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How much is 2 cl - The basic bar measure for home use

by Honest & Rare Editorial Team
Wie viel sind 2 cl?

Homemade cocktails are the ideal catering for balmy summer nights on the balcony, but also the perfect drinks for various themed parties. Whether it's a James Bond-style poker round, a blockbuster evening in Hollywood robes or a revival of the Golden Twenties: with the individually available spirits or the carefully compiled tasting packs from our store, all parties become an extended happy hour.

How professionals find out how much 2 cl is

Unfortunately, there is literally one small problem: almost all cocktail recipes include the quantity "2 cl". This is the standard measure for bartenders all over the world - regardless of whether the Anglo-American or metric system is used in their home country. Whenever they need to measure an ingredient, they reach for the jigger, a special measuring cup with a capacity of not much more than 2 cl. It guarantees that every drink of its kind tastes the same - even if the ingredients are doubled on request or according to the recipe.

Barkeeper*innen weltweit nutzen sogenannte Jigger, um 2 cl einfach abzumessen.
Bartenders around the world use jiggers to measure out 2 cl easily.

Of course, it would be easy to buy one of these mini measuring cups to determine how much 2 cl is. But that would be the end of this article and you would never know why this quantity of all things has become the linchpin of the bar scene. Moreover, it is not absolutely necessary to buy a jigger to find out how much 2 cl is - because this quantity can also be determined using other household items. This is not only easy on your wallet and the environment - it also makes you smarter and more independent.

How much is 2 cl in other units of measurement?

The centiliter is one of the oldest units in the catering trade. It corresponds to a volume of

  • ten milliliters,
  • one hundredth of a liter or
  • one tenth of a deciliter.

2 cl is therefore 20 milliliters. However, even these quantities are difficult to estimate using standard measuring cups - simply because they are not suitable for everyday use. The fact that the specification has nevertheless persisted so stubbornly in recipes is due to the almost perfect mixing ratio. In a standardized long drink glass, 2 cl is exactly the right amount to make minimal cocktails taste perfect.

Their origin lies in the old custom of "dimming" high-proof spirits to drinking strength with water or fruit juice. In the past, distillates were really "hot stuff" with 60, 70 or even more percent by volume. In order to find the right measure for this, innkeepers literally lent a hand: A finger's breadth of grain or fruit brandy was about the same as 2 cl, leaving enough room in the glass to tone down the contents as needed.

Glasses and spoons for the perfect 2 cl cocktail

You can already guess where this is going: A human finger is on average 2 cm wide; but just not standardized. However, it does provide a good reference point for determining the ideal mixing ratio: As much as you can fit into a 2 cl container and 180 milliliters of filler make the perfect original cocktail - a long drink made from two ingredients such as

  • Gin and tonic,
  • Tom Collins,
  • Vodka-Lemon or
  • whisky-cola


Looking for the perfect gin for your cocktail bar? Buy gin now!

Mit einem Teelöffel kannst du auch ohne Cocktail-Zubehör 2 cl einfach abmessen.
You can easily measure out 2 cl with a teaspoon, even without cocktail accessories.

You don't need bar cutlery or catering glasses to create a mixture like this, as standard household tableware is also standardized. Spoons, which you normally use as stirrers or eating utensils, are used to convert the required quantity of spirits: The spoon of a small spoon holds 0.5 cl or 5 ml - so you can measure exactly how much 2 cl is with a teaspoon filled four times. After you have poured the quantity determined in this way into an ordinary juice or water glass, add the desired filler - and you will have an exactly mixed cocktail, as the capacity of such a container is 200 milliliters even without a binding calibration mark.

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About the autor:

Honest & Rare Editorial Team

Honest & Rare Editorial Team


Some things can only be accomplished as a team. Just like this article here! That's why we mark all jointly created articles as editorial contributions. Cheers!

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