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Bitter Math

Bitter Math
or How Much Does it Cost to Use a Good Bitter vs. a Cheap One?

This is to settle an long standing question and try to at least attempt to frame a methodology for deciding on cost benefit analysis on cocktail ingredients. In plain English – just how much more does it cost to mix a cocktail from top shelf ingredients than bottom shelf artificial crap
As Gary Regan, famous author and bartender pointed out to me – I would have to analyze hundreds if not thousands of recipes to come up with an average serving for ingredients. So I rapidly abandoned that approach. Instead here are some calculations and formulas based on cost and quantities of bitters per drink. Depending on the measurements ( drops, dashes, ounces, etc.,) it is fairly easy to do the math. Below is a table showing yields:

Bottle Size
Shot Size
# of Drinks
1 Ounce
1 Drop
480
1 Ounce
1 Dash (6 drops)
80
1 Ounce
2 Dashes
(12 drops)
40
1 Ounce
3 Dashes
(18 drops)
26.66
1 Ounce
4 Dashes
(24 drops)
20
2 Ounces
1 Drop
960
2 Ounces
1 Dash (6 drops)
160
2 Ounces
2 Dashes
(12 drops)
80
2 Ounces
3 Dashes
(18 drops)
53.33
2 Ounces
4 Dashes (24drops)
40
4 Ounces
1 Drop
1920
4 Ounces 1 Dash (6 drops)
320
4 Ounces
2 Dashes
(12 drops)
160
4 Ounces
3 Dashes
(18 drops)
106.66
4 Ounces
4 Dashes (24drops)
80
8 Ounces
1 Drop
3840
8 Ounces
1 Dash
(6 drops)
640
8 Ounces
2 Dashes
(12 drops)
320
8 Ounces
3 Dashes
(18 drops)
213.33
8 Ounces
4 Dashes (24drops)
160

 

If we round these off for the sake of simplicity,

Size

Size

# or yield

@$1

@$5

@$10 @ $15 @ $20 @ $30
1 Ounce

1 Drop

480

1/4 ¢

1 ¢

2 ¢

3 ¢

4 ¢

6 ¢

1 Ounce
1 Dash
( 6 Drops )

80

1 1/2 ¢

6 ¢

12 ¢

18 ¢

24 ¢

36 ¢

1 Ounce
2 Dashes
( 12 Drops )

40

3 ¢

12 ¢

24 ¢

36 ¢

48 ¢

73 ¢

1 Ounce
3 Dashes
( 18 Drops )
5 ¢

18 ¢

36 ¢

54 ¢

72 ¢

$1.08

1 Ounce
4 Dashes
( 24 Drops )

20

6 ¢

24 ¢

48 ¢

72 ¢

96 ¢

$1.44

2 Ounces

1 Drop

960
1/2 ¢
1 ¢
1 1/2 ¢
2 ¢
3 ¢
1 Dash
( 6 Drops )
160
3 ¢
6 ¢
9 ¢
4 ¢
18 ¢
2 Dashes
( 12 Drops )
80
6 ¢
12.5 ¢
19 ¢
25 ¢
38 ¢
3 Dashes
( 18 Drops )
53.33
9 ¢
18 ¢
27 ¢
36 ¢
54 ¢
4 Dashes
( 24 Drops )
40
12 ¢
25 ¢
36 ¢
50¢
75 ¢
Size

Size

# or yield

@$1

@$5

@$10 @ $15 @ $20 @ $30
4 Ounces

1 Drop

1920
1/4 ¢
1/2 ¢
3/4 ¢
1 ¢
3 1/2 ¢
1 Dash
( 6 Drops )
320
1 1/2 ¢
3 ¢
5 ¢
6 ¢
9 ¢
2 Dashes
( 12 Drops )
160
3 ¢
6 ¢
9 ¢
12¢
18¢
3 Dashes
( 18 Drops )
107
5 ¢
9 ¢
13 ¢
18¢
27 ¢
4 Dashes
( 24 Drops )
80
6 ¢
12 ¢
18 ¢
24¢
36¢
8 Ounces

1 Drop

3840
1/2 ¢
1 ¢
1 1/2 ¢
2 ¢
3 ¢
1 Dash
( 6 Drops )
640
3 ¢
6 ¢
9 ¢
12 ¢
18¢
2 Dashes
( 12 Drops )
320
6 ¢
12.5 ¢
19 ¢
24 ¢

38 ¢

3 Dashes
( 18 Drops )
215
10 ¢
18 ¢
28 ¢
36 ¢
46 ¢
4 Dashes
( 24 Drops )
160
12 ¢
24 ¢
36 ¢
48 ¢
72 ¢

So if you add up the ingredients based on this formula you get the total cost to compare a low end to high end cocktail. For more expensive ingredients, just add whatever increments you need (example: for a $40 bottle add the $10 and $30 together)

As bitters are usually in added as 2 – 3 dashes at most so anywhere from 12.5 ¢ to 38 ¢ cost (2 dashes) per drink difference between a $5 bottle of cheap stuff and a premium, like Urban Moonshine. So the price difference between the two runs between 25 ¢ per drink (based on two )

Personally I think my drink and my friends’ drinks are worth it.