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Jiggers, spoons and Measures


KatieLoeb
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Since recipes need to be precise to have any sense of consistency in the commercial environment, what do you use for measuring utensils?

I recently purchased an OXO Good Grips Mini Measuring Cup to use when creating cocktails and I really love it. I bought mine as a single at a local housewares shop, but it looks just like the ones in the link. I've found it invaluable for cocktail recipe creation. Even though we free pour where I work, when creating recipes to be converted to "pour counts" I find this little dishwasher safe measure very useful.

How 'bout you??

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Since recipes need to be precise to have any sense of consistency in the commercial environment, what do you use for measuring utensils?

I recently purchased an OXO Good Grips Mini Measuring Cup to use when creating cocktails and I really love it.  I bought mine as a single at a local housewares shop, but it looks just like the ones in the link.  I've found it invaluable for cocktail recipe creation.  Even though we free pour where I work, when creating recipes to be converted to "pour counts" I find this little dishwasher safe measure very useful.

How 'bout you??

I don't use measures when I'm behind the bar, though after watching how the guys at Pegu deal with jiggers, I'm starting to think about using them (though I was so busy on my last shift I don't think I could have handled it).

At home, when just making drinks for friends, or for Mardee and me, I don't use measures then, either, but I do use them when creating new drinks.

I have a small glass beaker that measures up to 3 ounces in 1/2-ounce increments, and I use that on a regular basis. For 1/4 ounce measurements I confess to eye-balling it in that same beaker.

I think that making cocktails is more like making soups or sauces that baking cakes. A cake recipe is a chemical formula, and if it isn't followed pretty precisely, the cake might fail. But when making soup I think it's okay to play around with measurements somewhat, and for me the same applies to cocktails.

This is especially true when making drinks for someone whose taste you understand, and this is something that pro bartenders might want to think about. If you know that someone likes sweet drinks, you might add more liqueur, or syrup, or whatever, than the recipe calls for.

Am I straying from the subject here? Sorry! I'll leave it at that.

“The practice is to commence with a brandy or gin ‘cocktail’ before breakfast, by way of an appetizer. Subsequently, a ‘digester’ will be needed. Then, in due course and at certain intervals, a ‘refresher,’ a ‘reposer,’ a ‘settler,’ a ‘cooler,’ an ‘invigorator,’ a ‘sparkler,’ and a ‘rouser,’ pending the final ‘nightcap,’ or midnight dram.” Life and Society in America by Samuel Phillips Day. Published by Newman and Co., 1880.

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I recently purchased an OXO Good Grips Mini Measuring Cup to use when creating cocktails and I really love it.  I bought mine as a single at a local housewares shop, but it looks just like the ones in the link.  I've found it invaluable for cocktail recipe creation.  Even though we free pour where I work, when creating recipes to be converted to "pour counts" I find this little dishwasher safe measure very useful.

How 'bout you??

I told you, that you would like the Oxo.

I currently use a standard jigger and the Oxos. When sharing a recipe I use a ratio as opposed to oz., 1 jigger, etc... there is far to much inconsistency when dealing with different measureing devices.

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When I worked I always free poured. However, made very few real cocktails. Anyone can pour for a Gin and Tonic. Since we have discovered the world of classic cocktails when I mix at home these days I always measure. I have a small measure I got from the Bakers Catalouge intended for small baking measures. It works great for cocktails. My free pour skills were pretty developed, but I believe that if I returned to working a bar I would measure more, particularly if making classic cocktails were I have found that even being a little off can really change the balance of the drink.

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I recently purchased an OXO Good Grips Mini Measuring Cup to use when creating cocktails and I really love it.  I bought mine as a single at a local housewares shop, but it looks just like the ones in the link.  I've found it invaluable for cocktail recipe creation.  Even though we free pour where I work, when creating recipes to be converted to "pour counts" I find this little dishwasher safe measure very useful.

How 'bout you??

I told you, that you would like the Oxo.

I currently use a standard jigger and the Oxos. When sharing a recipe I use a ratio as opposed to oz., 1 jigger, etc... there is far to much inconsistency when dealing with different measureing devices.

I'm so glad you convinced me to get this, Matt. I'd probably not have noticed it otherwise, but it has definitely come in quite handy. I convert to "parts" or "pour counts" later, but for initial recipe creation, this little device can't be beat.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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The jigger and my Oxo! I don't trust my free pouring skills. At least when I measure I have a basis from which to make changes. I gave the Oxo measures to friends and family at Christmas last year because they are just so wonderful!

KathyM

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get your self two jiggers. one 2oz and 1oz the other a half oz andthree quarter oz. eye balling a qurter ounce shouldnt be so difficult using half the half oz measure. also a standard bar spoon is essentially a quarter ounce. also to touch on garys comments about the bartenders at pegu and the use of jiggers there id like to dispute the misconception that jiggers slow the bartender down. id be willing to meet any bartender at high noon at the trough of their choice and and see just how much a handicapp a jigger is. then we can sit around and taste the drinks for quality and consistency. then one of my coworkers and one of the other persons coworkers who also thinks it takes to long to use a jigger can go through the same process and well taste those drinks for quality and consistency. like anything else in life a jigger just takes a little getting used to. but i think ones natural inclination to resent change must be overcome in the name of quality and consistincy.

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Well said, phlip. I certainly haven't noticed that jiggers hold back any of the bartenders I know who use them in terms of speed. In general, especially if one is doing a drink with a bunch of 1/2 and 1/4 ounce measures (say, Audrey's Tantris Sidecar) I have to say that I don't believe bartenders can mix that drink with precision and consistency while free pouring -- especially under pressure. It's one thing to free pour an Aviation or something like that. As Gary said it allows you to adjust for individual tastes, and it's not going to screw up the drink if it ends up being 2/3 ounce of maraschino instead of 1/2. But, if you make a Tantris Sidecar with a either a scant dash or a 1/2 ounce of green Chartreuse instead of 1/4 ounce, you've completely screwed up the balance of the drink and it won't be right.

I'm not a professional, so I like to use the Oxo cups at home. It's just easier to do everything using that one measuring device instead of doing a lot of switching. But I can see how using a metal jigger would be a lot easier and speedier in a professional situation, and if I ever went behind the bar I'd make a point of switching to that. Since that's never going to happen, I stick with the Oxo.

--

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I have to admit, I'm a bit of an Oxo freak. I use them, design drinks around them, and pretty much insist that my staff use them. I hate seeing someone freepour half an ounce of pastis into a corpse reviver#2...gives me the willys.

I do find that they slow me down, but I'd much rather pour consitent drinks, especially since the vintage thing is new to my area, than turn someone off to a prefectly good drink because I rushed it.

My twenty-two cents.

edit for this: I did have to scratch a 3/4 mark on all three of my oxo mini cups. made me crazy to not have it. The 1/4 ounce makes me nervous....

Edited by Snowy is dead (log)
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