We have been hearing some stories coming out of the UK bar and drinks industry as of late about a number of businesses and companies being caught out by trading standards because they are not properly adhering to the Weights & Measures Act (1985). We thought we would put together a little blog just to clear up any misconceptions around the rules of the Act that governs the distribution of alcoholic spirits in bars, pubs and clubs up and down the country.

A thimble measure and a jigger are the same thing…

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, so with it comes confusion. The law is quite simple, if you are pouring a drink 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. Here are the government stamped thimble measures and optics we are referring to:

  

 

Whereas thimble measures are government regulated and therefore all look uniform in shape, style and design – 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…

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!

All of our Beaumont TM bar & restaurant signage comes equipped with double sided tape, making the job of putting your sign up on the wall in your establishment an easy one. Furthermore the size of all Weights & Measures Act signs are 170mm x 110mm. Don’t get caught out by Trading Standards and leave yourself open to a hefty fine, and/or possible closure. Merry Christmas everyone!

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