When you look at cocktail recipes, they’ll often call for a dash of bitters. But how much is a dash? Yes, sure, bitter bottles have dashers that supposedly get you that amount, but if you had to tell that specific measure in ml (or a subdivision of a ounce for that matter), what would that be?
Well, one thing’s for sure: a dash of bitters is different now than what it was back in the day and bitter brands don’t necessarily need to be exact with their dash quantities. And this is exactly what Angostura, the biggest brand of bitters out there, took advantage of back in the early 2000s to increase its sales by a whopping 30%.
Here’s how they did it. (the article continues after the ad)
For those of you who are not familiar with the dasher on a bottle of Angostura, it’s that hole right in the center of the bottle:
This is what determines the amount of liquid coming out. The bigger the hole, the greater the amount. So, what did our friends in Angostura do? They simply, enlarged the hole by 30%. As people don’t measure dashes in exact millilitres but rather in absolute numbers (one dash, two dashes etc), a 30% larger hole means 30% more liquid coming out per dash which means that you’ll go through a bottle 30% faster than you usually do without even noticing.
This little secret was made known by some Angostura employees to the legendary Oregon based bartender, Jeffrey Morgenthaler in a show in Vegas:
I had the pleasure of meeting the fine folks from the Angostura company at the Vegas Bar and Restaurant Show in 2007, and they gave me the most interesting piece of trivia: A few years ago, they enlarged the hole in the top of the bottle, and their sales went up something like 30%.
Simple yet brilliant. Useless yet interesting – they way we like our articles here at I’m A Useless Info Junkie.