Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bustle In Your Hedgerow

This one’s all about dashes of stuff. I remember reading somewhere that a dash was a sixth of a teaspoon, though I’d like to know how this was worked out, never having seen a spoon that size. I generally reckon the dash at something around a quarter teaspoon. (I’m freer with my splash.)

Strong flavors can bulldoze a drink, though I think it’s funny when I see a bartender drip the Angostura over a Manhattan, for instance, like it’s going to explode with any sudden movement. If you use Fee Bros Orange Bitters in the drink below, as I’ve done, it’s fine to spike the bottle, though if you do that with Angostura Orange it would be better kept at one dash or you’ll taste nothing else.


Bustle In Your Hedgerow
  • 1 1/2 oz dry gin
  • 3/4 oz sloe gin
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2 dashes (1/2 tsp) Laphroaig
  • 1 – 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 dash (scant 1/4 tsp) absinthe
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Herbal candy, juniper and blackthorn. Seaside at the end of the wood. Something in the underbrush is late for an engagement.


  1. I feel like dashes of bitters are different from other things. Wouldn't you say that a dash of Angostura from the bottle would be a different volume than, say, a dash of simple syrup called for in a recipe? I think viscosity plays a role in determining the amount.

    I think it was Robert Hess that I once heard say in one of his fabulous vidoes (when it comes to dashes of things that aren't in a dasher bottle) "A dash is the smallest amount that you're physically able to pour."

    Using that criterion over the years, I've empirically determined that for me, a dash of something tends to be about 1/8 of an ounce or perhaps a bit less. That converts to about 1/2 - 3/4 of a teaspoon.

    Let's be honest: if a recipe calls for a dash of an ingredient whose intensity is less than a (non-)potable bitters, such as lemon/lime juice, simple syrup, a liqueur, or perhaps even an Islay whisky, it's going to be almost undetectable, if at all.


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