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How To Use A Jigger

How To Use A Jigger

We’ve all eyeballed the ingredients for a simple drink at one point or another. But if you want to make a good, balanced cocktail, you need to measure your ingredients first! 

While there are plenty of tools that you can use to divvy out the right amount of spirits and mixers, having a jigger on hand can make things especially easy. It’s a useful tool for every bartender, whether you’re mixing up drinks at home for yourself or slinging drinks for a crowd. Here’s how to use a jigger correctly to make professional-grade drinks … plus some cocktail ideas you can use to practice your newfound skills.

What is a jigger? 

A jigger is a measuring cup that is specifically used in bartending. Jiggers are typically shaped like hourglasses with one cup on each side, and both cups are different sizes to allow for different measurements. While sizes can vary, the typical larger cup is called a “jigger shot” and is 1.5 ounces, while the smaller “pony shot” is 0.75 ounces. 

There are a couple of different jiggers that you can buy, including standard and Japanese jiggers. If you favor precision and accuracy, Japanese jiggers are a good choice. They are taller and more slender than standard jiggers, allowing for easier pouring and more accurate measurements. 

Copper Jigger from American Cocktail Club

Our sleek and attractive Japanese-style jigger features a 1-ounce and 2-ounce side that you can use to make your cocktails precisely. It’s also plated with copper so it will be just as attractive as it is functional. This luxe copper jigger is a great gift for at-home bartenders looking to improve their mixology skills and for those who want an attractive piece on their bar cart when it’s not in use. 

How to use a jigger when making a cocktail 

To use a jigger, you will need the recipe and ingredients for the cocktail of your choice. You might also need other tools like a cocktail shaker, mixing glass, and/or a bar spoon to properly mix the ingredients in your cocktail. Make sure to read your cocktail recipe thoroughly to determine the best method for combining your ingredients. 

To use your jigger: 

  1. Hold your jigger between your thumb and forefinger with the correct measurement side facing up. 
  2. In your other hand, hold your bottle of liquor or mixer. 
  3. Fill the jigger with the liquor or mixer called for by the recipe. Some jiggers will have measurement lines on the inside that you can use to gauge the correct amount. If yours does not have a measurement line, fill up the cup as close to the top as you can without spilling for an accurate measurement. 
  4. Carefully hold your jigger to the mouth of your mixing glass or cocktail shaker and tip in your measured ingredient. 
  5. Repeat as necessary for the cocktail recipe, mix as instructed, and enjoy! 

Practice your jigger skills with cocktail kits from American Cocktail Co.! 

Using a jigger is an important bartending skill that lets you make accurate and perfectly balanced cocktails with ease, and there’s no better way to improve a skill than to practice! If you’re looking for a reason to practice your jigger pours, consider buying some all-in-one cocktail kits from American Cocktail Co. 

Everything Box Subscription 

Whether you’re brand-new to bartending or are looking for an easy way to explore the world of craft cocktails, the Everything Box has you covered. Each month, you’ll receive a box that has been specially curated to make 8 servings of a world-class cocktail by award-winning mixologist Bob Peters, all from the comfort of your own home. Try your hand at mixology with these premium spirits, mixers, and garnishes, and get ready to enjoy the fruits of your new hobby. 

A Chill In The Air 

There are few things more satisfying than curling up with a cozy drink at the end of a bitingly cold winter’s day, which is where this cocktail really shines. Combine Bombay Sapphire Gin, Mulling Syrup, and Owen’s Sparkling Cranberry, top with a dehydrated pear slice, then enjoy this deliciously comforting craft cocktail from the warm embrace of your own home. 

Not Quite Tiki

In desperate need of a tropical vacation? We can’t bring the beach to you, but the Not Quite Tiki cocktail set is the next best thing. With a tantalizing mix of Flor de Cana Rum, honey citrus syrup, blackberry salt sugar, Volley Tropical Mango Spiked Seltzer, and a dehydrated lotus root for garnish, this box comes with just about everything you’ll need to live out your tiki bar dreams. 

Great Fruit

Whether you’re enjoying a bright summer’s day or are wistfully dreaming of sunshine in the middle of winter, the Great Fruit cocktail is the perfect bright-and-cheery pick-me-up. This box comes with all the ingredients you’ll need for a masterfully crafted grapefruit cocktail, including Bombay Sapphire Gin, Grapefruit rosemary syrup, Volley Sharp Grapefruit tequila seltzer, a dehydrated grapefruit slice for garnish, and a Spicy Margarita mixture for the rim of your glass. 

Strawberry Blonde

The ultimate combination of zesty fruits and bright herbs, the Strawberry Blonde cocktail is a particularly tasty way to practice your bar skills. Mix Grey Goose Vodka with fresh lemon, strawberry basil syrup, and Zesty Lime Volley Tequila Seltzer for a lip-smackingly delicious treat that’s perfect for sipping. 

Tequila Hotty

If your dream day consists of apple picking, cinnamon lattes, and falling leaves, you’re going to love the Tequila Hotty. This kit comes with Spiced Apple Hot Toddy Syrup, La Marca Prosecco, Cazadores Tequila Blanco, and dehydrated apple for a perfectly comforting drink that you’ll love whipping up again and again once you feel a crisp chill in the air. 


Bartending is a skill that only improves when you have the right tools for the job. Invest in a good jigger and follow along with American Cocktail Club’s deliciously sophisticated cocktail recipes to hone your inner mixologist. 

Photo by cottonbro studio:

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