Making sure your venue is serving the correct measures of drink can increase profits and ensure your customer’s satisfaction. We recently caught up with Nick DeBorde, Sales Director of Beaumont TM Ltd – recognized as the UK’s largest supplier of Barware to the hospitality industry – to discuss current laws & trading standards for the spirits industry.

Recently, we’ve been hearing some issues coming from the UK bar and drinks industry of a number of businesses being ‘caught out’ by Trading Standards, because they are not properly following the Weights & Measures Act (1985). By clearing up any misconceptions, you can ensure that your customers are receiving the correct measure and most importantly, that you are following the Act that governs the distribution of alcoholic spirits in venues up and down the UK.

A thimble measure and a jigger are the same thing…

We recently caught up with Nick DeBorde Beaumont's barware range
We recently caught up with Nick DeBorde Beaumont’s barware range

This is where most have been found to be in breach of the law. As more and more different styles of jiggers appear in the market, with it comes confusion. However, the law is quite simple. If you are pouring a shot with gin, rum, whisky, or vodka, then you must do it in a government stamped thimble measure or use a spirit measure (optic). This is the only legal way to pour a rum and coke for example, or a vodka and lemonade. You may wonder about wine, the safest way is to use wine thimble measures too, however, you can also get away with wine glasses with the amount marked on the glass.

Thimble measures are government regulated and therefore all look uniform in shape, style, and design, however, jiggers are quite the opposite. The flashy uncle of the thimble measure, the jigger is more about style than substance. But then you may be thinking, why would I have jiggers at all if I can’t use them? Well, you can, so long as you are making a drink with two or more spirits in – i.e. a cocktail. When making cocktails, jiggers or free pouring can be used.

So long as I am using a thimble measure or an optic I’m safe…

We recently caught up with Nick DeBorde Beaumont's barware range
Beaumont’s barware range

There also seems to be some confusion in the industry about whether there is anything else that needs to be done so long as you are using thimble measures or optics. Unfortunately, it doesn’t all boil down to how you distribute, but in typical fashion, you also have to have signage up to tell your customers that you are adhering to the weights and measures act!