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How Much is a Dash of Bitters? Answered (2023 Updated)

How Much is a Dash of Bitters

Last Updated on December 16, 2023 by Lydia Martin

You’d surely agree – bitters are an essential ingredient in cocktails, from Old Fashioned to Sazerac to Negroni and more. 

We always see recipes calling for a “dash of bitters,” and that doesn’t sound a lot, right? Why not put more? 

As measuring bitters remains a mystery, we took the time to investigate and learn how much is a dash of bitters. Here we’ll share what we found out– so keep scrolling.   

How Much Is One Dash Of Bitters? 

Close Up Shot of a Bitters Pouring on a Glass

One dash of bitters is equivalent to 1/32 oz or about ⅛ of a teaspoon (0.92mls). 

It’s hard to measure bitters out of the bottle. So, simply rely on how much a dash means to you.

You can simply tilt the bottle to get a small drop or a thrust that adds a couple of drops.

What if the recipe requires three dashes of bitters? 

Technically, three dashes of bitters are equivalent to 0.09 oz or ⅛ + ¼ (⅜) of a teaspoon. To simplify, it would be like three tilts of the bottle or three thrusts to add three drops. 

How Do You Measure Dashes Of Bitters? 

You can measure the dashes of bitters by the number of drops. For example: 

  • One dash of bitters (⅛ of a teaspoon) is equal to 6-8 drops
  • Two dashes of bitters (¼ of a teaspoon) are equal to around 12 drops
  • Three dashes of bitters (⅜ of a teaspoon) are equal to roughly 18 drops 

Most Common Measurements Used In Cocktails 

Teaspoon

Using a teaspoon as a measurement for bitters is tricky (which is why we see this measurement less). 

But referring to the measurement of one dash of bitters in ounces, which is 1/32oz, that’s equivalent to around ⅛ of a teaspoon. 

If you need three dashes of bitters, that would be ⅜ of a teaspoon. 

Drop

You probably encounter “a drop of bitters” or “two drops of bitters” in random cocktails recipes. This may literally require one or two “drops” of bitters.  

Is A Dash Of Bitters The Same As A Drop? 

Pouring Bitters on a Cocktail Drink

A dash of bitters is not the same as a drop. Referring to the measurement mentioned earlier, one dash of bitters equals 6-8 drops.  

So, we can say that “drop” is a smaller unit compared to “dash.” But how much a drop depends on the bottle or container and its hole size.  

Is There An Exact Dash Measurement? 

Actually, there’s no exact measurement for a dash. In most cases, it depends on how you define a dash.

The figure is just a basis, but it doesn’t mean it’s the exact measurement of a dash. The key is to taste the recipe yourself and adjust accordingly. 

How Many Bitters Do Most Drinks Need? 

Bottles of Bitters

Most drinks require one to two dashes of bitters. But the requirement may go up to seven to eight dashes of bitters, depending on how many cocktail glasses are in preparation. 

“A bartender will often choose a specific style or flavour of bitters to enhance their drinks by adding a richer or more powerful note.”

– Nate Sorby, Brand Mmbassador at Cazcabel Tequila & Cut Rum

What are the different types of bitters?  

  • Aromatic bitters (aromas and spices of allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla)
  • Orange bitters [1] (different aromas and spices as well, but orange is the dominant flavor) 

How Do You Add It To Your Drink? 

You can shake, stir, or add bitters as a garnish on drinks. But we recommend stirring bitters as the best way to add them to your drinks as they will bring little air, unlike what shaking does. 

But in most cases, bitters are added for garnish. Bitters just float on top of the drink. But this is subjective; you can add bitters the way you prefer. 

FAQs

How many dashes of bitters are in Old Fashioned?

Old Fashioned requires two to three dashes of bitters, depending on the drinker’s preference. 

How much alcohol is in a dash of bitters?

A dash of bitters only contains very low alcohol. Actually, a bottle of bitters has around 35% to 40% ABV, making every single dash low in alcohol. 

Also, every bottle of bitters has many servings or “dashes,” so it’s hard to tell exactly how much alcohol is in it.  

Is a bar spoon a dash?

A bar spoon [2] is around a dash or 1/4oz. If calibrated, a bar spoon is around 2.5ml, estimated to be 0.035 of an ounce. 

Final Words

There’s no exact measurement of how much is a dash of bitters. But for reference purposes, we can say that a dash of bitters is equal to 6-8 drops or ⅛ of a teaspoon.

But take note – this is an imprecise measurement. The “drops” may not apply to all bottles, as they have varying hole sizes and content. 

You shouldn’t always rely on what the recipe says. You can always taste-test and see if it suits your palate, then you’re good to go! 

References:

  1. https://www.thekitchn.com/orange-bitters-an-introduction-the-9bottle-bar-211246 
  2. https://www.bonappetit.com/story/bar-spoons 
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