Traditional Units of Measure Pertaining to Mixology


These units of measure are listed from smallest to largest.  Bartending books often list units of measure larger than the largest unit given here and omit the smaller units.  While it is fun to think of Jeroboams of Champagne, I feel that mixology can make more use of the scruple than the Jeroboam.  For that reason, my list includes the small units and stops with the gallon.

Note: I understand that many modern sources define the jigger as being the amount of 1-½ fl-oz.  But, I prefer the original amount as defined by all sources before prohibition as being 2 fl-oz.  For historic references on this, see this post.

Traditional Unit (U.S.A.) Type of Measure & Metric Equivalent Other Equivalents & Notes
Smidgeon (smdg.) volume 0.15625 ml. ½ pinch, ¼ dsh. or ⅛ scsp.
Pinch volume 0.3125 ml. 2 smdg., ½ dsh. or ⅛ bsp.
Dash (dsh.) volume 0.625 ml. 2 pinches, ½ scsp., ¼ bsp. or ⅛ tsp.
Scruple (scr.) weight 1.16667 grams 1/24 oz.
Scruple-spoon (scsp.) volume 1.25 ml. 2 dsh., ½ bsp., ¼ tsp. 1/12 tbsp. or 1/24 fl-oz.
Bar-spoon (bsp.) volume 2.5 ml. 2 scsp. or ½ tsp.
Dram weight 3.5 grams 3 scr. or ⅛ oz.
Fluid-dram volume 3.75 ml. 3 scsp., ¾ tsp., ¼ tbsp. or ⅛ fl-oz.
Tea-spoon (tsp.) volume 5 ml. 2 bsp., ½ dsp., ⅓ tbsp. or ⅙ fl-oz.
Dessert-spoon (dsp.) volume 10 ml. 2 tsp. or ⅓ fl-oz.
Table-spoon (tbsp.) volume 15 ml. 3 tsp., ½ fl-oz. or ½ pony
Ounce (oz.)* weight 28 grams 1/16 pound
Pony/fluid-ounce (fl-oz.) volume 30 ml. 2 tbsp., ½ jigger or ¼ gill
Shot volume 45 ml. 1-½ fl-oz. or ¾ jigger
Jigger/Wine-glass volume 60 ml. 2 fl-oz. or ½ gill
Hooker volume 75 ml. 2-½ fl-oz. or 1-¼ jiggers
Snit volume 90 ml. 3 fl-oz., 1-½ jiggers or ¾ gill
Gill volume 120 ml. 4 fl-oz., 2 jiggers or ½ cup
Split/Tea-cup volume 180 ml. 6 fl-oz. or 3 jiggers
Cup volume 240 ml. 8 fl-oz., 4 jiggers or 2 gills
Pint volume 480 ml. 16 fl-oz., 4 gills or 2 cups
Fifth volume 750 ml. 25 fl-oz.
Traditional Fifth volume 768 ml. 25-⅗ fl-oz. or 1/5 gal.
Quart (qt.) volume 960 ml. 32 fl-oz., 4 cups or 2 pints
Pottle volume 1920 ml. 64 fl-oz., 2 qt. or ½ gal.
Gallon (gal.) volume 3840 ml. 128 fl-oz., 4 qt. or 2 pottles

*When bartenders say, “ounce,” they mean, “fluid-ounce.”

For how the cup, the gill and the jigger are used as basic portions in traditional, American mixology, see this post.

2 thoughts on “Traditional Units of Measure Pertaining to Mixology

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