Perfect Pour: What Are The Standard Pours On a Jigger?

what are the standard pours on a jigger
Joe | Last Updated: November 19, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

Whether you’re a bartender or an avid cocktail enthusiast, one of the most common tools to pour accurate measurements is a jigger.

It’s a small bar tool that ensures you pour consistently with every drink, however, if you’re not familiar with this tool you may be wondering; what are the standard pours on a jigger?

If you’re looking to create drinks that are neither too strong nor too weak, then you’ll want to get to grips with the jigger and its standard measurements.

In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the standard pours of a jigger to ensure you’re pouring accurately with every single drink.

By the end of this post, you’ll be confident about the pours of a jigger and be able to impress your friends with your newfound mixology knowledge.

So let’s get to it…

What Is A Standard Liquor Pour?

A standard liquor pour refers to the amount of liquor typically used by bartenders when creating a drink, which in the United States is 1.5 oz.

Its size depends on the type of alcohol being ordered as well as the establishment’s serving policies, so measurements may vary.

Keep in mind that the amount of liquor in a drink can have a significant impact on its taste, and some drinks may require a “double” or “triple pour” which can give it one hell of a kick!

What Are The Standard Pours On A Jigger?

Knowing the standard pours on a jigger is crucial if you’re looking to create a well-balanced drink that isn’t overpowering or too weak.

The standard pours on a jigger vary depending on the country, but in the US they are as follows; the larger cup measures out one full jigger and is 1.5 oz, whilst the smaller cup measures one-half jigger which is 0.75 oz.

It’s not uncommon to find jiggers with measurements of 1.5/2 oz and 1 oz depending on the brand being used, but the standard pours are as set out above.

Jiggers are super important bar tools that are used by bartenders all over the world during every shift, they allow the bartender to accurately measure liquid to ensure that they can follow the drink’s recipe precisely.

what are the standard pours on a jigger
Photo by Vlada Karpovich

The smaller cup of a jigger is often referred to as a “pony” and holds 0.75/1 oz of liquid depending on the jigger.

Professional bartenders follow standard jigger measurements to ensure that they are pouring accurately with every drink made.

Below are the standard pours on a jigger that most bartenders follow;

PourMeasurement (oz)Description
Single Shot1.5Typically made with one jigger pour of liquor
Half-Shot or “Split”0.75Typically made with one pony pour of liquor
Double Shot3Typically made with two jigger pours of liquor
Splash or Modifier0.75Typically made with one-half jigger pour of liquor

Is A Jigger 1 Or 2 Shots?

One jigger is equivalent to 1.5 oz (45ml) of fluid which some people may define as “one-shot”, however, this is going to depend on the size of the shot you are pouring and the measurement you use (ounces or milliliters).

Some recipes may define a shot as a larger or smaller measurement, so it’s important to check how the shot is defined in the recipe before pouring using a jigger.

This will ensure that you don’t over or under-pour which can ruin the drink and make it taste gross, or have you rolling out of the bar and recovering from a nasty hangover in the morning.

Why Are Jiggers Used?

Jiggers are some of the most commonly used bar tools in all of bartending, and they can/should be found in every single bar or alcohol-serving establishment across the globe.

The primary reason for using a jigger is to ensure each drink is consistently made with accurate measurements of liquor, mixer, or other fluid needed for cocktails.

They’re like a ruler of the bartending world, allowing for consistency in every drink made to prevent overpouring, waste, and drinks that are too strong/weak.

Using too much or too little of an ingredient can make or break the drink, so it’s important that bartenders use jiggers to ensure that all ratios of the drink are correct and follow the recipe.

what are the standard pours on a jigger
Photo by Marcelo Verfe

Jiggers also help to improve the speed and efficiency of creating drinks by allowing bartenders to quickly and accurately measure out ingredients for multiple drinks at once, as opposed to one by one.

That said, you may find that experienced bartenders ditch the jigger altogether and instead opt for a more old-school count-and-pour method.

Instead of using a jigger, bartenders who are trying to be INCREDIBLY fast may count in their head while pouring to reach the measurement, for example, pour for 3 seconds for a jigger and 1.5 seconds for a pony.

However, this method is much less accurate and often leads to more errors, but sometimes it may be necessary if the bar is super busy.

More On Jigger Pours

Jigges are a bar tool that is used by bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts to accurately and consistently pour measurements of liquor to create drinks.

They are small devices that have two sides, one side with a larger cup and the other with a smaller cup, both equally as useful.

The larger cup, commonly referred to as the jigger is used to measure a single shot of liquor which is typically 1.5 oz in the United States, whereas the smaller cup is used to measure 0.75 oz, also known as a pony.

Whilst it’s true that using a jigger will improve accuracy when creating drinks, they’re not always necessary for every drink and with some recipes only requiring a “dash” of fluid or measuring by eye may be more time efficient.

what are the standard pours on a jigger
Photo by James Dollin

All bartenders should use a jigger if they are to create the drink accurately, but those with decades of experience often ditch the tool altogether.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a noob bartender, the jigger is your best friend and should be used at all times when crafting cocktails.

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, the standard pours on a jigger are 1.5 oz and 0.75 oz, but there are some jiggers that use different measurements such as 2 oz and 1 oz.

But in the UK and Australia, the standard pours on a jigger differ and are 1.25 oz instead of 1.5, so your location will play a role in the standard measurements of the jigger.

Jiggers are AMAZING bar tools that help bartenders accurately and consistently craft delicious cocktails without wasting liquor, excess waste, or wasting time.

Hopefully, this post has provided you with a clear answer to the standard pours on a jigger and you’re now well-informed as to how these bad boys work.

Catch you in the next one!