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What Jiggers Should the Home Bartender Have?


shantytownbrown
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FYI... Pampered Chef (not that I'm endorsing them) makes a 2 oz mini measuring cup with a great slope to it for top reading, and is graduated in oz, tablespoons and teaspoons, with a 1 1/2 tablespoon (or 3/4 oz) mark.

My wife has a friend who's one of their sales people, and got me one of these cups, and being a home bartender, I only go for the jiggers when I can't find the little cup. It has anything from 1/4 up to a full 2 oz measurement; the only place I have measurement uncertainty anymore is in "dashes" and "drops", which aren't really measurable anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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.

Boy, ain't that the truth. By far, the biggest issue is pouring into the little slots. Having said that, pouring OUT of the thing isn't exactly smooth at times. I'm going to try to practice to see what's what, but the OXO cups are a lot better going in and out....

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I use a number of different things, but haven't really settled on a favorite. I've got the glass Mini Measures (1 oz and 4 oz sizes), but with those, the only way I can really see the markings is to orient the set of markings I'm using to the back and look through the opposite side of the glass (if you follow me). I have the OXO stainless jigger and it's okay, but one or two of the markings are faint, and you need good light overhead. The lack of a 3/4 oz mark has already been mentioned, but I'll reiterate it. My problem with double-ended jiggers is that once you've used one end, it renders the other end unusable until you clean out the first end or you get drips.

What I really want are those cylindrical jiggers pictured in the Difford's Guide, but he doesn't say what they are, and I keep forgetting examine the photos with a magnifying glass to read tiny maker's name inscribed on the bottom of one of them. They look awesome and just might be what haresfur is looking for as well.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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  • 3 months later...

We host a party every year where we serve 30+ cocktails which we have devised ourselves for the occasion (so the recipes are not ingrained in our brains from years of mixing). During the rest of the year we refine the recipes for the drinks we will be serving. So, we are home bartenders, but we mix a lot of drinks and, once a year, we are very concerned with speed and accuracy in a low-light environment.

My husband, the bartender, loves those jiggers for both the above-mentioned reasons but I HATE the mess they make! For the past two years I have been looking for a replacement that meets his requirements and mine. (All our bottles have speed-pour tops as they prevent messy counters even when we're not entertaining.)

None of those mini measuring cups are marked in a way that is easy to read -- they are SO CLUTTERED with markings that it takes you forever to find the mark you need and then you have to remember where it is while you're trying to pour what might be a full bottle of booze into that tiny cup while either holding it at eye level or squatting down to counter level.

The only one we have that is easy to read has every amount outlined with a solid white box but I don't know where I got it and have never seen another one for sale. Of course, there are no identifying marks anywhere on it. Here is a photo.

I just bought one of the OXO mini measures and will see how that works but I doubt the markings are strong enough to be seen in the low-light of the party environment.

One thing I did find that DH is willing to use are the plastic graduates used in photography darkrooms. I bought two sizes, 5 oz and 1.5oz. The only thing I don't like about them is that they're plastic but no one sells a glass one. The glass graduated cylinders used in science labs are only marked in ML which is useless to us. If anyone knows where I can get a glass graduate marked in ounces, please let me know! We would also be interested in a smaller one, one ounce perhaps, as the tall thin cylinder makes it easy to measure tiny amounts.

If you're interested in pix of the party(s), they are here.

(p.s. I love eGullet -- no matter what I need, there is a thread addressing it....)

QuarksBarb

Edited by barbhealy (log)
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Down to four ounces in glass.

http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp?sku=3430060

Kimble Chase makes some dual scale ones, but they're quite expensive.

http://www.safehomeproducts.com/shp2/product/graduate-1oz/30ml/mattress-pads-and-covers/257357/257357.aspx?source=GoogleBase - might work, and glass conical dual-scale graduates seem to be popular on pharmacy supply websites.

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Down to four ounces in glass.

http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp?sku=3430060

Kimble Chase makes some dual scale ones, but they're quite expensive.

http://www.safehomeproducts.com/shp2/product/graduate-1oz/30ml/mattress-pads-and-covers/257357/257357.aspx?source=GoogleBase - might work, and glass conical dual-scale graduates seem to be popular on pharmacy supply websites.

Wow! Thank you! How did you find them so quickly?

Yes, the are expensive...I guess I'll get one of each and see if they're worth it.

QuarksBarB

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An update on the Bar Bone -- which I type with a grimace: what a terrible name:

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.

Boy, ain't that the truth. By far, the biggest issue is pouring into the little slots. Having said that, pouring OUT of the thing isn't exactly smooth at times. I'm going to try to practice to see what's what, but the OXO cups are a lot better going in and out....

So I decided that devoting a few years to learning how to use tools that don't function properly isn't up my alley, and the Bar Bones are now stored for a few years until I find them again and donate them to Salvation Army.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have the Oxo stainless jigger and it's okay, but one or two of the markings are faint, and you need good light overhead. The lack of a 3/4 oz mark has already been mentioned, but I'll reiterate it. My problem with double-ended jiggers is that once you've used one end, it renders the other end unusable until you clean out the first end or you get drips.

I've been using the Oxo Steel Double Jigger a lot recently because it has both the 1/4 oz. marking and 3/4 oz marking. (Although we also have a plethora of the 1/2-3/4 and 1-2 oz jiggers.)

Does your Oxo Steel Double Jigger not have a 3/4 oz. marking? Or are you talking about the Oxo mini measuring cups?

For drips, I typically lay down a mat or paper towel when making a drink to deal with the drips. Not ideal, though.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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Mess is another count against jiggers and for marked measuring cups in the home bar.

Again, the fact that small overpours will spill out of a jigger, meaning that you don't need to look very closely to measure accurately, is a big advantage in a bar, where (1) speed is important; (2) spillage isn't such a big deal; and (3) someone else is cleaning up. In a home bar, however, the calculus is exactly the opposite.

The fact is that home and professional settings lend themselves to different equipment. There is a certain fetishization of professional equipment, but this doesn't mean that the professional equipment is better in a home setting. Indeed, often times, the home cook or bartender has the ability to use better equipment than the professional. Most restaurants use crappy raw aluminum cookware, for example. Now, a professional cook might still prefer to use crappy raw aluminum cookware in his home kitchen because that is what he is used to using. And I suppose that there might be any number of professional cook wannabes/groupies/friends who would buy a kitchen full of crappy raw aluminum cookware because that is what their restaurant cook friends all insist on having in their home kitchens. But it doesn't mean that crappy raw aluminum cookware is the best tool for the job. I suppose there are those who would are motivated to share the preferences of their friends/acquaintances in the business who prefer jiggers even at home because that is what they are used to using and they mix a thousand cocktails with jiggers every week.

If I were behind a bar jiggering cocktails 4 nights a week, I might come to be so used to using them myself that I couldn't abide a measuring cup. But the conditions in a home bar are very different than they are in a professional bar: speed isn't important; visibility is good; pouring is out of the bottle rather than through a speed-pourer (speed-pourers do not seal anywhere near as well as a cork or screw-top and lead to accelerated oxidation, not to mention the possibility of fruit flies, etc.); waste is a concern; mess from overpour spills and transfer spills is a concern; "one round" of cocktails at home usually consists of a single recipe being mixed and divided into servings rather than many different recipes being prepared individually as single servings; etc. These things all mitigate in favor of measuring cups with a pour spout over jiggers for the home bar.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

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  • 3 years later...

I just received a few of Cocktail Kingdom's Leopold jiggers, and my God, on first impression, these are amazing. EXTREMELY thick, sturdy construction (like 1.5mm at least), 1 oz/2 oz, and marked for everything from 1/4 up to 1.5. Shaped to perfectly fit between the fingers, too.

 

As stylish as the Japanese jiggers are, having an all-in-one of this quality is really something else.

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Do you mean are they accurate? Or do you mean how is it marked?

 

the 1 oz side has 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 marked on the inside, the 2 oz side has 1.5 marked on the inside

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Yeah, they are very cool. They're the price of the 1oz/2oz + the 0.5/0.75 CK Japanese style jiggers I was using for home, but having all those measurements in one unit is pretty sweet, and the shape is great, the Japanese ones are sexy, but very narrow and fast pouring without a speed pourer gets messy

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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The Japanese ones aren't Japanese anyway.  

 

I have a proper Japanese made jigger and it weighs about five times that of the CK stuff.  That said, I have a full set of CK jiggers and I like them a lot.

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The Leopold jigger is great, and effectively combines the best properties of jiggers and measuring cups. The only thing that's not great about them is that they can be messy to pour out of, and the bowl-shaped cups can cause the liquid to slosh right back out the other side if you pour into them too fast.

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The only thing that's not great about them is that they can be messy to pour out of, and the bowl-shaped cups can cause the liquid to slosh right back out the other side if you pour into them too fast.

 

This is true, as I found out. I didn't have much trouble with pouring into them, but pouring out of them requires a lot of precision in terms of angles and location relative to the shaker for there to not be spilled booze

 

I'm going to do some practicing with water with them and see if I can't develop better accuracy in that regard.

 

Otherwise, it was great not having to use two jiggers

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