A jigger or bar jigger is an hourglass-shaped measuring device used by bartenders to ensure that they pour accurate amounts of alcohol into every drink. These are cheap and easy to find in most housewares stores, or online. Usually made of metal (and sometimes plastic), jiggers contain two different measuring amounts – one on either side of the hourglass.
With the rise of bartending culture and classic cocktails, the jigger has become the mark of precision and care in crafting cocktails. We have now come to expect our Manhattans and Martinis will be made with some mathematical formulae – two to one or three to one – and measured to order. This is good news for cocktail purists.
It’s been pointed out by industry luminaries that making cocktails resembles baking more than savory cooking. With baking you must measure ingredients in advance of cooking because after heat has been applied the product changes dramatically in texture and flavor. The same thing happens when we shake the cocktail with ice.
With savory cooking, often you can manipulate the product in the process. A pinch of this or a pinch of that can be added to a flavorless sauce. With a cocktail, you have to dump it out and start again. You wouldn’t want to do that, would you? Imagine your college-era friends screaming: alcohol abuse!
How Much Is A Jigger Of Alcohol
Fortunately, there is a wide range of jiggers to choose from. Your standard double jiggers come in two sizes, one ounce and ½ ounce (approximately 44 ml), or 1 ½ ounce and ¾ ounce. These are durable, useful, and can be easily rested between your fingers for steady pours. The standard jigger measures 1.5 ounces on one side of the hourglass and 1 ounce on the other side. Now, however, you can buy jiggers in a variety of different measuring amounts – from 0.5oz / 1oz all the way to 1.5oz / 2oz and also in metric sizes (that means, like, milliliters’). Be care a number of other sizes exist, and you should know what units you’re working in.
Many professional bartenders have built up strong proficiency with using these in settings where speed is of an essence. The way to use a jigger most efficiently is to hold it between thumb and forefinger, or between your first and second fingers, like so:
Hold the jigger steady, and fill it brim-full with your liquid of choice, and then it’s easy to tip the contents into a shaker or to mix glass quickly. Another type of jigger is similar to the hourglass model, but it’s mounted on a rod. These are a bit harder to find (but of course, available online.) Check out our guide on exactly how to use the different types of double Jiggers.
SHOP FOR JIGGERS