to drink an aperitif before starting a meal, but the alcohol seemed to complement the food. It was a nice wine.'

Bianca:'It wasn't a normal wine, it was a special type of wine which is common in Italy to have before eating. I have to say that you drink very quickly here in England, after the two bottles of wine with the meal I'm feeling tipsy.'

Joss:'I'm sure that you can drink some more. It's a British tradition. But don't worry, I have to work tomorrow, so I can't get drunk. I hate working when I've drunk too much the night before and I have a hangover. Being at work with a headache is terrible. We'll only have a couple more drinks. Anyway, what do you want to have?'

Bianca:'I don't want to drink any more. Can I just have a soft drink, a lemonade or orange juice.'

Joss:'Are you sure you don't want anything stronger? They have some good cocktails here. They make Bloody Marys, Tequila Sunrises and Long Island Ice Teas?'

Bianca:'I don't fancy a cocktail. May be I'll have a liqueur. I love Baileys, it's almost like having a dessert.'

Joss:'Do you want it with ice or do you want it neat?'

Bianca:'I don't like ice, so neat please.'

Luco:'I think that I'll have a rum.'

Joss:'So you like spirits. I don't like rum, I prefer whisky or gin. Do you want a single or a double measure of rum? You'll finish a single in two seconds, so I'd recommend that you have a double, it's twice the amount.'

Luco:'A double then.'

Joss:'Do you want that neat, with ice or with a mixer'

Luco:'What's a mixer?'

Joss:'A mixer is a soft drink like coca cola, lemonade, orange juice etc... It's called a mixer when it's added to a spirit like gin or whisky.'

Luco:'Ok, can I have a rum and coke please. But I'll pay for the drinks.'

Joss:'Don't be silly. I'll pay for this round. You can pay for the next round after we've finished these drinks. What do you want Vicky?'

Vicky:'I'll have a glass of red wine. Can I also a shot of tequila with it.'

Luco:'What's a shot?'

Joss:'A shot is a small quantity of a spirit in a very small glass. I think we should all have a shot of tequila with our drinks.'



Quiz: Essential English vocabulary for drinking alcohol

Below is an online quiz with definitions/descriptions of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one of these words/phrases in bold. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. When you get/order a set of drinks for a group of people in a pub/bar, it is called a    

         

Round:
(noun) Normally, when a group of people are together in a bar/pub, one person will ask everybody what they want to drink and go and get/buy it. This is called a 'round'. In pubs and bars in Britain, Ireland, Australia etc..., you have to pay for a drink when you get/obtain it. So, it's the custom in the English-speaking world for each person in a group to pay for one or more rounds each. In Spanish: "ronda".

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Round:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. A measure of spirits or hard liquor, is a    

         

Double:
(noun) In some countries when you buy spirits like whisky, gin etc... in a pub, bar or restaurant they sell it in units or measures. There are 3 measures for spirits, a 'single' is 25ml, a 'double' is 50ml and a 'triple' is 75ml. A 'single' measure of a spirit or hard liquor is also called a 'shot'. In Spanish: "doble".

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Double:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. A sweet alcoholic drink, often containing cream or herbs, is a    

         

Liqueur:
(noun) A 'liqueur' is a sweet alcoholic drink that contains sugar and is flavoured with either fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, cream etc... This is sometimes drank after a meal. An example of a liqueur is Baileys or Cointreau. In Spanish: "licor".

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Liqueur:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4. When you don't feel well the morning after drinking a lot of alcohol, you have a    

         

Hangover:
(noun) A 'hangover' is very common the day after drinking a lot of alcohol. The symptoms can include a headache, feeling sick and tiredness. In Spanish: "resaca".

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Hangover:

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5. Coca-Cola, lemonade and apple juice are all types of    

         

Soft drink:
(noun) 'soft drinks' are non-alcoholic drinks and beverages. Although in theory they are 'fizzy' or 'carbonated' drinks like Coke, Fanta etc..., people often call fruit juices, 'soft drinks' as well. Tea and Coffee are not soft drinks. In Spanish: "refresco".

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Soft drink:

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6. A very small glass with a spirit or hard liquor in it, is called a    

         

Shot:
(noun) A 'shot' is a small quantity of a spirit or hard liquor (like vodka or rum) which is normally drank from a small glass (called a 'shot glass') in one go. A 'shot' is always used to mean a 'single' measure of a spirit (25ml). In Spanish: "chupito/trago".

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Shot:

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7. Cuba Libre and Bloody Mary are both examples of    

         

Cocktails:
(noun) A 'cocktail' is an alcoholic drink that contains one or more types of spirit/hard liquor with one or more types of 'soft drink' or 'mixer', like fruit juice, lemonade etc... Examples of cocktails are Long Island Ice Tea, Tequila Sunrise etc... In Spanish: "coctel".

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Cocktails:

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8. When you feel a little bit drunk, you are    

         

Tipsy:
(adjective) 'tipsy' means to feel 'slightly' or 'a little' drunk. Normally, you use the verb 'to feel' in front of 'tipsy', e.g. 'I've only had one glass of wine and I already feel tipsy'. It is most commonly in Britain and Ireland. In Spanish: "achispado/piripi".

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Tipsy:

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9. A soft drink that is added to a spirit or hard liquor, is called a    

         

Mixer:
(noun) A 'mixer' is a non-alcoholic drink that is added to an alcoholic drink, for example 'Rum and Coke' or 'Vodka and Orange Juice'. In these examples, both 'Coke' and 'Orange Juice' are mixers. In Spanish: "refresco".

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Mixer:

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10. When somebody has had too much alcohol, they are    

         

Drunk:
(adjective) This is used to describe the condition that somebody that has drunk a lot of alcohol is in. Normally when you are drunk, walking and talking are a little more difficult to do and you do things that you normally wouldn't do. The opposite of 'drunk' is 'sober'. In Spanish: "borracho".

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Drunk:

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11. Another way to say without ice for whisky, vodka etc..., is    

         

Neat:
(adjective) 'neat' is another way of 'only' when ordering or drinking spirits or hard liquor (whisky, rum, vodka etc....). It basically means that you don't want any ice or a mixer with the spirit or hard liquor, e.g. 'do you want the whisky neat or with ice?'. In Spanish: "solo".

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Neat:

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12. An alcoholic drink that people have before eating a meal, is called an    

         

Aperitif:
(noun) An 'aperitif ' is an alcoholic drink that you have before eating. In English, it only means a drink and not a combination of a drink and a snack like it does in other countries. Normally, an 'aperitif' is a wine based drink like Campari or Martini. In Spanish: "aperitivo".

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Aperitif:

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13. Strong alcoholic drinks are called    

         

Spirits:
(noun) Alcoholic drinks that have a high percentage of alcohol and distilled (how it is made) are called 'spirits' or 'hard liquor' (especially in the United States). This is the group name for drinks like whisky, gin, vodka, rum etc... In Spanish: "licores".

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Spirits:

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary for drinking alcohol, practise it by creating your own sentences in English with the new words/phrases.