One of the fundamental parts of mixology is measuring. To measure drinks, there are a few different tools you’ll need to know how to use. In this article, we’ll go over the basic tool kit and skill set of measurement, and hopefully make it a little more fun than junior high science class.
The most common unit of measurement for bar tenders in the U.S. is the liquid ounce (oz). In other parts of the world, drinks are measured in milliliters (ml). The conversion between the two is about 30 ml to 1 oz. Nowadays, you will rarely find other units of measurement in a recipe, but this wasn’t always the case. If you would like to learn about some interesting antiquated measuring terms, watch out for an article coming soon dedicated to fun and antiquated units of measurement.
You’ve seen them before, pretty stainless steel in an odd double ended funnel. These handy gizmos are a bartender's best friend. There are many styles of jiggers, but they all serve the same function. They provide a convenient and consistent measurement for your drinks.
Though jiggers now come in many different variations, a "jigger " was also a specific unit of measurement. The classic double-ended jigger consists of a 1 ½ ounce end and a ¾ oz end. Nowadays, however, you will find a lot more 2-to-1 oz tools. The ratio is the same, but be sure to double check which kind you have if you are following a specific recipe!
1.) Grab the jigger by it’s funneled center between your thumb and forefinger in your non-dominant hand.
2.) Hold the jigger over the front end of your receptacle, making sure you leave enough space for you to pour a completely filled jigger smoothly into your shaker without spilling.
3.) Slowly pour your liquid of choice into the jigger until it is completely filled. Some jiggers have a line of demarcation to show its proper measurement. If your jigger does not have this, fill to the brim.
4.) Dump the contents forward into the shaker, being careful not to spill!
When measuring with a jigger the two most important things to focus on, is making sure you are measuring over where your liquid will end up, and that you measure accurately, by filling the jigger to the brim, or to its line if it has lines of demarcation.
Another way to measure is by way of measuring cup. Measuring cups are a powerful and accurate way to measure your liquid components of a cocktail. Measuring cups are very helpful when making larger quantities of drinks, but are a little less nimble than jiggers.
When measuring with a measuring cup, be sure to set your cup on a flat surface and measure to the desired line with the meniscus, or the lowest dip of the concave surface of the liquid.