Updated at: 19-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Ever wondered about the secret to precisely measured cocktails?

It all lies in a small but vital bartending tool known as a jigger. This hourglass-shaped device, tracing its roots back to the early 19th century, ensures your drinks have consistent taste and quality.

Our guide will delve into what a jigger is, its types, and how you can utilize it for perfect drink measurements.

Understanding Jiggers: Definition and Purpose

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A jigger, in the world of bartending tools and cocktail measurements, is an hourglass-shaped measuring device.

Its purpose lies beyond just being a drink mixer but acts as the backbone for creating balanced and consistent cocktails.

Crafted typically from stainless steel, a jigger features two unequal cones at each end. It’s essential to remember that these are not fancy shot glasses – they serve a role far more significant.

This indispensable bartender tool has roots dating back to the 19th century when folks used it to portion out servings of hooch, holding around two and half ounces per measure.

In today’s mixology techniques, standard jiggers hold anywhere between 1 to 3 fluid ounces—allowing for precise alcohol measurements which are crucial in preventing overpouring and ensuring each sip tastes exactly as planned.

The use of this bar essential extends past bustling professional establishments right into home bars where cocktail enthusiasts strive for pouring control and accuracy too.

Different Types of Jiggers

There are three common types of jiggers used in bartending: shop bar jiggersdouble jiggers, and Japanese jiggers.

Shop Bar Jiggers

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Bar jiggers are an essential tool for bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to suit different preferences and needs.

These jiggers are specifically designed for use in bars and offer great precision when measuring ingredients for drinks.

Made of stainless steel, they are durable and easy to clean, making them a staple in any professional bar setting.

With their hourglass shape, shop bar jiggers have two ends with uneven cones that allow for precise pouring control. One end typically holds 1 ounce of liquid, while the other end can hold either 1.5 or 2 ounces depending on the model.

Shop bar jiggers ensure consistent measurements from one drink to another, which is crucial for maintaining quality and taste consistency.

By using a jigger instead of relying on estimates or guesswork, bartenders can make sure each cocktail is perfectly balanced every time.

Double Jiggers

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Double jiggers are a popular type of jigger used in bartending, especially for those who want precise measurements in their cocktail making.

As the name suggests, double jiggers have two different measuring cones on either end, allowing you to measure multiple amounts of ingredients with just one tool.

They come in various sizes and typically have different measurements on each end, such as 1 ounce and 2 ounces or ½ ounce and ¾ ounce.

With a double jigger, you can easily switch between measurements depending on your recipe’s requirements.

Whether you’re a professional bartender or a home mixologist, using a double jigger ensures that your cocktails will be consistently delicious every time.

Japanese Jiggers

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Japanese jiggers are a popular choice among bartenders and mixologists for their sleek design and precise measurements.

These jiggers, influenced by the Japanese cocktail culture, often feature a more slender shape compared to traditional jigger styles.

They typically have multiple measurement lines engraved on their surface, allowing for greater versatility in drink preparation.

Japanese jiggers also come in different sizes, ranging from smaller options used for shot measurements to larger ones perfect for crafting complex cocktails.

With their attention to detail and aesthetic appeal, Japanese jiggers add a touch of elegance to any bar setup while ensuring accurate pours every time.

How to Use a Jigger and Jigger Measurements

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Using a jigger is an easy and effective way to measure cocktail ingredients accurately.

Here’s how:

  • Hold the jigger by the middle section, with one end higher than the other.
  • Pour the desired liquid into the larger end of the jigger.
  • Use the smaller end of the jigger to carefully pour out the measured amount of liquid into your cocktail shaker or mixing glass.
  • If your recipe calls for multiple ingredients, repeat this process for each ingredient, using a clean jigger each time.
  • Remember to use the correct side of the jigger for measuring, as each side represents a different measurement. For example, one side may be 1 ounce and the other side may be 1.5 ounces.
  • Pay attention to measurements and ratios when using a jigger. Consistency in your measurements will result in consistent and balanced cocktails.


In conclusion, a jigger is an essential tool in the world of mixology and bartending. It helps ensure accurate measurements for creating delicious and consistent cocktails.

Whether you’re a professional bartender or a home cocktail enthusiast, having a jigger in your barware collection is a must for achieving precision and perfection in your drink creations.

So next time you’re mixing up your favorite beverage, don’t forget to grab your trusty jigger! Cheers to perfectly measured drinks!