How much bitters to use in a cocktail?

How much bitters should I add to a cocktail?

Here at the Bitters Club we know that adding a couple dashes of bitters to a drink can drastically improve the experience of a cocktail. Master bartenders and mixologists have been using bitters as a cocktail ingredient for decades and are well versed on how much to add to create the specific flavor they want to achieve. For the people who are new to bitters and are not quite sure how to use it, we wanted to help answer this one question: How much bitters should I add to my cocktail? The short answer is: 1 to 2 dashes of bitters or more to taste.

Not All Bitters Are Made Equal

Before we dive into how much a dash actually is, I wanted to quickly touch on the variation of taste you will find when buying bitters. There are a lot of companies today that make great tasting bitters and each one is going to put their own unique spin on the recipe.

For example, if you are looking to buy aromatic bitters online or at your favorite liquor store, you’ll find there are a lot of options to choose from. Each aromatic bitter will smell and taste slightly different, depending on the brand you purchase. To differentiate their products, each bitters company will use a unique blend of herbs, spices, fruits and alcohols. Some brands don’t use any alcohol to craft their bitters.

That means, if you buy two different aromatic bitters and try each of them separately in your favorite cocktail, the flavor and smell of the drink can be drastically different. The amount of aromatic bitters you should add to a cocktail will also change depending on the brand you are using. That’s the beauty of using bitters when crafting cocktails!

We recommend to always start by adding 1 dash into a cocktail and then add more until you find the right balance that works for your palate. Just because you are adding bitters to your cocktail, doesn’t mean your drink should taste bitter.

How Much Is A Dash

You can typically buy bitters in two different bottle sizes, 2 fluid ounce (fl. oz) and 5 fl. oz. The 2 fl. oz size is known as a dropper bottle and 5 fl. oz, which looks like a hot sauce bottle, is known as a woozy bottle.

 2 fl. oz Dropper Bottle 5 fl. oz Woozy Bottle
2 fl. oz Dropper Bottle 5 fl. oz Woozy Bottle

The term dash refers to the amount of bitters you would use from the 5 fl. oz bottle. When you screw off the cap of the 5 fl. oz bottle you will notice it has a small plastic cap with a round opening in the middle (picture below). The purpose of this cap is to help regulate the amount of liquid that will come out of the bottle when trying to pour the liquid.

Woozy bottle cap

The easiest way get the liquid out of a 5 fl. oz woozy bottle is to shake the liquid into a glass. In this case, 1 dash = 1 shake of the bottle.

When you are using a 2 fl. oz dropper bottle to get more or less the same amount of liquid as the woozy bottle 10 drops = 1 dash.

A dash is not an exact measurement, so there will be a slight variation on the amount of liquid between the 2 bottle sizes, but big enough to alter the taste.

Most cocktails only require 1 to 2 dashes of bitters, but its based on your personal taste. When making your own cocktails, start by adding 1 dash at a time. Make sure you stir the cocktail in-between dashes to disperse the flavors evenly throughout the drink. Repeat this process until you find the balance that works for you.

How to use Bitters Club Aromatic & Floral Bitters

Each time a customer purchases our 5 fl. oz Natural Cocktail Bitters from our booth at the farmers market in Columbia Missouri, we are able to have a conversation on how to use our products and what cocktails they pair well with. If our bitters are purchased from any of our retail partners across the country, we also put the directions on the side of the bottle.

Bitters Club Aromatic BittersWe crafted our Natural Aromatic Bitters specifically for Old Fashioned and Manhattan cocktails. Even though our aromatic is extremely versatile and goes well with most cocktails, it’s made to be used with whiskey based cocktails. You should add 1 to 2 dashes of aromatic bitters to your favorite whiskey or bourbon cocktails.

Bitters Club Floral BittersOur Natural Floral Bitters on the other hand is much lighter and pairs best with clear spirit cocktails. You should add 1 to 2 dashes of floral bitters to your favorite vodka or gin cocktails.

We hope you found this post helpful, but if you have any additional questions feel free to contact us at or comment below.


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