Languages › English as a Second Language A Drink at the Bar: Dialogue and Vocabulary for ESL Learners Share Flipboard Email Print Basic Conversations for English Language Learners Introduction Asking and Answering Questions How to Ask and Answer Simple Questions How to Ask Polite Questions How to Ask for Permission Giving and Requesting Personal Information Check Your Knowledge: Basic English Questions Greetings and Introductions Formal and Informal Greetings How to Introduce Yourself and Others Check Your Knowledge: Introductions and Greetings Numbers and Time Talking About Numbers How to Tell Time Using "How Much" and "How Many" Check Your Knowledge: "How Much" and "How Many" Telephone Conversations Important Phrases for Phone Calls Making Telephone Calls Eating Out and Shopping Eating at a Restaurant Going to a Bar Going Shopping Check Your Knowledge: Eating at a Restaurant Traveling At the Airport Asking for and Giving Directions Staying at a Hotel or Motel Check Your Knowledge: Taking a Trip Going to the Doctor Making a Doctor's Appointment Talking About Joint Pain Check Your Knowledge: Going to the Doctor Darren Hauck / Stringer/Getty Images By Kenneth Beare English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. our editorial process Kenneth Beare Updated July 29, 2019 There are a number of phrases used when drinking at a bar or pub, or in a private home. Here are some of the most common to start off the evening: Cheers!Here's to your health.Bottoms up (informal, used with shots)Prost/Salut (sometimes people use foreign expressions with the same meaning) These are more idiomatic ways to say "Cheers" Here's mud in your eye.Here's to your health.Down the hatch.Bottom's up! Toasting Someone or Something It's also common to use the phrase 'Here's to ...' or 'A toast to ...' and include the name of the person or thing you are toasting. In more formal occasions, we also use the phrase 'I'd like to make a toast to ...' and include the name of the person or thing you are toasting, as well as include a wish beginning with 'May he/she/it...'. Person 1: Here's to our new contract!Person 2: Here, here!Person 1: A toast to Mary!Person 2: Cheers!Person 1: I'd like to make a toast to Jim. May he live long and prosper!Person 2: May he live long and prosper! Idiomatic Phrases There are a number of idiomatic phrases that are used when drinking (of course!). A number of these expressions are slang, others are more common. Be on the wagon = to not be drinking, trying not to drink alcohol Be pissed as a newt = to be very drunkPaint the town red = to go to different bars, drink and have a good time in a cityWet your whistle = to have a drinkBe three sheets to the wind = to be very drunkBe under the influence = to feel the alcohol, usually meaning to be drunk Examples Let's paint the town red tonight.I'm afraid I'm on the wagon this week. I need to lose some weight.I'd like to wet my whistle. Is there a bar anywhere near here? How to Say Someone Is Drunk Any of these words below can be used to describe someone who is very drunk. Tipsy, on the other hand, means to feel the alcohol, but not be very drunk: PlasteredHammeredWastedPissedInebriated Examples Jim was plastered at the party last night.Don't come home pissed!Wow, man, you're hammered!I'm feeling a little tipsy tonight. Other Words For Drinking To quaff = to drink (old fashioned)To gulp = to drink very quickly often used with beerTo drink like a fish = to drink a lot of alcoholTo sip = to take small drinks of something, often used with wine or cocktails Examples He quaffed his drink while chatting with his mates.I gulped down a beer after I finished mowing the lawn.Jim drinks like a fish. Acronyms DUI = Driving Under the Influence, used as a criminal charge BYOB = Bring Your Own Bottle, used when telling someone to bring alcohol to a party Examples Peter was arrested on a DUI.The party is BYOB, so bring anything you want to drink. Other Words Used With Alcohol When ordering wine, you can ask for a glass of red, white, or rose.A cocktail is a mixed drink, often made with strong liquor and fruit juice or another mixer.Liquor is strong alcohol such as vodka, gin, or tequila.A house or well drink is a cheaper brand sold by the bar or restaurantPint is a measurement used with beerA shot is used with straight alcohol, not mixed.Draft beer is pulled from the tap, as opposed to coming from a bottle or a can.Booze/hair of the dog / the sauce are all idiomatic names for hard liquorHangover refers to the headache a person gets the morning after drinking heavily. A Practice Dialog Between a Bartender and a Customer After a stressful day, Mr. Jackson relaxes at the bar. The bartender, Mark, responds to a few complaints while he serves Mr. Jackson his favorite cocktail. Mr. Jackson: Bartender, could I have a drink? What's taking so long?!Bartender: Excuse me, sir. Yes, what can I get you?Mr. Jackson: I'd like a whiskey sour.Bartender: Certainly sir, I'll get that straight away.Mr. Jackson: What a day! My feet are aching! Where's an ashtray?!Bartender: Here you go sir. Did you have a busy day?Mr. Jackson: Yes, I had to walk all over town to get to meetings. I'm exhausted.Bartender: I'm sorry to hear that, sir. Here's your drink. That should help.Mr. Jackson: (takes a long sip) That's what I needed. Much better. Do you have any snacks?Bartender: Certainly, here are some peanuts and some savory crackers, and a napkin.Mr. Jackson: Could I have a stir stick?Bartender: Coming up... Here you are.Mr. Jackson: Thanks. You know, I'm sorry to say this, but these snacks are awful.Bartender: I'm terribly sorry about that, sir. What seems to be the matter?Mr. Jackson: The peanuts are stale!Bartender: I apologize sir, I'll open a fresh can immediately.Mr. Jackson: Thanks. Sorry to be in such a bad mood.Bartender: That's quite alright. Can I get you another drink? This one's on the house.Mr. Jackson: That's kind of you. Yes, I'll have another whiskey sour.Bartender: Right away, sir. Do you have any preferences on the whiskey?Mr. Jackson: Hmmm, what's that bottle over there?Bartender: That's Jack Daniel's, aged 12 years.Mr. Jackson: That sounds good. I'd also like to smoke. Is that possible?Bartender: Unfortunately, we don't allow smoking in the bar. You'll have to step outside.Mr. Jackson: No worries. I can wait. So how long have you worked at this bar?Bartender: It's been about three years now. I love the challenges of this job.