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What Jiggers Should the Home Bartender Have?


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what should the home'tender have for jiggers at hand...?

currently have a 3/4-1....

do i need as small as 1/4---or--as big as a 2?

what is/are the best combos for streamlining my home cocktail making...

and should i have a double set on hand? max drinks at any given time is 4-6..usually just me and my wife...

best place to purchase without breaking the bank on shipping charges....

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I -- and probably more cogent, Robert Hess, in his new book The Essential Bartender's Guide -- recommend Oxo Mini Angled Measuring Cups. A three-pack is ten bucks. (I think the stainless steel version is cooler, but it's almost twice the price.)

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I feel comfortable with the 1/2 - 3/4 and 1 -2 combo. It's the combo that lets you use any combination you need. It's pretty much the standard at most of the higher end cocktail bars in nyc.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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For the home bar, where speed isn't really a major criteria , I'd definitely get one of the Oxo measuring cups. In fact, I did. Going from 1/4oz up to 2oz is great for making nice precise cocktails (and the measuring cup style is much easier to use without spillage than jiggers). My only gripe is that mine doesn't have a 3/4oz mark, so I need to either estimate 3/4 or pour a 1/4 and then another 1/2.

For a commercial bar, the dual ones are more practical - I have a 1/2-1 and a 3/4-5/4 at work, and use both (though the 1/2-1 gets the most use).

Having a 1/4oz measure is, IMO very important for the home bar. Much of the stuff that is called for in 1/4oz increments is powerful enough that a small error in measurement can really affect the end drink.

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For professional work, actual jiggers make the most sense. I agree with John's recommendation of the half/three quarter and one/two ounce combination. One thing you can do is measure a careful quarter ounce into the half-ounce jigger and scratch a line at the quarter-ounce mark. It's also handy to use an adjustable spoon measure for amounts less than a half ounce. Jiggers are easiest to use in a professional setting because you can just fill them up and dump them in. That said, I don't find them all that convenient or easy to use in a home setting with bottles that are not fitted with pour tops.

For the home, the OXO measuring cups are often a better choice. One measuring device can be used for all your needs, you don't need to fill it to the absolute top (meaning that splashing and waste are less of a concern), it works fine without a pour top, it's easier to use for most people than a jigger, etc.

I have both metal jiggers and OXO cups, and tend to use whichever one my hand falls on first. People who work professionally are likely to favor jiggers, because that's what they know. My experience is that most home mixologists without professional experience prefer the OXO cups.

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Anyone else use the "mini-measure" glasses? They're like little pyrex measuring cups that come in 1, 2, and 4 oz. capacities. They're graduated in ounces, teaspoons, tablespoons, and mls. I find the 2-oz version handles the majority of my cocktail-making, with the 1-oz version coming in handy for small volumes.

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I love the little Oxo angle cups as well, and also keep a set of measuring spoons on hand. I also just picked up this set of kids measuring spoons at a Japanese market, which is a cool sort of spoon/jigger combo. It was the smiley faces on the spoons that pushed it over the top for me. Now I just need to convince my friends to let me teach their kids how to make them cocktails.

gallery_24380_4394_34452.jpg

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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As a non-serious home non-mixologist, I'll throw in that when I occasionally measure quantities less than the increments on the side of my Boston shaker (which are presumably not very accurate, which is presumably one of many reasons my cocktails are lame) I use a thing that looks like a shot glass with four sets of red markings: oz, ml, tsp and tbsp. It says MINI MEASURE on it.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I see that Danny at PDT uses a metal graduated jigger. What is it exactly and how does it compare to the OXO? The OXO does have the unique benefit of being able to see the measurement from the top.

Thats the jigger you see here. These are popular in Europe. These are great jiggers, but the margin for error on them is very small. The difference in the graduations is very small, so it takes a bit of training to use them correctly. Also in a dim bar, you really need to know which graduation is what by memory, can't rely on reading the labels.

John

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Oxo measuring cups equal larger margin for error. That whole looking down at a line inside of something no bueno. The top of a jigger lets you know by overflowing if you put too much in or shows the top of its level if pour is short.

Agree with John on the jigger set. Also throw in an adjustable Teaspoon measure for the critical 1 and a half teaspoon which equals the tricky .25 ounce.

Oxo blahh, jigger please

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That whole looking down at a line inside of something no bueno.

would have to agree with this statement, in any science class I took, and took many thru college/grad school... never do you measure by looking down into a vessel... always at eye level from the side...

ok so, from where does the home 'tender get his supplies...?

best place, best shipping costs...?

amazon has some of the jiggers but i could not find the combo to which all of you pointed me toward at the top of the thread...

any other online shops with good prices and non deal killer shipping?

i can get a good adjustable spoon at a local "Home Good/TJ maxx" if any of you are familiar with those chains...

Edited by shantytownbrown (log)
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That whole looking down at a line inside of something no bueno.

would have to agree with this statement, in any science class I took, and took many thru college/grad school... never do you measure by looking down into a vessel... always at eye level from the side . . . .

The lab analogy doesn't really hold up. First, it applies to narrow tubes like graduated cylinders, where the meniscus can represent a significant percentage of the volume, and thus a source of error. Beakers and flasks can't be read from the top, and aren't usually used for precise measurements. Second, I don't know of any labware that's designed to be read from the top as the Oxo cups are.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Also throw in an adjustable Teaspoon measure for the critical 1 and a half teaspoon which equals the tricky .25 ounce.

Oxo blahh, jigger please

Ahhh, that's why I make two of each cocktail at home - pushes that tricky teaspoon and a half up to a half ounce, making it nice and easy to jigger.

Here's what I use at home, thanks to all my cocktailian friends!

From the left: 1/2-3/4, 1/2-1, 3/4-1 1/2, 1-2 and the variable measuring spoon in front.

gallery_6902_5624_62435.jpg

eta: Photo

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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That whole looking down at a line inside of something no bueno.

would have to agree with this statement, in any science class I took, and took many thru college/grad school... never do you measure by looking down into a vessel... always at eye level from the side . . . .

The lab analogy doesn't really hold up. First, it applies to narrow tubes like graduated cylinders, where the meniscus can represent a significant percentage of the volume, and thus a source of error. Beakers and flasks can't be read from the top, and aren't usually used for precise measurements. Second, I don't know of any labware that's designed to be read from the top as the Oxo cups are.

stand corrected..got your point...i didnt consider that it was graduated and designed to be read the way it is to be used...

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Just for fun, I'd be interested to try this cube jigger that measures 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.25 ounces.  It is quite large, however, clocking in as a 3-inch cube.

Boy, that looks like some serious spillage might occur, especially in the smaller sides of the cube.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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That whole looking down at a line inside of something no bueno.

would have to agree with this statement, in any science class I took, and took many thru college/grad school... never do you measure by looking down into a vessel... always at eye level from the side...

ok so, from where does the home 'tender get his supplies...?

best place, best shipping costs...?

amazon has some of the jiggers but i could not find the combo to which all of you pointed me toward at the top of the thread...

any other online shops with good prices and non deal killer shipping?

i can get a good adjustable spoon at a local "Home Good/TJ maxx" if any of you are familiar with those chains...

I have ordered several times from Bar Products. The website is stuck in the 80's but they ship quickly and have good products. You just need to wade through all the flair tending stuff.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Surely a professional bartender has certain needs -- speed chief among them. A very serious home bartender probably has some need for speed too. Accuracy is probably a concern for everyone. But if you're someone who just makes the occasional cocktail and you don't want to be loaded down with a lot of equipment I think the setup I have is quite space-efficient and simple:

gallery_1_295_21652.jpg

Increments of 1 ounce can be measured in the glass part of the Boston shaker, which is especially convenient when you need 2 ounces of X, 1 ounce of Y and 1 ounce of Z -- it's like using a kitchen scale almost, in that you just keep adding to the glass: X to 2, Y to 3, Z to 4. For anything smaller than an ounce, the measuring shot-glass can measure several different ways. (The markings appear to be blue, not red as I suggested earlier.) Both (along with a strainer) nest inside the metal part of the Boston shaker so you have those core essential cocktail tools all filling only the space of one glass on the shelf. A good setup for the dabbler, I think.

Also, I just measured against the markings on the glasses with a better-quality one-ounce liquid measure. I didn't do it by specific gravity, so this isn't a totally reliable way to test, but the markings seem a lot more accurate than I'd have assumed.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Specific gravity?

Anyway, if I were going to suggest a cocktail setup for the newbie or infrequent home cocktailian, I'd suggest the OXO measures and an all-metal Boston shaker. The OXO measures are easy to use for someone with little experience, and it's both easier to hold for shaking and easier to separate an all-metal Boston shaker setup (it also has the advantage of producing a colder drink).

--

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