I inherited a bizarre booze collection last year, though mostly pedestrian there were a couple of gems, old bottle of parfait amour, crappy but profoundly tacky old bottle of Suntory (that I polished off with a kingly steak while re- watching Lost in Translation) and an old bottle of Angostura that I leave out on my bar because it just looks a little more classic. The winter Manhattan season really made me notice that this bottle is actually completely different than bottles currently for sale. The dasher top is actually bigger (more open, so that much more bitter come out) than the Fee Bros dasher tops, which I consider huge.Does any one else have old Angostura bottles like this?
Is this something that was missing from old recipes; that the dasher used to let out twice the bitters?
Does anyone have a grandma about to ask?
One also needs to wonder if the old Angostura bottle was even used that much? Or were the various bitters of the day simply re-distributed into "Hazel Atlas" (or such) bitters bottles? I have a couple of these, with dashers, and they appear to dash out "just about" the same as our various modern bitters bottles do, I also have a dasher top for an Abbott's bitters, and it is about the same. Perhaps the dasher inserts in the commercial bottles weren't paid much attention because they weren't used that much, and once Angostura was the only game in town, and so folks weren't taking the time to store them in fancy bitters bottles, Angostura changed their dasher to be a little better?... just a thought.
I overheard this bit of hearsay somewhere, though I can't quite recall the source (or if the story's even right), but still a fun one.
Angostura Bitters, while consistently popular, was getting stagnant in their profits, and were looking for a way to increase sales. After a few years of bandying about ideas, someone came up with the clever solution of doubling the amount in a "dash", as measured by the dasher. Along with the size of the dasher, sales doubled that year.
Pretty sure that's apocryphal, at least in regards to Angostura bitters (especially since if it was working so well as a profits boost, why did they subsequently reduce the size of the hole? I heard that story 15 years ago about Tobasco hot sauce bottles, with the additional twist that the guy whose idea it was to increase the hole size sold the idea to Tobasco for a million dollars. Yeah.
Unfortunately I don't have a grandma about to ask. She died many years ago but I did manage to salvage an old school bottle of Angostura bitters from the pocessions she left behind (God bless my old Granny's soul, may she rest in peace)!
The bottle is pictured bellow on the left, next to the modern Angostura and Angostura Orange for comparison. Until I saw your thread I hadn't noticed the difference in the dasher size but the picture bellow the picture bellow makes it quite clear (in a blurry kind of way). The bottle above in the picture bellow the picture bellow is the old dasher.
I can't help much beyond adding the pictures for reference but it's an interesting pint...