Hi guys, this is my first post in this website, very excited to join the bartending community!
Just got a question that I had been wondering recently:
Everyone knows that 1 teaspoon = 5ml of volume. This is when you scoop up a liquid with a teaspoon, and the content in the teaspoon fits perfectly inside the concavity of the spoon, with a flat horizontal surface.
But what about when you scoop up a solid ingredient eg. caster sugar with the teaspoon?
When bartenders scoop up some caster sugar, no-one trims off the excess sugar in the teaspoon in order to make a flat surface of sugar inside the spoon (hence achieving exactly 5ml of sugar). Everyone just scoops up a 'heaped' amount of caster sugar, which will easily exceed 5ml and can be up to about 10ml.
So when a cocktail recipe mentions "1 teaspoon of caster sugar", does it mean:
1. strictly one teaspoon, as in the scientific technical 'teaspoon', 5ml of volume, so you have to add exactly 5ml of caster sugar
2. just scoop up some caster sugar using a teaspoon, which will result in a heaped teaspoon of sugar - this will exceed 5ml in volume.
What do you guys think? Constructive replies will be much appreciated :)
added 12th April
In the Original Daiquiri video made by Bacardi, it actually says '2 heaped teaspoons of white sugar' - so I guess if you just say 'teaspoon', it means you have to trim/shake off the excess sugar to make it closer to 5ml.
To add to the confusion, in Embury's Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, p125 (3rd Edition), it says the correct recipe for a Daiquiri is:
'1/2 teaspoonful of sugar, juice of half a lime, and 1 jigger of white label rum'!!
Now just how much is 1/2 teaspoonful of sugar? Is it just 2.5ml of sugar? I reckon this is a bit too little for a Daiquiri, but it is understandable because all of Embury's recipes use very conservative amounts of sugar anyways.
I know i'm being pedantic about the details, and the amount of sugar used in a cocktail really depends on the drinker's tastes, but I think this is an important issue, because measurements is a means of communicating recipes between one bartender to another - I think we need to be sure about how much 'one teaspoon' means.
I interpret a recipe with 1 tsp sugar to mean 1 level tsp sugar. I may measure this with the rounded tip of the spoon, or I may shake off the excess.
My rule-of-thumb for dry ingredients is that a rounded measure = 1.5x the measure and a heaping measure = 2x the measure. A heaping tsp is about 2 tsp -- a large measuring error for sure.
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