The world of jiggers

Jiggers are a staple of the (disciplined) bartender’s domain, though for those with little patience they might easily turn into unused gadgetry.  But unless you are an experienced drinkmaster who can accurately determine liquid volumes without the aid of measures, do not ignore the helpfulness of such tools.

Jiggers are essentially two “cups” joined at the base, used to determine the correct amount of alcohol in a drink.  Each side of the jigger holds a different amount, and the total volume when the sides are added together will constitute a “shot” (volume varies, and should be inscribed inside the cups).  For example, the larger side of a jigger might hold 1 1/2 oz. or 1 1/4 oz. of liquid, and the other side will hold 1/2 oz. or 3/4 oz., respectively, for a total of 2 oz.  To pour a shot of Sambuca into a snifter, you would simply measure fill one side of the jigger to the top and dispense it into the glass, and then fill the other side and pour it in.  You then have the perfect amount.

You can also use only only side of the jigger to create the perfect 2-part cocktail.  For this, you should be familiar with the amount of liquid a glass can fit when it is filled to the top with ice.  If you have an Old Fashioned glass which holds 3 oz. of liquid (with ice), you can fill the larger side of the jigger (e.g. 1 1/4 oz.) to the top with rum, and then pour it over the ice.  To make a Rum and Coke, simply fill the rest of the glass to the top with Coke (approximately 1 3/4 oz).

If these  measurements seem constraining, just realize that the jigger allows you to make a consistent cocktail, rather than one which is weak or too strong.  It also allows you to better anticipate the quantity of drinks you can make from your inventory.

While jigger volumes will differ, I am impartial to jiggers which have a larger cup measuring  1 1/4 oz. and a smaller cup measuring 3/4 oz., or ones measuring 1 1/2 oz. and 1/2 oz.  However, individual preference may vary based on the strength of cocktails you enjoy.  With that said, here are a few jiggers fitting these measurements:


Stainless Steel Jigger, 3/4 Oz x 1 1/4 Oz
A standard jigger design with standard sizing.


Pedrini Black & Satin Stainless Steel Double Jigger
Standard sizing with a sleeker look.


OXO SteeL Double Jigger
Rubber grip is attached to help avoid slipping; cups measure 1 1/2 oz. and 1 oz., with markings for smaller increments.


Metrokane Rabbit Double Jigger
A jigger with a handle so you can pour without getting your hands messy.

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