Category Archives: Bitters

How much is a dash?

Commentor Robert Kraus writes:

How much is a dash of bitters? I always measure mine by the drop. I want my drink using bitters to taste the same as it did the last time.

This is a very good question. I usually just do a quick dash of the bitters bottle into my shaker for a single dash, which isn’t very precise, but seems to give approximately the same amount of bitters each time.

For ingredients that don’t come with that little cap with the hole in it–for example, for recipes calling for a dash of pastis or Cointreau–I measure out about an eighth of a teaspoon. Now “about an eighth” is imprecise in itself since I don’t have a one eighth measuring spoon, but I’m nearly always making two drinks at once, and I do have a one-fourth teaspoon measurer, so for those recipes, I can maintain some precision.

Some folks say one eighth of a teaspoon is too much for a dash, but it seems about right to me. I’d like to get some discussion going here, so tell me…

How much is a dash?

MxMo 9 Roundup

MxMo BittersWow! 21 entries this time! That’s a great turnout, and I hope I didn’t miss anyone. Pardon the roughness of my prose here, but I wanted to get this post up so everyone can start reading through the entries. Consider this a rough draft. I’ll clean up the links and correct any errors later, so feel free to comment if I’ve screwed something up. And of course if I missed including you, let me know that as well.

Good work, everyone!

First off the gate is Married with Dinner! Cameron brings us his variation on a Manhattan. Although I’ve have many good Manhattans, I’ve never tried either the Carpano Antica nor the Hermes orange bitters. My Manhattan experiences are incomplete!

Then Nick, from Eightbehind, offers the Rude Cosmopolitan.

Macky’s Delectations serves a fine cocktail, the Adonis.

Aussie Anna does her due diligence and hits from down under with the Coco Baby Bitters cocktail, a yummy-sounding creamy, coconut-based drink.

Over on eGullet, Erik Ellestad follows the old fashioned through the years. The Cole Porter lyrics are a fun touch, and as a one who loves both old fashioneds and Cole Porter, I’ll have to track down that song! They’ve got a great conversation going in that thread about the history of bitters–it’s very much worth a read. I don’t necessarily think that MxMo needs to revolve around cocktail recipes, as long as people are sharing their enjoyment and knowledge with others. So a bit of discussion about the formulation and history of bitters is very welcome!

Darryl, a.k.a. the natural born cynic, brings us the Pegu Club cocktail. It seems that Darryl is entirely new to bitters, but has since learned how versatile a bottle of Angostura can truly be. Welcome to the cult, Darryl!

Matt, from My Bar Your Bar, offers the Gloria cocktail. Hmmm, looks like I have everything I need for that… G-L-O-R-I-A! Gloooooooooria!

Michael C. experiments in his midnight kitchen with different formulations on two classics: the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. It’s always good to see people tweak their drinks recipes to fit their own tastes, so check out Michael’s efforts.

Haalo, who’ll apparently cook almost anything at least once, uncaps her Peychaud’s for a cognac-based Sazerac. Although that drink is now usually made with rye whiskey, the cognac formulation has good pedigree. I’m eager to try one myself! Ah, and I notice that she can apparently get real absinthe down in Melbourne. Lucky Haalo! I’d love to try a Sazerac with real absinthe. My green fairy is envious!

I’m honored to help Seamus inaugurate a new blog at Bunnyhugs, where he braves a new spirit, Suze, a gentian-based potable bitter. I think you’ll have a swell time reading Seamus’s tale of acquiring and experimenting with the spirit Suze.

Meeta chimes in from German with a Manhattan. Her tales of photography woes ring a bell with my foodie wife, who reports similar frustrations getting her food photos just right.

Another from the Antipodes! Mary brings us a couple of yummy-sounding, lightly fruity drinks.

Then Imbibe Unfiltered offers a creation of Boston bar manager Jackson Cannon, The Metamorphosis, inspired by Kafka.

At The Art of Drink, Darcy taste-tests five bitters and describes their flavor profiles.

Rick at Kaiser Penguin also does a face-off, testing Angostura versus Fee Old Fashioned, and Fee Orange against Regan’s Orange. (Good to see you again, Rick.) Check it!

Handy Snake’s Kurt brings out his first MxMo post with a couple of gin cocktails.

Back at eGullet, thirtyoneknots chimes in with the Bijou and Tailspin cocktails.

That old bittered sling Paul weighs in at Cocktail Chronicles with a Martini and a Manhattan.

Mike S. (another Mike! we’re taking over!) is another first-timer in the MxMo field, and he offers us the Periwinkle, the Giles Goatboy, and his own recipe for lavender bitters. That’s a hell of a concept, Mike, and I’d like to try that myself some time.

Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour serves up another Manhattan, his made with the Fee Old Fashioned bitters.

Finally, although Robert Hess doesn’t participate in MxMo, it’s worth noting that he also did a bitters-based post today.

MxMo 9: Bitters

MxMo BittersFor MxMo 9, I wanted to go a little crazy and make my own batch of bitters. My limoncello experiment worked well enough that bitters seemed a logical next step. Now, Darcy O’Neil reviewed the new book The Art of the Bar, back in September, and with his review, he included a bitters recipe from the book, Dr. Schwartz’s Cherry Vanilla Bitters.

You’re probably already thinking, oh man, cherry-vanilla bitters. Those would rock an Old Fashioned, especially if you leave out the cherry garnish altogether and let the bitters do the work. And you’re right. I tried them with both Woodford Reserve and Knob Creek, and they play well with both bottlings.

I also quite liked these bitters with a Rob Roy and a rye Manhattan. But I was surprised by the drink in which they really shine.
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