How to Measure a Cocktail

Behold the jigger, the one bar tool to rule them all. You might have seen some super sweet bartender free pour a Zombie with no jigger in sight--but that doesn’t mean he or she was in the right. In fact, chances are your drink wasn’t as good as it could have been were that brazen bartender to have used a jigger.

Correctly measuring out a cocktail is extremely important. Skimp on one ingredient or overpour another and you’ll wind up with an imperfect, inconsistent cocktail. If the recipe calls for an ounce, it means an ounce--not something ounce-ish. The most critical thing to remember when measuring out a spirit is to fill the jigger--really fill it. The jigger should be so full that the liquid forms a convex arc commonly referred to as the meniscus. Master this technique and you’re most of the way to becoming a master drinks maker.



Step One

Rest the jigger between your thumb and index finger. The jigger should be as straight up and down as possible. A jigger resting in your hand at an odd angle will result in inaccurate pours.

Step Two

Pour the called for ingredient into the jigger.  If done correctly, there should be a rounded, bubble of liquid that rises out of the jigger. If the liquid is merely flush with the top of the jigger it isn’t filled enough.

Step Three

Pour the jigger’s contents into a tin or mixing glass. Make sure that your hand is close to the vessel into which you are pouring. The farther away your hand is, the more chance there is of spilling.