A Guide to the Standard Pours of a Jigger

When it comes to making cocktails and mixed drinks, knowing the standard pours on a jigger is essential for achieving balanced flavors and accurate measurements.

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standard jigger pour

A jigger is a common bartending tool used for measuring liquor and other ingredients, and it typically has an hourglass shape with two different sized ends.

Accurate pouring with a jigger not only ensures consistent taste but also helps maintain proper inventory management in a professional setting. By mastering the use of a jigger and its standard pours, one can elevate their mixology skills and impress guests with perfectly balanced beverages.

What is A Jigger?

A jigger is a small hourglass-shaped measuring tool used in bartending for accurately measuring and pouring liquids, usually spirits and other alcoholic beverages.


Jiggers are essential for making consistent and well-balanced cocktails. Their design enables bartenders to quickly and easily measure the correct amount of each ingredient for a recipe.

Common jigger styles include the following:

  • Standard: features two conical ends for measuring different volumes, typically 1 oz. and 1.5 oz. or 0.75 oz. and 1.5 oz.
  • Japanese: has tall, slender cups with a sleek design, offering precise measurements and elegant presentation.
  • Bell: resembles a traditional jigger but has a rounded bottom for a unique look and feel.
  • Measuring cup: looks like a small cup with clear measurements marked on the side in ounces and milliliters.

Jiggers allow bartenders to control the right amount of alcohol and other ingredients to achieve the desired taste and strength of a cocktail.

This versatility in measurement options and styles ensures that there is a jigger suitable for every type of bartender, from the professional mixologist to the casual home bartender.

Standard Pours on a Jigger

A jigger is a common bartending tool used for measuring and pouring liquid ingredients in cocktail recipes.

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jigger pour

The standard pours on a jigger involve two different measurements: one on each side of the hourglass-shaped tool.

This section will explore the standard measurements on both sides of a jigger, as well as their common uses in mixology.

One Side Measurements

The most commonly used one side measurement of a jigger is 1.5 ounces (45ml).

This is the larger side of the hourglass-shaped tool and is often used for pouring the main ingredient or base spirit in cocktail recipes. In some jiggers, the larger side may hold 2 ounces (60ml) instead of 1.5 ounces.

There are several other variations in one side measurement, such as:

  • 1 ounce (30ml) – common for smaller size jiggers
  • 2 ounces (60ml) – suitable for larger base spirit pours in cocktails

Other Side Measurements

On the other side of a jigger, the measurement is typically smaller than the first side.

The most common measurement for the smaller side is 0.75 ounces (22.5ml), which is often used for pouring secondary ingredients or modifiers like juices, syrups, or liqueurs in cocktail recipes.

Other variations in measurements for the smaller side include:

  • 1 ounce (30ml) – suited for equal part pours in recipes
  • 0.5 ounces (15ml) – ideal for smaller measurements or dashes

Together, these standard pours on both sides of a jigger provide bartenders with the flexibility to efficiently measure and mix various cocktail ingredients, achieving a consistent and balanced result in each drink.

Using a Jigger Effectively


When using a jigger, it is essential to follow proper pouring techniques to ensure accurate measurements.

jigger technique

First, fill the jigger with the chosen liquid up to the meniscus, which is the curve that forms at the top of the liquid surface. This can be done with both classic and Japanese style jiggers.

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Pour the thinnest ingredients first, as they will be easier to measure and mix with other ingredients.


To achieve accuracy when using a jigger, familiarize yourself with the standard measurements, which typically include 0.75 ounces, 1 ounce, 1.5 ounces, and 2 ounces.

jigger accuracy

Remember that the larger end of a standard jigger is usually 1.5 ounces, while the smaller end measures 0.75 ounces. A jigger’s design and markings often indicate its specific measurements, so pay close attention to these details.


Consistency in pouring is crucial for creating uniform and well-balanced cocktails.

jigger consistency

To maintain consistency, always use the same jigger style and measurement system throughout the preparation process. This will help to ensure that each cocktail’s ingredients are mixed in proper proportions, resulting in a consistent taste and presentation.

Common Liquor Measurements

In the world of bartending and mixology, understanding the standard pours for various types of alcohol is essential.

bartender using a jigger to measure a shot of liquor for some prepared cocktails

In this section, we will explore the common measurements for spirits and liqueurs when using a jigger.


Spirits are typically measured in ounces, and the most common pour is 1.5 ounces.

A standard jigger usually has two sides: one with a capacity of 1.5 ounces and another with a capacity of 0.75 ounces. These measurements are crucial for creating balanced and enjoyable cocktails.

Here are some standard pours for commonly used liquors:

  • Vodka: 1.5 ounces
  • Gin: 1.5 ounces
  • Rum: 1.5 ounces
  • Whiskey: 1.5 ounces
  • Tequila: 1.5 ounces

These measurements apply to most types of spirits; however, variations may occur depending on the specific cocktail recipe or personal preference.


Liqueurs are sweeter and often used in smaller quantities than spirits, so the standard pour for these alcohols is typically less.

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Most jiggers allow for accurate measurements of smaller amounts, which is essential due to the potent flavors found in liqueurs. Here are standard pours for some popular liqueurs:

  • Triple Sec: 0.5 to 0.75 ounces
  • Amaretto: 0.5 to 0.75 ounces
  • Cointreau: 0.5 to 0.75 ounces
  • Kahlúa: 0.5 to 0.75 ounces
  • Crème de menthe: 0.5 to 0.75 ounces

As with spirits, these measurements might vary based on the specific recipe or desired taste. Using a jigger allows for a consistent and precise pour, ensuring the correct proportion of each ingredient in the final cocktail.


Jiggers are essential tools for bartenders and at-home mixologists alike, ensuring the consistent and accurate measurement of alcohol in cocktails.

These hourglass-shaped instruments typically have two ends, with capacities ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 ounces.

There are various types and sizes of jiggers on the market, with some offering both imperial and metric measurements for added versatility. To maintain accuracy while preparing cocktail recipes, it’s important to be consistent with the type of jigger used.

In general, a standard liquor pour using a jigger will be between 1.5 to 2 ounces, depending on the specific jigger being utilized. As many cocktail recipes require a full 2 ounces, selecting a jigger with a two-ounce capacity is highly recommended.

Having a jigger on hand is a valuable addition to any bartender’s toolkit, fostering precision and consistency in beverage preparation.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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