History of the Jigger

In the mystic realm of mixology, where precision reigns supreme and elixirs are crafted with the finesse of a sorcerer, there stands a humble hero - 

the jigger.

Forget eyeballing or the whims of a “free pour;” the jigger is a mixologist's wand that ensures every cocktail is a perfect potion. So, dear cocktail connoisseurs, buckle up as we embark on a journey through the captivating history of the jigger, where every drop tells a tale and every measure is a step closer to mixological mastery.

orgins of the jigger

Our journey begins in the ancient taverns and speakeasies where early mixologists wielded primitive tools to ensure the balance of spirits and concoctions.  From makeshift measuring vessels that gave only the crudest of calculations, it was only a matter of time before the need for a dedicated measuring tool emerged.

And thus, in 1893, the jigger was born, not just a mere gadget, but a necessary tool with which no serious cocktail lover was without. But how?

The story starts on a Royal British Navy ship, where the jiggermast (the smallest mast on the ship) bequeathed its name to the sailors' daily dose of rum served in a trusty metal cup. 

Across the Atlantic, in the 19th century, “jiggers” of whiskey became a spirited tradition for Irish immigrants toiling away on New York's canals.

Enter Cornelius Dungan, an inventor from the windy city of Chicago, who donned the hourglass design of the jigger, patenting a masterpiece that still graces bars today.

old time ship with mast

The evolution of the jigger

As the jigger stepped into the spotlight, the evolution of this tool wasn't just about precision; it was a revolution that standardized recipes, ensuring that a meticulously crafted cocktail in one corner of the world tasted just as exquisite in another. 

The jigger became the unsung hero, the silent architect behind the scenes, orchestrating a perfect balance of ingredients that transformed the art of mixology from a crude experiment to a precise science. The form of the jigger, with its undeniable functionality, stands as a testament to the timeless design crafted for heavy use.

It became the workhorse of the mixologist's toolkit.

Types of Jiggers

Ah, the jiggger, not just a tool, but a canvas for craftsmanship! 

Now, while it's hard to tango with perfection, beverage connoisseurs were keen to come up with their own inventive twists on the classic jigger and the world of mixology witnessed an artistic uprising with the emergence of various jigger styles and designs.

Copper hourglass jigger next to a cocktail

The bell-shaped jigger, not content with its humble duties, dones a rubber grip for that extra-pour perfection and a touch of finesse. And then there's the rebel with a handle, offering a grip like never before, challenging the status quo with a wink.

From whimsical novelties like the pint-sized gold jigger shaped like a championship trophy, bringing levity to the craft, to the sleek, high-end designs decked in silver and hammer copper. (Listen, we may not need all that glitz and glam, but if a jigger wants to dress up for the occasion, who are we to judge?)

Enterprising barware creators, ever the crafty pioneers (ahem, like ourselves) have gifted us a spectrum of styles. 

Some embraced simplicity, while others flaunted intricate details, but all bore the sacred duty of measuring elixirs with the utmost accuracy. 

For example, our jiggers are spun and weighted, using unique reverse engraving to make interior measurements easily readable so you can craft the perfect drink. 

A Historical and significant journey

And there you have it, a brief, yet captivating journey through the annals of jigger history! From the cheers of the Royal Britsh Navy's crew to the canals of New York echoing with the clink of immigrant toasts, the jigger has transcended time, leaving an indelible mark on the art of cocktail creation.

From its humble beginnings, through innovation, and evolution, the jigger is not merely a tool, it's a storyteller, narrating the rich history of the precision and panache in every measured pour.

So raise your glasses high and say cheers the jigger, a small but might legend!

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