Having “a shot and a beer” is one way we refer to gathering with friends to pass the time. For many, beer, malted beverages, or wine are the beverages of choice. However, others prefer the strong taste of a good whiskey, vodka, or tequila. While these drinks can also be sipped, the accomplishment of drinking a shot – all at once – can give the drinker a “hair on the chest,” type pride. A few drinks into the evening, you may find yourself wondering, “How many shots of liquor are in that bottle, anyway?”
A shot is typically defined as 1.5 ounces. At most bars, shot glasses have a line indicating the fill line. This line represents a typical 1.5-ounce shot. You may have been to a bar where they pour the shot above the line. This makes it a bit more than 1.5 ounces, but for this article, one shot is assumed to be exactly 1.5 ounces.
Often sold at the counter in liquor stores, nips are convenient, cost-effective ways of tasting new or different liquors. Depending on your location, they can cost anywhere from 1-3 dollars, or even more. These bottles are measured to hold 50ml. That makes them 1.7 ounces or just a bit more than the true definition of a shot. For all intents and purposes, you can say there is one shot in a nip.
Also typically stored behind the counter at most liquor stores, pint-sized bottles are convenient for traveling or so that you can have just a bit of a specific, unique liquor on hand. The price of these varies wildly depending on the variety and your location, but they are generally less than $10. A pint contains 375ml. Converting this, you end up with 12.7 ounces. This means that a pint roughly equals 8 shots.
Standard, or “Fifth”
Your standard bottle of liquor is colloquially called a “fifth” because it is equal to one-fifth of a gallon. These are the bottles that you typically see everywhere: in homes, bars, restaurants, kitchens, and of course on the liquor store’s main shelving. With this size, prices range wildly, depending on the quality and brand of the liquor. Generally, you can expect a fifth to cost anywhere from $15 – $40, with prices being even higher for high-quality liquors. A fifth contains 750ml. This makes it 35.4 ounces. There are 16 shots in a fifth.
An interesting fact to notice: a fifth contains approximately twice the volume of a pint.
Liquor can also be sold in liter-sized bottles, though this seems to be less common than the standard bottle size. People tend to purchase liters for small parties or gatherings where alcohol will be consumed in modest amounts. Prices on this size are also variable, though on average they fall between $20 – $50. As the name suggests, these bottles contain one liter of alcohol. One liter is equal to approximately 33.8 ounces. This quantity yields around 22 shots.
This bottle size is generally relegated to wines. People don’t typically take shots of wine, but for curiosity’s sake, let’s calculate the number of shots in a magnum-sized bottle. Each magnum contains 1.5 liters of wine. This is equal to roughly 50.7 ounces. Converted to shots, a magnum yields 33 shots of wine.
Half Gallon, or “Handle”
On the larger end of the liquor bottle spectrum, the half gallon bottle is fairly ubiquitous when it comes to large parties or in home bars where people prefer to buy in bulk. The nickname for this bottle, “handle,” comes from its construction. Because the bottle is too large to grip with one hand, it often has a handle built-in for easy handling. A handle contains 1.75 liters, which is equal to roughly 59.2 ounces. This means it contains roughly 39 shots.
Bonus Bottle- The Jeroboam
Another bottle typically reserved for wine use, the Jeroboam sized bottle, or double magnum contains 3 liters of liquid. Many larger bottles of wine actually have biblical names such as these. These bottles of wine are typically used when making a giant batch of sangria or another wine mixer. The three liters yield 101.4 ounces. This means there are 67 shots in each double magnum or Jeroboam bottle.
The math has been done for you so that you don’t have to think it through on your own – especially by measuring and drinking! Please remember to drink responsibly.