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May 18, 2014 05:44 PM

How many Bittermen's drops in a dash?

Per Kindred Cocktails, it says:
One "dash" of bitters equivalent to the Bittermens dropper filled 1/4 of its length, or about 15-18 drops.

But 15-18 drops seems to be much less than 1/4 the dropper length.

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  1. A dash is 1/8 teaspoon. That's about 1/4 of the dropper. How many drops? Who counts? It's a dash, not an exact science.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      i get so frustrated with bottles of peychaud, angostura and orange bitters.
      sure, it's not an exact science, but i have so much trouble getting a consistent amount out of bitters bottles.

      any tips on technique? do i need to buy a teensy measuring spoon?


      1. re: misterdudeguy

        I put all the bitters I use into those same dropper bottles that Bittermens, and the other new bitters use. The 4 oz. "Boston Rounds" which I get from Then I know a 1/4 dropper is a dash.

        1. re: misterdudeguy

          A dash is a unit of measurement that, like the ounce, has as many definitions as it does people insisting the measurement they go by for their dash is "the" correct measurement.

          A dash has always been quantified to me as .8 ml. In a traditional dropper bottle of that size, like the Bittermens bottle, the bulb capacity is .8 ml, so a single draw (without adjusting to release air and pull more liquid) will be your dash measurement.

          Now, everyone, stop counting drops!

      2. I just estimated a 1/4 dropper of Bittermen's Hopped Grapefruit and it came out to 18 drops.



        1. Last time I read a dash was 4 drops.

          1. Jaba, the best answer to the drop question is, yes, Kindred Cocktails is correct. 15-18 drops as a rule of thumb accounts for the range of volumes commonly "dashed", or roughly .75-.9 ml/cc of liquid of equal density to water.

            A drop, in this context, as a comprehensive unit of measure is less than ideal. What method are you using to deliver your drops of bitters: a dropper pipette or a dropper/shaker top? Variables like the size of the hole in the top of a brand's bottle or the make of pipette, the force of the remaining product in the bottle, any force you might exert and the density of the liquid being dispensed, (some bitters are heavily sweetened, others not, and some have much higher alcohol contents than others) make for inconsistent drops.

            Now, these may all seem to be innocuous deviations (for the most part they are), but, in this context of very aggressively flavored bitters, and when experimenting with new products and flavors, a drop or two...can sometimes really shift the qualities of a cocktail. Not to say anyone should be shelling out for a micropipette to make a Manhattan, but I will say an eyedropper bottle is your best friend when dispensing small volumes of liquid, particularly if you're concerned about better accuracy and pouring a consistently flavored cocktail, are looking to make your drinks more quickly or are looking to make enough for a couple of drinks at once.