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What Jiggers Should the Home Bartender Have?


shantytownbrown
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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.

Seconded - it's the only place I've found online that carries the 1/2 - 3/4 jigger. But seriously, if you're epileptic, have a friend order from the website on your behalf, or at least make sure someone is standing by with a tongue depressor.

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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).

if you are in nyc, the bar kit at astor wines is the way to go. $19.99 for the Julep Strainer, hawthorne strainer, two jiggers (.5-.75 and 1-2 oz.), 2 metal shakers (28 and 18 oz.), 16 oz. mixing Glass, a Bar Spoon, and a Wood Muddler.

of course you still need a measuring spoon but the kit is more than enough to get started.

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Interesting points about looking down at the liquid in the Oxo measuring cup.

I use the doubled set of conical metal jiggers, instead of the mixed ones the gentlemen from the East Coast use:

1/2oz-1oz, 3/4oz-1 1/2oz, 1oz-2oz

One point I will make, and that I ignored for a long time: There is a huge variety of jiggers on the market in the US and most of them aren't marked or perhaps even accurate.

If you're making recipes with absolute measurements, at least take the time to figure out what size those mystery jiggers are. That is one place the Oxo measuring cup comes in handy.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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if you are in nyc, the bar kit at astor wines is the way to go.  $19.99 for the Julep Strainer, hawthorne strainer, two jiggers (.5-.75 and 1-2 oz.), 2 metal shakers (28 and 18 oz.), 16 oz. mixing Glass, a Bar Spoon, and a Wood Muddler.

of course you still need a measuring spoon but the kit is more than enough to get started.

i live about 1.25 hours away, but they do ship...and they have a gin i have been wanting to try...i will price out the shipping costs...thanks for the tip...

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picked up an oxo mini measure to start with while out over weekend...measured my unmarked jiggers, and saw where i was guestimating 1/2 oz measures...turns out i was fairly close....and both my jig's are 3/4-1's as i had figured...

will call astor tommorw to see on shipping that set up..i need new boston shakers and a spoon any way...

BTW: what's technically the measure of a "dash" i hear it means something more than what comes out of a typical "dasher" bottle...

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  • 1 year later...

Clearly, with respect to a jigger, the home bartender and the pro bartender have different needs and considerations.

The home bartender typically:

  • Is not not concerned about speed
  • Is not using pour-tops
  • Is concerned about waste/mess from over-pours
  • Is working in a well-lit environment with sufficient room
  • Wants something accurate and easy to read
  • Would prefer using (and cleaning) a single measuring tool over using several

These considerations all mitigate in favor of something like the OXO measuring cups

In contrast, the pro bartender typically:

  • Is very concerned about speed
  • Is using pour-tops
  • Is not concerned about waste/mess from over-pours
  • Is working in a poorly-lit environment with insufficient room
  • Wants something that can be used quickly and accurately in low visibility
  • Doesn't mind using multiple measuring tools, as they are cleaned/replaced after every use

These considerations mitigate in favor of jiggers

Needless to say, of course people will also tend to favor what they're used to using. Thus, a home bartender who has done some volume bartending will likely favor jiggers.

--

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Clearly, with respect to a jigger, the home bartender and the pro bartender have different needs and considerations.

The home bartender typically:

  • Is not not concerned about speed
  • Is not using pour-tops
  • Is concerned about waste/mess from over-pours
  • Is working in a well-lit environment with sufficient room
  • Wants something accurate and easy to read
  • Would prefer using (and cleaning) a single measuring tool over using several

These considerations all mitigate in favor of something like the OXO measuring cups

In contrast, the pro bartender typically:

  • Is very concerned about speed
  • Is using pour-tops
  • Is not concerned about waste/mess from over-pours
  • Is working in a poorly-lit environment with insufficient room
  • Wants something that can be used quickly and accurately in low visibility
  • Doesn't mind using multiple measuring tools, as they are cleaned/replaced after every use

These considerations mitigate in favor of jiggers

Needless to say, of course people will also tend to favor what they're used to using. Thus, a home bartender who has done some volume bartending will likely favor jiggers.

I understand all of that, but from the pictures, it doesn't seem like the ProJig scores very well on that scale - in particular, over-pours will result in inaccurate measurements, you need to make sure you are pouring into the right compartments, etc. In fact, to your point on multiple jiggers, that would make more sense to me than this device, as would the OXO measuring device, in almost any situation. That's why I was asking what Chris's view on it was.

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I will say that one major count against the Bar Bone, as I see it, is that it eliminates the speed/accuracy assist that you get from using regular conical jiggers. With a regular conical jigger, so long as you are holding it level, you just fill it up to the top and any over-pour spills out onto the bar mat (or the floor, or in the sink or whatever). So you can work fast and still get accurate pours so long as you fill the jigger to the top. With the Bar Bone, it seems to me that over-pour would tend to go into the other compartments, and thus end up in your drink when you dump in the contents.

Needless to say, the Bar Bone has very limited usefulness if you are not using pour tops on your bottles, as the stream from a regular bottle would not pour into the little compartments very neatly.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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I use the ProJig frequently, but only for 1/4 ounce measures. I'm strictly a home bartender. No speed pourers. Overpouring has never been a problem.

Never could figure out the enthusiasm for the OXO measure. It doesn't have a mark for 1/4 ounces and I find it very hard to use accurately. Maybe I need to add some more lights in the kitchen, but for me it's difficult to eyeball a 1/2 ounce pour of a clear liquid in the OXO cup.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Never could figure out the enthusiasm for the OXO measure. It doesn't have a mark for 1/4 ounces and I find it very hard to use accurately. Maybe I need to add some more lights in the kitchen, but for me it's difficult to eyeball a 1/2 ounce pour of a clear liquid in the OXO cup.

Not sure which Oxo you're referring to, but mine has 1/4, 1/2, 1, 1 1/2 and 2 oz markings. I've seen others that also have 1/3 and 3/4 oz marks...

Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Never could figure out the enthusiasm for the OXO measure. It doesn't have a mark for 1/4 ounces and I find it very hard to use accurately. Maybe I need to add some more lights in the kitchen, but for me it's difficult to eyeball a 1/2 ounce pour of a clear liquid in the OXO cup.

Not sure which Oxo you're referring to, but mine has 1/4, 1/2, 1, 1 1/2 and 2 oz markings. I've seen others that also have 1/3 and 3/4 oz marks...

Mine is the same as KD's - I would prefer a 3/4, 1 1/4, and 1 3/4, but i don't think I'm off by that much on these more oddball measurements by going halfway.

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I thought this was the OXO measure many preferred:

http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Liquid-Measuring/dp/B00076Q7K4/ref=pd_sbs_k_4

It's what Robert Hess uses in his videos.

Never seen the marked OXO jigger.

And personally, I use jiggers because I find them satisfying to handle. The miniature OXO measuring cup gives me no joy. But that's just me.

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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The stainless version has fewer markings then the plastic one, also it is missing the ml measurement.

Word of warning, it seems that some of the stainless have issues with the markings. There is a bad review on amazon and of the 2 I ordered one actually came with very weak markings. I thought actually they would wash out but they didn't sofar, is just hard to read.

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I find the angled cup good enough for my home enthusiast needs. The marked jigger I've received rave reviews about from professionals. I don't like the look/feel of the measuring cup, but as Sam point's out above, one of my major considerations is avoiding spillage. I would switch to the marked jigger in an instant if I wasn't paying for the booze.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I'm sure the goal is to not have any over-pour spillage. But it certainly does happen on busy nights. The beauty of a conical jigger with you're working for speed in low light is that, so long as you hold it level and fill it to the top, even if you pour in a bit too much the jigger will always give you the amount you're supposed to have. A drop or two down the side is not unusual in these circumstances. But, for the bartender, it's not such a huge concern as he's going to be running the jigger (not to mention the tips of his fingers) through the dip sink in a few seconds anyway. Even in a busy bar with sloppy bartenders, I can't imagine that the amount of this kind of spillage even approaches the amount of booze wasted on drinks that didn't turn out right and had to be dumped.

The point is that a home bartender is likely to have zero spill tolerance. First off, he has to clean up his own spills. Second, from a purely economic perspective, spillage from a bottle of Plymouth you buy (and sell) by the multiple case at wholesale prices just doesn't hurt as much as spillage from that one bottle of Plymouth that you bought at full retail. Even in a busy bar, the bartender is likely to pause and take his own sweet time making sure he doesn't spill any Stagg.

--

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At the risk of broken-record-ism, I'm a non-pro cocktail geek who occasionally mixes for a crowd and I use and like the little OXO measuring cup. Mine has been through the dishwasher a few hundred times and the numbers are starting to wear off... but when they do, I'll buy another one. Hopefully by then OXO will have added a 3/4 oz mark, but it's not a must-have.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I added a 1 cup OXO measuring cup to my 2 oz one. I've found is useful for making two identical drinks. This often happens when I entertain. While it's only marked in 1 oz increments, they are all marked. I may cut the handle off so that it looks more like the 2 oz version.

What I would really like is an accurate 4 oz one with 1/4 oz tick marks (all 16 of them). I would then buy 4 of them and could pretty easily measure out the ingredients for the drinks, one per measuring cup. Then ice the glasses, pour / stir / whatever. And my drinks would come out more at the same time. I can do this with what I have, but there's more washing. (Depending upon the order of the ingredients, I'm pretty careful about washing out stinky ingredients before measuring subtle ones; a quick rinse doesn't always do it for me.)

I think adding another 2 mixing glasses to my existing 2 might be the best I can do to help speed my drink making, without going crazy.

Someone must have worked out a better system for us home cocktail nerds -- and one that doesn't involve the top rack of the dishwasher being just bartending stuff.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Ok, I don't get conical jiggers. Aside from being easy to hold between the fingers for non-primates or primates who's opposable thumbs are occupied elsewhere, what is their advantage? Given the shape, a bit of spillage, leading to a slightly lower liquid level represents a fair % of the volume (like the beer-glass underpour). Seems to me that at the very least a cylindrical shape would be more efficient and overall less likely to spill in the first place (not like the martini-glass slosh).

I've been using a 4 oz glass with calibration lines in many units. My main complaint is seeing the lines in low light, particularly with clear liquid because of the lines arounnd on the other side. My close up vision is shot.

For bitters, I do think you professionals need to impress your customers with the speed & accuracy of: Eppendorf pipettes

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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