You might wonder why we need to measure cocktail ingredients when we can see just free-pour all elements, and voila! You have a cocktail. But just like bakers and chefs follow their recipes, bartenders and mixologists follow procedures and recipes for a drink. And there is a scientific explanation for this. Read more to find out!
The importance of Measuring
Measuring cocktail ingredients is as relevant as choosing the correct elements to put in your drink, and it affects the two most important parts of your cocktail, the taste, and texture. Following the accurate ratio of ingredients that the drink recipe calls for is vital to achieving the exact consistency of the drink, making sure you can serve the same quality of cocktails every time!
The Golden Ratio
The Golden ratio calls for 2:1:1, that is, two parts base, one part sweetener, and one part sour. You may then add bitters and your choice of garnish. Most bartenders use this to strategize to be more efficient during work, plus it ensures little to no compromised quality of drink despite their busy shift.
This, of course, is very easy that anyone can utilize. It is considered one of the fundamentals of cocktail making. Although almost all classic cocktails started with this proportion, not all cocktails require this ratio, as there has been a lot of variation through the years. But it can come in handy if you ever need to remember how much you should pour into the glass.
What are the Measuring Tools for Cocktails
Now, let’s learn the measuring tools used for cocktail making.
This tool is the most basic yet functional and widely used measuring bar tool, shaped like an hourglass and usually made of stainless steel. A Jigger’s unit of measurement is in ounces (oz) or parts.
Two types of Jiggers
- Single jigger - close to a shot glass and has only one bowl to portion spirits
- Double jigger - has two different sides to accommodate two different measurements
Here are several styles that we found with their specifications:
- Classic Bar Jigger - a double jigger made from stainless steel with a wide shallow bowl on both sides. Although durable, this type of jugger is more prone to spillage due to its shallow compartments.
- Japanese style Jigger - This is a close version of the classic bar jigger but has a sleeker appearance. It has long and deeper bowls on both sides, which helps to avoid spilling your precious spirit.
- Double Jigger - Its appearance is close to that of a classic bar jigger but has more graduation, which is very useful when measuring cocktail ingredients in small portions.
Good thing there are a lot of jigger variations available in the market, and you can choose whichever you feel is most comfortable for you. But if you’re open to suggestions, you’ll never go wrong with a Japanese-style jigger!
Cocktail Beaker/ Measuring Cup
Next on our list are the cocktail beaker and Measuring Cup. Usually, they can hold up to 5 oz of liquid measure and are used when making a large volume of drinks. This creates a bartender’s life a lot easier and more efficient.
And we’re now on to the most exciting part! Measuring of cocktail ingredients. I know you’re constantly confused about how conversion and unit of measurement work. But worry no more cause we are with you on this!
For starters and alike, we put up comprehensive measurement conversions that are easy to follow and keep in mind. Though remembering these might take a while, learn them by heart, and you’re off to a great start.
Here are some helpful terminologies of measurement that you should get acquainted with.
When measuring in “parts,” it usually refers to the ratio of an ingredient to another while using the same unit of measurement. Say, for example, if the recipe uses ounces to measure and calls for two parts base and one part sweetener, you need to measure 2 ounces of base and 1 ounce of sweetener. The same principle applies to other units of measurement.
Milliliters and Centiliters
These two have the closest conversion number, with 10 milliliters (ml) being 1 centiliter (cl). Remember to add zero (0) for every centiliter when converting a number into a milliliter.
You can usually see this unit of measurement engraved on jiggers, which is widely used in cocktail recipes. One easy way of doing this measure is the 1-ounce pour method by pouring one count of liquid into the glass just like counting numbers.
A Shot and Pony
A shot can be measured using a jigger. Although some jiggers can contain larger amounts of liquid, keep in mind that a shot’s standard measure is 1.5 ounces. On the other hand, a pony shot has a smaller quantity of liquid with only 1 ounce of liquor or 30 milliliters (ml).
Dash and Splash
These are considered informal measurements since they usually use a free-pour method. Dash usually refers to drops of strong liquids, traditionally used for ingredients that need to be in smaller quantities, like bitters or spices. Splash is a bit greater in quantity and usually uses fluids with less viscosity, like mixers, to add color or flavor to the drink.
A dash of bitters can be anywhere between 3 to 5 drops or one shake, while a splash is typically a free pour. A bit more than a dash but should be less than a count.
Bar Spoon, Teaspoon, and Tablespoon
A bar spoon and a teaspoon both have the same amount of measurement. Each count is equivalent to 5 milliliters (ml). At the same time, a tablespoon can contain triple the amount of a teaspoon or equivalent to 15 milliliters (ml).
For further conversion of recipes’ unit of measurement, you may visit Online Unit Conversion to check for US and UK metric equivalents and many more.
Measuring ingredients can be complex, especially when you don’t have the right tools. This is why it's essential to know these standards of measurement and equivalent so you can utilize whatever tools available you have at home.
Please take your time to properly quantify each ingredient when following a recipe for a cocktail drink. But if you’re more inclined to new flavors and mixes, you can create your recipe, experiment with your ingredients, and adjust it to your desired taste!
Do you have some helpful tips or hacks when measuring your ingredients?
Share with us your helpful conversion strategies or hacks in the comment box.