When building a cocktail, the ingredients are poured into the glass in which the cocktail will be served. Usually, the ingredients are floated on top of each other, but occasionally, a swizzle stick is put in the glass, allowing the ingredients to be mixed.
Most highball drinks are made this way. For example, for a Rum and Coke, you would put ice in the glass, add the rum, then add the coke. The carbonation in the soda allows it to mix naturally. You always add the liquor first, followed by the mixer.
Another example is a Tequila Sunrise. Fill the glass with ice, add the tequila, fill almost to the top with orange juice, then top with grenadine. This gives the drink its "sunrise" appearance. There is no special pouring technique as there is with layering, but the order is often important.
Submitted By: Chris on 07-13-06 (Definition has not yet been rated)