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When planning a party or get-together, you want to have plenty of booze on hand to make drinks for everybody. As you take inventory of your bar supplies, you may wonder, how many shots are in a bottle of liquor? This article has all the information you need to have your bar fully stocked for your next event.
How Many Shots in a Bottle? It Depends
Estimating the number of shots in a liquor bottle isn’t as straightforward as you might think. The answer depends on a lot of things, including what kind of “shot” you’re referring to, how large the bottle is, and sometimes even what’s inside the bottle.
What Kind of Shot?
When you’re talking about drinks, the word “shot” can have a lot of meanings. A mixed cocktail served in a miniature glass and swallowed in one gulp is called a shot. A shot can also be a serving of straight liquor in a 1-ounce shot glass. Finally, a shot may refer to the jigger, a two-sided measuring device, or the amount of liquor a bartender pours into a drink, called a standard pour.
With so many definitions of the word “shot,” the number of shots you get per bottle can vary wildly.
How Many Ounces Are in a Shot?
You’ll need a standardized measurement for a single shot to get the most accurate estimate of shots in a bottle. In mixology, the basic unit is a “standard pour,” which is 1½ ounces.
A standard pour is also sometimes called a “jigger,” which is also the name of the double sided device used to measure liquor. The larger side of the jigger measures exactly 1½ ounces, while the smaller side measures a half jigger, or ¾ ounce.
For clarity, the standard shot estimates in this article are based on a 1½ ounce standard pour, or jigger, unless stated otherwise.
What’s in the Bottle?
The number of shots in a bottle can sometimes depend on what kind of liquor or spirit is in the bottle. In some cases, especially when you’re planning for a party, it’s more useful to calculate how many servings there are than the number of shots in a bottle because an alcoholic beverage often contains more than just one kind of liquor.
A cocktail recipe typically includes a mix of hard liquor like vodka, tequila, or whiskey, lower-proof liqueurs, and nonalcoholic syrups or bitters. Most recipes call for around 1 to 1½ ounces of hard liquor, ¾ to 1 ounce of liqueur, and ½ to ¾ ounce of syrups or bitters. The lower the alcohol content, the smaller the serving size.
Keep that in mind when viewing the shot estimates below, which are based on a 1½-ounce standard pour. If you’re trying to determine how many drinks you can make with one bottle of alcohol, remember that you’ll get more servings out of a bottle of liqueur than a bottle of hard liquor.
How Many Ounces Are in a Bottle?
One of the biggest details to consider when estimating how many shots there are in a bottle of liquor is how big the bottle actually is. Liquor bottles and other spirits come in a wide range of sizes, from the 50-ml miniature bottles – sometimes called a “mini” or a “nip” – to the gargantuan Rehoboam, which tips the scales at 4.5 liters.
Of course, the larger the bottle, the more shots there are in it. Here are the most common bottle sizes and how many standard pour shots they contain:
- Miniature. A miniature bottle contains 50 ml (1.7 ounces) of liquor, which is slightly more than one shot.
- Pint. A pint is a 375 ml bottle containing 12.7 ounces of liquor, which is about eight shots.
- Fifth. A fifth of liquor, also known as a standard bottle, is a 750 ml bottle containing 25.4 ounces of liquor, which is about 16 shots.
- Liter. A liter bottle contains 1 liter (33.8 ounces) of liquor, which is about 22 shots.
- Handle. A handle of liquor, also known as a half gallon, contains 1.75 liters of liquor, which is about 39 shots.
In this case, each shot is exactly 1.5 ounces, or a standard pour. If you’re pouring mixed beverages like cocktails, shooters, or slammers, you’ll get more servings per bottle than the amount listed. That’s because each drink will likely use less than 1.5 ounces of each type of liquor. You’ll get roughly twice as many servings of liqueurs per bottle and four times as many servings of syrups and bitters.
How Many Shots in a Bottle?
So when you wonder how many shots are in a bottle of liquor, you can confidently answer – it depends. To get an accurate estimate, you need to know what kind of shot, how big the bottle is, and sometimes what kind of liquor is in the bottle.
But now that you know how many 1½-ounce shots there are in the most common liquor bottle sizes, you can confidently estimate how much you’ll need for your next party, whether you plan on serving shots of hard liquor, cocktail shooters, or mixed drinks for a crowd.