How much is in a pour of liquor? As a general rule, shots of liquor are 1 \u00bd ounces, while a \u201cneat\u201d pour (a spirit served solo in a tumbler) is slightly larger at two ounces.\n\nThis two-ounce pour also applies to most single-spirit drinks ordered \u201con the rocks\u201d (with ice) or \u201cup\u201d (stirred with ice to chill and dilute, then strained). Though it seems bigger in the glass, the alcohol remains the same. It\u2019s the ice and water that inflate the volume of the drink.\n\nPouring a shot is easy. The volume of the glass measures the liquor itself. For other types of glassware, however, you might need to rely on a jigger, or hourglass-shaped measuring cup, to portion specific amounts.\n\n\n\nLearning how to pour precise measurements without a jigger is a useful skill for home and professional bartenders. It allows you to serve drinks more quickly and cuts down cleanup.\n\nMany bartenders have mastered the art of perfect pours based on the sight and feel of the bottle, as well as a few small tricks. For those who want to brush up on their home bartending technique, or just make sure they\u2019re not over- or under-serving guests, here are three to know.\n\n\nThe Four-Count Pour\nAlso called \u201cfree pouring,\u201d this technique is often used in high-traffic bars where speed is of the essence. Bottles are topped with a speed pourer, a slightly curved metal spout with a rubber stopper. These spouts regulate the amount of air allowed into the bottle, which creates a steady, consistent flow of alcohol.\n\nA four-count is just what it sounds like. As you pour, count to four (yes, with \u201cMississippi\u201d), and stop. Each \u201ccount\u201d should equal about \u00bd ounce of alcohol. With a bit of practice, what ends up in your glass should fill the 2-ounce side of a jigger. A perfect standard pour.\n\nTips for your four-count:\n\n \tMake sure the bottle is flipped almost completely upside-down to reach a steady flow. If you only tip the bottle sideways to 90 degrees, the pour rate will be slower, and you will short your guests.\n \tEnsure your thumb doesn\u2019t cover the air hole on the speed pourer when you measure. This slows the flow of the liquid. It\u2019s also an old, well-known bartender trick to short-pour customers who may be over-imbibing, while allowing them to believe they\u2019re getting the full amount of alcohol.\n \tPouring multiple drinks? \u201cBumping\u201d the bottle, or a quick up-and-down motion while you pour, creates an air bubble that causes a short gap in the stream. This allows you to reposition over another glass and not spill on the counter or interrupt your pour. While completely unnecessary for most home bartenders, it still looks cool.\n\n\nPouring a Finger\nYou may have heard someone say the phrase, \u201ca finger of whiskey.\u201d The idea is that a pour of liquor to the height of a finger held horizontally alongside the bottom of glass should roughly equal two ounces.\n\nSo, does the one of the oldest tricks in the bartending book actually hold up?\n\n\n\nAs you can imagine, it depends, both on the size of the glass and the finger. In a completely unscientific sampling of three people with various sized hands, a finger-width of alcohol was poured into three different rocks glasses. Each pour came surprisingly close to two ounces, with only a range of variation around \u00bc ounce between each finger and glass.\n\nNote that if you use a Collins or highball glass, with its narrower diameter, a finger-and-a-half is more likely to get you closer to the mark.\n\n\nThe Candle Technique\nTake a candle, or small light, and place it next to a rocks or highball glass. In most, you\u2019ll see a series of transparent horizontal \u201clines\u201d in the glass that rise from the bottom, left from the glassmaking process. Fill to the first line (or sometimes second, if the first line seems like it's almost touching the bottom) for a two-ounce pour.\n\nWe don\u2019t know the science behind why this trick works (if you do, please email and fill us in), but in tests with every glass we could find, along with years of anecdotal experience in actual bars and restaurants, measurements almost always came out perfect. When we figure out the reason, we\u2019ll let you know.\n\nDisclaimer: While we are aware that in many places 1 \u00bd ounces is considered the \u201cstandard\u201d pour of liquor rather than two ounces, our editorial stance is that these places are objectively wrong and just being cheap.