Sam Horwitz's Classic Cocktail Compendium

(With photos)


All volumetric measurements are in United States customary units. All measurements of mass are in SI metric.

  • 8 fluid ounces to a cup
  • 2 tablespoons to a fluid ounce
  • 3 teaspoons to a tablespoon

To convert volumetric measurements to metric, use the following conversions.

  • 1 teaspoon equals 5 mL
  • 1 tablespoon equals 15 mL
  • 1 fluid ounce equals 30 mL
  • 1 cup equals 240 mL

When alcohol proof is noted, it is always in the United States standard of twice the percentage ABV (alcohol by volume), e.g. 80-proof is 40% ABV.

I try to avoid “dashes” as a measure except for ingredients that are bottled in a way to be dashable (such as bitters). However, a good starting point for older recipes with vague measurements is to assume 1 dash of bitters, absinthe, or other high-proof flavor-heavy ingredient is ⅛ teaspoon (⅝ mL, or to keep it simple ½ mL) and 1 dash of liqueur, syrup, or low-proof sugar-heavy additive is ¼ fluid ounce (7½ mL).