A part in liquid measurement, or 1 part of alcohol, is measurement based on an equalized ratio.
It’s an easy way to create and scale drinks, though it’s not necessarily the best idea for bars and restaurants. Standard pours should be in exact volume to maintain consistency when analyzing bar inventory data.
Nevertheless, using parts in recipes has its uses. Let’s check ‘em out!
What Does One Part Mean?
One part means one equal part. One part is not an exact measurement. It’s a relative measurement. That means one part changes relative to each recipe that calls for it. It can be a teaspoon, an ounce, a cup, or anything else. The important thing is that each part the recipe calls for is equal to the other parts called for.
How Much is One Part? What Is 1 Part?
Here’s an example of the ingredients for a negroni that highlights what 1 part means:
- 1 ½ ounces Campari
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth
Because these are all equal, you can refer to each ingredient as “one part.” A negroni is one part Campari, one part gin, and one part sweet vermouth. In this particular recipe, one part is 1 ½ ounces, but you would create the same flavor profile with any quantity of a negroni’s ingredients as long as you mixed equal parts.
Check out recipes for other easy spring cocktails.
So, How Many Ounces In a Part?
Wait now, 1 part equals how many oz? 1 part equals however many ounces each equal ingredient in the recipe is.
In the negroni example above, one part is 1 ½ ounces. But if you were to make a double negroni (not recommended), 1 part would be 3 ounces. A triple negroni (very not recommended), 1 part would be 6 ounces. And so on.
What Does 2 Parts Mean?
2 parts means that for every one part of an ingredient, two parts must be added. Each single part is still equal, it’s just that one ingredient gets twice the amount added.
Here’s an example of an ingredient list that uses 2 parts, the legendary daiquiri. It’s one of the drinks every bartender should know.
- 2 ounces rum
- 1 ounce lime juice
- ¾ ounces simple syrup
In this recipe, there are 2 parts rum, 1 part lime juice, and three-quarters part simple syrup. The part, then, is based on a single ounce.
Using parts in recipes isn’t restricted to cocktails, though. Here are the meat proportions for a meatloaf
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
This recipe is 2 parts ground beef, 1 part ground pork. Each individual part is 1 pound.
Part Measurement for Drinks & Cocktails
The key to part measurement is to keep your parts equal. Whatever tool you’re using (pour counts if you’re free pouring), make sure each measure is the same.
If you’re using a jigger, then 1 part would be a full jigger. If you’re using teaspoons, cups, or ounces, then 1 part would be a teaspoon, cup, or ounce. One part becomes the basic measurement that all other ingredients are measured against.
It’s helpful to consider the size of the finished cocktail—along with the amount of ice needed—when deciding on part size. Some glassware holds much less volume than others. Once you know how much your chosen glassware can hold, how much ice it will include, and roughly how full you want it to be, you’ll know exactly how big a part should be.
Ounces As Common Standard
In bartending and mixology, “parts” is often synonymous with ounces. 1 part equals 1 ounce. It’s bartending school 101.
That means a gin fizz recipe can be expressed in ounces:
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- ¾ ounces simple syrup
- ½ ounce egg white
- 1 ounce club soda
And that same gin fizz recipe can also be expressed in parts:
- 2 parts gin
- 1 part lemon juice
- ¾ parts simple syrup
- ½ part egg white
- 1 part club soda
In the above gin fizz example, each part is based on a single ounce. This isn’t uncommon in the industry.
1 Part to 2 Parts
1 part to 2 parts means that for every 1 part of an ingredient added, 2 parts of another are added. Making oatmeal is typically a 1 part to 2 parts recipe. 1 part oatmeal, 2 parts milk, stir, and microwave. That means for every 1 measure of oatmeal, 2 identical measures of milk are added.
1 Part to 3 Parts: What Does 1 Part to 3 Parts Mean?
1 part to 3 parts means that for every 1 part of an ingredient added, 3 parts of another are added. A vinaigrette salad dressing is a good example. Let’s say a recipe calls for 3 parts oil, one part vinegar. That means for every measure of vinegar added, 3 equal measures of oil must be added.
Why Use Parts?
Parts are useful for a few reasons. One is that it’s easy to create a recipe for both the metric and imperial measurement system using parts. Any recipe that’s written in parts is automatically understandable no matter the system of measurement used.
Another popular reason for using parts in cocktail recipes is scaling the size up or down. You can easily make batches or partial recipes when using parts because it easily scales based on simple ratios from the number 1.
The important thing for bar managers and beverage program directors to understand, though, is that recipes that use parts are not standardized recipes. Not in the traditional sense. If you have bartenders pouring based solely on parts, you’ll never get consistency. That means inaccurate inventory variance, liquor cost, and par levels.
Using BinWise’s Recipes feature is the best way for bars to dial in on how to make their standardized recipes profitable. In it, you’ll see recipe costing for all the ingredients of every cocktail. Then you can work to lower ingredient cost and approach your pricing strategy based on target liquor cost. Bars and restaurants across the country use BinWise Pro bar inventory software to boost their bar profitability, and you should too.