How to measure in ‘parts’

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Normal people measure things in ounces, cups, tablespoons and other recognizable increments. Cocktail people often use “parts” instead, which puts the recipe in the form of a ratio.

A part can be any type of measurement. All you have to do is assign a measurement increment to be a part—for example, one part equals one ounce—then do a little bit of basic math.

Here’s an example of a recipe given in parts:


  • 3 parts tequila
  • 2 parts triple sec
  • 1 part lime juice

To start with easy numbers, let’s say each part is an ounce. In that case,

  • 3 parts tequila would be 3 ounces;
  • 2 parts triple sec would be 2 ounces; and
  • 1 part lime juice would be 1 ounce.

If you wanted to make a larger drink, you would use a larger part. For example, you could use that same recipe to make a pitcher of Margaritas by making one part equal half a cup. Or if you wanted to serve your drinks in smaller glasses, you could make one part equal half an ounce.

Here’s how that same recipe shown in parts would look in ounces if you decided one part was a half ounce (which would be a standard size drink):


  • 1 ½ ounces tequila (3 parts: ½ ounce x 3 = 1 ½ ounces)
  • 1 ounce triple sec (2 parts: ½ ounce x 2 = 1 ounce)
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice (1 part: ½ ounce x 1 = 1 ounce)

Enough math … let’s drink!

Photo courtesy of Sneakums.

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