Technically Saturday: Learn How to Free Pour

Have you ever noticed that when you go to a good bar the bartender rarely uses a jigger but always manages to pour the right amount of spirit into your cocktail?  This is the art of free pouring and with a bit of practice, you can do it too!

What you need to learn how to free pour:
  • A liquor bottle (filled with either spirits or water)
  • a jigger
  • a pour spout
  • patience

The simplest way to learn how to free pour is by starting by pouring into a jigger.  Count how long it takes to fill the jigger and repeat several times.  Most people find that a fast count of five or a slow count of 3 “Mississippis” will be that magic number.  Try both and see which works best for you.  The trick to a good pour is keeping a steady flow of liquid throughout the process with a good clean finish.  A clean finish can be achieved by smoothly changing the angle of the bottle to a full verticle position while covering the air hole in the pourer with your finger.

Once you have mastered a consistent pour into the jigger, it is time to test you abilities.  Line up several glasses of different sizes and practice pouring using the same count you did for the jigger.  Once you have poured into each glass, check each volume in the jigger to make sure you are spot on.  Repeat as necessary

Congratulations, you have mastered the art of free pouring!  To stay adept at this art, I recommend practice pouring at least once a week until it becomes second nature.  This is one of those cases where practice really does make perfect.

Here is a great video to review how to free pour:
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Posted in Technically Saturday, Techniques

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Nick McAfee
Nick McAfee is a student of Princeton University and is passionate about mixology. As a student with a low monthly income, he has developed ways to create simple cocktails with complex flavors from inexpensive ingredients. Learn more about Nick and Broke & Thirsty.
Do you want a free eBook on making homemade and ridiculously cheap bar syrups?

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