I am having some serious trouble getting a nice dark burgundy swiss meringue buttercream. I am using wilton burgundy gel color and it seems like I have to use a whole 1 oz. jar just to get 2 cups of icing the right color. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is this normal? This feels like a LOT of food coloring!
meringue based buttercreams have a high fat content and are better colored with oil based colors for chocolate that a gel based color.
Try switching to Americolor brand. Their colors are much more concentrated! Also, remember the color will darken. I have seen decorators color their burgundy too dark, it looked fine while they were putting it on the cake, but by the next day it looked black! When making dark colors, it's best to color the icing the day before. Often you will not need to add any extra color the next day as it will have darkened enough!
Take a look at my Burgandy Daisy Cake. To make this cake it took almost the whole Wilton Gel Color. I warned them that their teeth were going to change colors but she didn't care she really wanted the color. I was using a basic buttercream recipe.