I was making Manhattans using Imbibe's #2 recipe and it called for 2 dashes of bitters and gave a conversion of 1 tsp.
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I did this, and it tasted great. But I was looking at other recipes, and I saw one that required 4 dashes of bitters. 2 tsp seems like a lot of bitters.
Any thoughts or rules of thumb about dash size?
2 dashes = 1 tsp seems very generous to me. I usually go with 1 dash = 1 ml which I already consider generous, but is only 40% what you are using. Some people like to measure dashes in drops with 25-30 drops to a dash, but drop size can vary quite significantly. I would say it's more like 5-10 dashes = 1 tsp.
All that said, I typically dash from the bottle unless the bitters are of particular importance either as a component or cost. For whatever it's worth, those usually measure a little less than 1 ml off an Angostura bitters bottle.
Bittermens considers 15-18 drops (about 1/4 of the dropper in their bottles) to be one dash. As hebug said, that ends being a little less than 1mL.
I think this is a bit dated, last I talked to Avery he said "6-10 drops = one dash." In a bittermens dropper, that was on May 24th, 2015.
There has been some updates to their product bottles over the last few years, not sure if the dropper has changed or not.
The last time I looked for a suggested conversion, when a recipe prescribed "dashes" of a liquor I didn't have a dasher bottle for, I believe I ended up going with 1/8 tsp = 1 dash. The drink in question turned out rather nice like that, though there was definitely some wiggle room to increase the volume there.
In practice, you can dash heavy or light with an actual bitters bottle, and to some extent it comes down to taste.
I think it's awkward when you use bitters that don't have that top you speak of. I should probably invest in a dropper.
With a standard bottle of bitters that has a small nozzle/hole, a dash is going to be much smaller than a dash from say a bottle of vermouth. Let's not overthink it. A dash is just that - a dash, not a measurement.
Btw, can't have too much bitters....try a Trinidad Sour
The fun in "dashing" is that most bitters bottles are completely different from one another. Look at an Angostura dashers vs. that of a scrappy's bitters dasher or the eye dropper on Bittermens.
Now, add to that the varying dash size on smaller 2ml-5ml bottles vs. a 5 oz. woozy bottle and you can add dash variance to even the same brands.
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The best (let's call it the "Liquid Intelligence" scientific way) of handling this is to buy bitters bottles and standardize your dash the way you want. Then, pour the bitters into the bitters bottle with standard dasher, now it doesn't matter which brand you get you'll always create the same dash size.