Jiggers are one of the most basic kinds of bar tools. Though there are many different types of jiggers, they all perform the same basic function: They help you conveniently and accurately measure liquids for your cocktails.
Selecting the right jigger is dependent upon the kind of bar tender you are, the drinks you typically make and what aesthetic you prefer. However, there is one criterion that is very important when choosing any style of jigger. Make sure that somewhere on the jigger, the makers have labeled its volume, lest you confuse it with another jigger and get the wrong measurement.
With that being said, here is a list of the most common jiggers you will find.
Single jiggers look a lot like shot glasses. They are usually steel, and come in a variety of sizes. The most popular of these are the 2 oz. and 1 oz. iterations. Since many drinks are built by a 2 oz. to 1 oz. ratio, I would suggest a 1 oz. jigger
Single jiggers are a lot easier to handle than a double-ended one. They are usually cheaper as well, which makes them a great selection for beginners. These single jiggers can also stack on top of one another, making them easy to store.
Though they are cheaper and easier to handle, single jiggers are less versatile than their double-ended counterparts. If you get a 1 oz. jigger, you will be set for a lot of drinks, but you might run into a recipe that requires a half an ounce or some other non whole unit measurement.
The classic jigger is a double-ended measuring tool, with one end larger than another. This kind of jigger is by far the most iconic of all the jiggers.
The classic jigger is a great for it's practicality. As many drinks that you will encounter incorporate a 2-1 ratio, this simple tool can become a bartender's best, if not only friend. It also doesn't hurt, that they look so iconic!
The double-ended jigger has no lines of demarcation. The result of this, is that this tool is only dependable for two specific volumes of measurement. Additionally, some people may find the double-ended funnel a bit unwieldily.
At a glance, the Japanese jigger looks very similar to its classical counterpart. In addition to being a bit skinnier, the key difference between the two lies on the inside. The main attribute of a Japanese style jigger is the lines of demarcation on the inside of the jigger. This allows you to measure things with unconventional ratios.
The Japanese style jigger is undoubtedly the most versatile of all the main style of jiggers. The lines on the inside of the funnels allow you to measure different amounts very accurately.
These jiggers are generally more expensive, as it takes more work to imprint accurate lines of measurement into the steel. Like the classic jigger, some may find the double-ended design a bit unwieldy. Others may not prefer the feel of the thin jigger, especially if they have previous experience with other jiggers.
Bell jiggers are similar to the classic style jigger, but bell shaped. They are double-ended and come in different sizes. Like other double-ended jiggers, the ratio is almost always two-to-one. While the classic jigger is concave, and the Japanese is straight, A Bell Jigger is convex like a wine glass.
Like other double-ended jiggers, bell jiggers. are a versatile tool that provide a great all in one solution for making most mixed drinks. The outward bowed shape of a bell jigger might also make it easier for some to use, as the containers will fill less rapidly than with a classic, or Japanese jigger.
Unfortunately, these jiggers, may be the most cumbersome to store and use, due to their convexity. Their look may also not be for everyone, especially someone who is used to the thinner classical style jigger.
Cylinder jiggers, are a bit of a modern take on the double-ended jigger. The defining characteristic of these jiggers is their uniform width. Again, as with most double-ended jiggers, the most common ratio will be two-to-one.
The cylinder jiggers have the same benefit of easy use characteristic of double-ended jiggers. However, they also have the added benefit of being able to be more conveniently stored. Because of it's uniform shape, cylinder jiggers are great for people who want to bring their bar tools on the go, or for those who just dig the style.
Though I personally like the style of the cylinder jigger, it does lack a certain classical aesthetic of a classical jigger. While some may prefer this sleeker modern look, those with a more traditional leaning may be turned off by its appearance.