When mixing cocktails, you need to make sure that you get the right amount of alcohol versus the right amount of mixer, for the ultimate in taste and enjoyment. To keep your bar looking as sophisticated as possible, you need a piece of equipment that looks the part too. For this, you need a jigger.
What is a cocktail jigger?
You will hear this called a jigger or a bar jigger, but it’s exactly the same thing. This is basically a measuring device, which is shaped like an hourglass, and it is used to make sure that the right amounts of alcohol are added to every cocktail.
Jiggers can be made of plastic or metal, but to give that shiny, cocktail bar vibe, they’re more likely to be metal. These also stand the test of time much better than plastic.
There are two measuring amounts on each side of the hourglass shape. A standard jigger measures 1.5oz (around 44ml) on one side (known as the ‘jigger shot’), and 1oz on the other (known as the ‘pony shot’). Having said that, you can buy a jigger which fits a variety of different drinks, with different measurements on each side.
Different Types of Jigger
Aside from different sizes and measurement amounts, you can also buy different types of jigger. To help you find the right one for you, here is a guide to main types of jigger on the market.
An angled jigger is the ideal jigger for the first-time user, or for those cocktails which require slightly more intricate measurements. The surface of an angled jigger is, as the name suggests, angled so that you can see the measurements markings much more clearly. You can look directly down and see the markings, which makes getting the right amounts much easier. Angled jiggers are often not in the regular hourglass shape, and tend to be just one mixing jug.
Tall Endurance Jigger
This is the regular type of jigger you will often see in cocktail bars and has a much taller top section, for larger measurements, and the smaller measuring section at the bottom. These are often in sleek metal (can be any color), and usually have a rounded lip, so you can pour the measurement into the glass without spillages. Obviously, a spillage would affect the measurement!
The downside of a tall endurance jigger is that it only has two measurements, the taller and the shorter of the two.
Multi-Level Bar Jigger
A multi-level bar jigger is a great choice for a variety of different drinks, because it has several different measurement markings, making it multi-purpose. There are ridges on the sides from 0.5oz, up to 2.5oz, and you need to look down into the jigger to see where you’re up to when pouring. This can be difficult if the bar is busy or quite dark, however, and this type of jigger is better suited to home bars.
Plastic Bar Jiggers
A plastic bar jigger is very similar to a tall endurance jigger, but the main difference is that it is made of high durability plastic, rather than metal. The plus point of this is that you can easily see how much alcohol you have poured inside from the outside, without having to look down and check. The downside? They don’t look quite as professional as a sleek plastic design.
Pourer With Jigger Cap
This is a two-part piece of equipment which is ideal if you don’t want to spill anything, or if you have a particular issue with contamination in your bar, e.g. if you don’t want bits of glitter or paper floating around and ending up in your newly poured cocktail. The jigger can usually hold and measure 1oz of alcohol, and the top clicks on to help you pour it into the glass. This is also ideal for very thin glasses.
A jigger cube is an ideal tool for a home bar or a small commercial bar. This is a cube, as the name suggests, but the six sides have indentations where you can measure out various amounts of alcohol. The sides have measurements from 0.5oz up to 2.25oz, in the regular amounts. This means you don’t have to keep changing tools, but it does mean you need to clean it quite regularly, to avoid contamination.
These are the main types of jigger you can look into buy, and which one you decide upon really depends on whether you are opting for a home bar or a commercial one.
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