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Volumetric quantities

Old recipe books are full of strange volumetric quantities such as jigger or pony. Unfortunately, these indications are very inaccurate because their volume is not standardised and the understanding of what is meant by it has changed again and again over time. In some books, however, conversions are given that help us to shed light on the matter.

Fortunately, the corresponding volumes are often given in ounces or gills. However, one must take into account whether English or American units of measurement are meant. An English gill contains about 142.07 ml, an American gill only 118.29 ml; an English ounce (oz) contains about 28.41 ml, an American ounce 29.57 ml (for simplicity’s sake, 30 ml is used).

As we have already seen for the dash, As we have already seen for the Dash, the specifications of what is meant by a jigger unfortunately also differ greatly. They vary between 1 and 2 oz. Nor can it be said that there was a uniformity until the onset of prohibition. Although 1 jigger usually held 2 oz, in the bars in New York’s financial district around Wall Street the quantity was only 1.25 oz. In later times, the majority of people probably understood this to mean 1.5 oz.

The term jigger dates back to the mid-16th century and was originally a colloquial term for a door. [3] Merriam-Webster gives the oldest meaning as dating from 1675, when a jigger was “one that jigs or operates a jig”. [5] This fits very well into our context, as a jigger is something like a quantity template.

It looks similar for a pony. The specifications vary between 0.75 and 1 oz. Unfortunately, at the same time the ratio between pony and jigger is similarly variable. 1 jigger can be between 1.33 and 2 ponies.

But a pony in Glasgow, for example, was also the amount of nine-tenths of a Gill, or about 4.5 oz. In Australia, on the other hand, 5 oz. The Oxford English Dictionary provides an explanation. It defines a pony as simply “a small glass or measure of alcohol”. The term pony dates back to the mid-17th century and is thought to derive from the French poulnet, meaning “little foal”, a diminutive of poulain, which derives from the Late Latin pullanus, from the Latin pullus meaning “young animal”. [1] [2] [4] According to Merriam-Webster, a pony refers to something smaller than the standard. [4]

We don’t even need to speculate about what is meant by a wine glass, liqueur glass or whiskey glass; the differences are even greater here.

What Rober Vermeire already stated in 1922 still applies: there are no standard measures, we are on our own and have to make our own assumptions. In the end, we can only understand the given recipes as a guide; only taste judgement can give qualified information about which proportions to use. And as we know, tastes differ.

Our suggestions

  • 1 dash = a little less than 1 ml
  • 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
  • 1 tablespoon = 15 ml
  • 1 pony = 30 ml
  • 1 jigger = 1 shot = 1 drink = 60 ml, alternatively 45 ml
  • 1 liqueur glass = 1 pony = 30 ml
  • 1 wine glass = 2 jigger = 120 ml
Sources
  1. imbibe, issue 67, May/June 2017, page 34: Where’s My Pony. By Wayne Curtis.
  2. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pony: Pony.
  3. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/jigger: Jigger.
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pony?utm_campaign=sd&utm_medium=serp&utm_source=jsonld: pony.
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jigger: jigger.

Historical specifications

In detail, the following information is given in the various bar books:

1900 William T. Boothby: Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender. #187.

1 pony = the smallest glass in the house

1908 William Boothby: The World’s Drinks. Page 66.

1 pony = a glass having the smallest possible capacity

1904 John Applegreen: Applegreen’s Barkeeper’s Guide. Page 3, 8, 9.

1 cocktail glass = 4 ounces
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 2 ounces
1 whisky sour glass = 5,5 ounces

1922 Robert Vermeire: Cocktails. How to Mix Them. Page 9-10:

1 dash = 1/3 teaspoonful
1 liqueur glass = 1/4 gill
1 cocktail glass = 16-18 teaspoonfuls = 1/2 gill
1 small wineglass = 3/4 gill
1 wineglass = 1 gill = 142 ml
1 tumbler = 2 gills

Rober Vermeire lets us know that there are no standard measurements, but that he uses the ones mentioned above.

1933 Anonymus: The Bartender’s Friend. Page 5.

1 dash = 20 drops
1 thimbleful = 30 drops = 1,5 dashes
1 teaspoonful = 60 drops = 2 thimblefuls = 3 dashes
1 dessert-spoonful = 120 drops = 2 teaspoonfuls
1 tablespoonful = 240 drops = 1/2 ounce = 2 dessert-spoonfuls
1 pony = 480 drops = 1 ounce = 2 tablespoonfuls
1 jigger = 960 drops = 2 ounces = 2 ponies
8 drams = 1 ounce
1 gill = 4 ounces

1933 Anonymus: The Bartender’s Friend. Page 159 – 161.

1 brandy pony = 1 ounce
1 cocktail glass = 3,5 onces
1 old fashioned glass = 5 ounces
1 tumbler = 6 ounces
1 whiskey glass = 2 bis 4 ounces
1 wine glass = 4 ounces

1933 Harry Todd: Mixer’s Guide. Page 6.

1 pony = 1/4 whiskey glass = 0,875 ounces
1 jigger = 1 drink = 1/2 whiskey = 1,75 ounces
1 whiskey glass = 3,5 ounces

1933 William Guyer: The Merry Mixer. Page 18.

1 dash = 1/3 teaspoon
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 wineglass = 4 ounces

1934 American Traveling Mixologists (Charles C. Mueller, Al Hoppe Sr., A. V. Guzman & James Cunningham): Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars 1903-1933. Seite 17.

1 dash = 1 dram = 1/8 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces. = 12 drams
Alternativ: 1 jigger = 1,25 ounces
1 wine glass = 4 oz.

In the original preface (on page 9) we read that a jigger can contain different volumes. The size of 1.25 ounces was used in New York’s financial district in the years between 1880 and 1919; the standard jigger, as used in first-class hotels at the time of the book’s printing, holds 1.5 ounces.

1934 Anonymus: 100 Famous Cocktails. Page 22.

1 dash = 1/3 teaspoons
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces

1934 Anonymus: Jayne’s Bartender’s Guide. Page 136-138.

1 brandy glass oder pony = 0,75 ounces
1 cocktail glass = 3 bis 3,5 ounces
1 old fashioned glass = 7 ounces
1 whisky tumbler = 3 ounces
1 wine glass = 3 ounces

1934 Anonymus: The Complete Bartender’s Guide. Page 5.

1 dash = 20 drops
1 Barspoon = 1/2 teaspoon
1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce
1 shot = 1 ounce
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,75 ounce
1 jigger = 1/4 Whiskey Glass ( = 0,875 ounces [sic!])
1 drink = 1/2 Whiskey Glass = 1,75 ounces
1 cocktail glass = 2 ounces
1 Whiskey Glass = 3,5 ounces

1934 Irvin S. Cobb: Irvin S. Cobb’s Own Recipe Book. Page 38.

1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces, before prohibition 2 ounces
1 wiskey glass = 2 ounces
1 glass = 3 bis 4 ounces

1935 Adrian: Cocktail Fashions of 1936. Page 31.

1 dash = 5 drops
1 barspoon = 1/2 teaspoon
1 pony = 3/4 ounces
1 shot = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces

1935 Anonymus: The Art of Mixing Drinks. Page 44.

1 Scruple = 1/3 dram = 20 grains = 1/24 ounce
1 Drachm = 1/8 ounce
1 Dash = 1/3 teaspoon = 1 scruple
1 Teaspoon = 1 fluid dram
1 Tablespoon = 4 fluid drams = 1/2 fluid ounce
1 Pony = 1 fluid ounce
1 Ounce = 8 drachms = 480 grains
1 Jigger = 1 1/2ounces = 1.6 ounces
1 Wineglass = 2 fluid ounces

We also read that an exact specification of how much a jigger is cannot be found anywhere. The amount can be between 1 ounce and 2.5 ounces.

1936 Anonymus: Cocktails and Appetizers. Seite 8.

1 dash = 1/2 teaspoonful
1 pony =1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 glass = 2 ounces
1 wineglass = 4 ounces

1937 Anonymus: Here’s How. Seite 11.

The amount of a jigger, so we read, varies between individual cities, and even between individual bars in these cities. The usual is 1.5 ounces.

1938 Hyman Gale & Gerald F. Marco: The How and When. Page 87.

1 Jigger = 1,5 ounces.
1 Pony = 0,75 ounces.
1 Bar Spoon = 0,5 teaspoon.
1 Dash = 20 drops = 1/4 teaspoon.

1940 Anonymus: Professional Mixing Guide. Page 11.

1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 wineglass = 4 ounces
1 teaspoonful = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoonful

1940 Anonymus: Recipes. Page 54.

1 dash = about 4 drops
1 barspoon = 1 teaspoon
1 jigger = 1 ounce
Alternativ: 1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 pony = 3/4 ounce

1940 Crosby Gaige: Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide. Page 207.

1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 wine glass = 4 ounces
1 teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoon

1941 W. C. Whitfield: Here’s How. Page 70.

1 dash = 1/3 teaspoon
1 barspoon = 1/2 teaspoon
1 teaspoon = 1 fluid dram
1 tablespoon = 1/2 fluid ounce
1 pony = 1 fluid ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 fluid ounces
1 wineglass = 2 fluid ounces
1 gill = 4 fluid ounces

1943 Oscar Haimo: Cocktail Digest. Page 18. Bar measures.

1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 wine glass = 4 ounces
1 teaspoonful = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoonful

1944 Crosby Gaige: The Standard Cocktail Guide. Page 24.

1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 wineglass = 4 ounces
1 teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoonful

1944 Oscar Haimo: Cocktail Digest. Page 24. Standard Bar Measures.

1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 wine glass = 4 ounces
1 teaspoonful = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoonful

1946 Oscar Haimo: Cocktail and Wine Digest. Page 28. Standard Bar Measures.

1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 wine glass = 4 ounces
1 teaspoonful =1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoonful

1946 Trader Vic: Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink. Page 32.

1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1 1/2 ounces
1 wineglass = 4 ounces
1 teaspoonful = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoonful

1948 David A. Embury: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Page 21-22:

1 drop = 1 minim
1 dash = 10 drops
1 teaspoon = 6 dashes = 1 dram
1 pony = 1 ounce = 6 teaspoons
1 jigger = 1,5 bis 2 ounces
1 wineglass = 8 ounces

David Embury states that the common volume for a jigger is 1.5 ounces. However, some authors have tried to standardise the size to 2 ounces.

1949 Anonymus: Professional Mixing Guide. Page 14.

1 cocktail glass = 2 bis 3,5 ounces
1 old fashioned glass = 4 bis 6 ounces
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 tumbler = 3 bis 12 ounces
1 whisky glass = 1 bis 2,5 ounces

1949 Wilhelm Stürmer: Cocktails by William. Page 149.

1 Schuß = 1 dash = 1/3 dram = 1/24 oz
1 Teelöffel = 1/8 ounce
1 Eßlöffel = 0,5 ounce
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces

1951 Anonymus: The Holiday Drink Book. Page 4. Measures and Glasses.

1 Dash = 1/6 teaspoon
1 Pony = 1 ounce
1 Jigger = 1/2 ounce
1 wine glass = 4 ounces

1951 Charles H. Baker, Jr.: The South American Gentleman’s Companion. Page 15. Proper Bar Measurements.

1 Dash = 3 Tropfen bis 1/3 teaspoon
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 2 ounces
1 barspoon = 1 teaspoon = 1/6 ounce

1951 Ted Saucier: Ted Saucier’s Bottoms Up. Page 12. Bar Measures.

1 barspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoon
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 wineglass = 4 ounces

1953 Anonymus: The ABC of Cocktails. Page 15. Measures.

1 Pony = 1 ounce
1 Jigger = 1,5 ounces

Wine glass 4 ounces

1953 S. S. Field: The American Drinking Book. Page 208. Measuring.

1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 dash = 1/6 teaspoon

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Page xiii. Standard Bar Measurements.

1 wineglass = 4 ounces
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
2 teaspoons = 1 dessertspoon
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
1 dash = 1/32 ounce

1965 Anonymus: John de Kuyper’s Complete Guide to Cordials. Page 60. Standard Measures.

1 Dash = 4 to 6 drops
1 Teaspoon = 1/6 ounce
1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce
1 Pony = 1 ounce
1 Jigger = 1-1/2 ounces (usual)
1 Wine Class = 4 ounces

1965 Robert London & Anne London: Cocktails and Snacks. Page 12. Standard Measurements.

1 Dash = 3 drops
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce
1 pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 large jigger = 2 ounces
1 glass or wine glass = 4 ounces

1966 Oscar Haimo: Cocktail and Wine Digest. Page 28. Standard Bar Measures.

1 Wine Glass = 1 Gill = 4 ounces
1 Jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 Pony = 1 ounce
1 Teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 Dash = 1/16 ounce

1972 Leo Cotton: Old Mr. Boston. Page 120. Some standard masures.

1 Dash = 1/6 teaspoon = 1/32 ounce
1 Teaspoon (bar spoon) = 1/8 ounce
1 Pony = 1 ounce
1 Jigger = 1,5 ounce
1 Wineglass = 4 ounces

1973 Anonymus: 500 Ways to Mix Drinks. Page 2.

1 Jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 Pony = 3/4 to 1 ounce
1 Dash = 6 drops = 1/4 teaspoon
1 One Teaspoon = 1/6 ounce = 60 drops
1 Wine Glass = 6,5 ounces

1973 Oscar Haimo: Cocktail and Wine Digest. Page 28. Standard Bar Measures.

1 Wine Glass = 1 Gill = 4 ounces
1 Jigger = 1,5 ounces
1 Pony = 2 Tablespoons = 1 ounce
1 Teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 Dash = 1/32 ounce

1976 Brian F. Rea – Brian’s Booze Guide. Page 22. Standard Bar Measures.

1 Dash = 1/6 teaspoon = 1/32 ounce
1 Teaspoon = 1/8 ounce
1 Pony = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces

2007 David Wondrich: Imbibe!. Page 61-63.

1 dash = 1 dash
1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon oder 1/2 tablespoon
1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce
1 pony = 1/2 wineglass = 1/2 jigger = 1 ounce
1 jigger = 1 wineglass = 2 ounces; später auch 1,5 ounces oder in den Bars in der Nähe der Wall Street auch 1,25 ounces.
1 wineglass = 2 ounces
1 gill = 5 ounces

2009 David Wondrich: Recipes for Mixed Drinks. A Look At The Book. Page X.

I jigger = 1,5 ounces oder 2 ounces
1 pony = 0,5 jigger
1 whiskey glass = 4 ounces

2011 Helmut Adam, Jens Hasenbein, Bastian Heuser: Cocktailian 1. Das Handbuch der Bar. Page 59.

1 dash = 1/32 ounce
1 teaspoon = 1/8 ounce = 5 ml
1 Tablespoon = 3/8 ounce bis 1/2 ounce = 15 ml
1 pony = 1 ounce = 30 ml
1 jigger = 1 shot = 1,5 ounces = 45 ml
1 wineglass = 4 ounces = 120 ml

2017 Gary Regan: The Joy of Mixology. Page 296. Fluid Measurement Conversions.

1 pony = 1 ounce = 2.96 centiliters
1 jigger = 1,5 ounces = 4,44 centiliters

Sources:
  1. David A. Embury: The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. New York, Doubleday & Co., 1948.
  2. Anonymus: Professional Mixing Guide. Trinidad, Angostura Bitters Ltd., 1949.
  3. Wilhelm Stürmer: Cocktails by WIílliam. Düsseldorf, Renaissance Verlag, 1949.
  4. David Wondrich: Imbibe!. From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, A Salute in Stories and Drinks to „Professor“ Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. 1. Auflage, ISBN 978-0-399-53287-0. New York, Perigee, 2007.
  5. David Wondich: Recipes for Mixed Drinks. A Look At The Book. Vorwort in: Hugo R. Ensslin: Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Nachdruck, ISBN 978-1-60311-190-4. New York, Mud Puddle Books, 2009.
  6. Helmut Adam, Jens Hasenbein, Bastian Heuser: Cocktailian 1. Das Handbuch der Bar. 2. Auflage, ISBN 978-3-941641- 41-9. Wiesbaden, Tre Torri Verlag, 2011.

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About

Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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