How Many A Shot?

Cocktail shots have been a part of bar culture for years. From classic cocktails like the vodka soda and whiskey and ginger, to new creations like the rainbow shot and chocolate cake shot, there is a shot for every taste.

Unfortunately, many bars do not measure cocktails with accuracy. This can be dangerous if someone is not sure of how much alcohol is in their drink!

Luckily, measuring shots is a easy enough task that you can do it at home. You just need to know how many ml are in each bar shot measurement.

There are two types of shots: single and double shots. Single shots contain 1oz of alcohol, while double shots contain 2 oz of alcohol. All other measurements will be divided by these two measures.

1 oz shot

how many a shot

A 1-ounce shot is the standard in most bars. Most drinks call for a ½ oz shot, so this makes it a little more expensive.

Many people make their own liquor at home, so using a 1-oz shot as the standard helps to prevent people from drinking too much!

It is also helpful for bartenders as you can mix a variety of drinks with just one bottle of liquor per 1-oz shot. It helps to streamline the making and serving of drinks!

1 oz shots are also helpful when drinking games are played. If someone has to drink every time someone else does, then they will not drink too much due to the limited amount that can be poured out.

The only problem with using 1-oz shots is that some drinks require more than one.

1.5 oz shot


A 1.5 oz shot is the average amount of alcohol in a standard drink. Many drinks are made by 1.5 oz shots, so people can stay on track with their limit.

People make cocktails by the batch, so they are typically composed of 1.5 oz shots per batch. This makes it easy to gauge how many drinks are made per batch!

Drinks can be layered or poured straight down, making it hard to tell how much actual alcohol is in it. It is important to keep track of your intake though, no matter what drink you have.

Keep in mind that some drinks may have more or less alcohol in them than others, depending on their composition. Some may even have none at all! Keeping track of the average alcohol content in drinks will help you keep within your limit.

2 oz shot

how many a shot

A 2 oz shot is the standard alcohol amount in a regular, old-fashioned glass shot. You can think of this as the baseline measurement for a shot.

Most drinks are measured in ounces, so knowing how many ml. are in an ounce of liquid is important when calculating shots. You want to make sure you have the right amount of liquid for the number of shots you need to make!

Generally, spirits are sold in bottles that contain a constant volume of liquid. This is why you will see bottles with the same volume markings, so you know how much spirit to use per shot.

1 oz = 29.57 mL, so there is almost no chance you have a bottle of spirit that contains 30 mL! It is most likely 29 or 28 mL, which makes sense considering we now know there are 1 fewer ounces in a 30 mL bottle than in a 1 oz bottle.

2.5 oz shot

how many a shot

This is the standard serving size for alcohol. A 2.5 oz shot of liquor is how many ml in a shot. This is typically referred to as a standard drink.

Many bars will serve their drinks in slightly larger shots, which can lead to faster intoxication. It is important to check the size of the bar’s shot when you get drinks, especially if you are already intoxicated.

Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per hour will help prevent intoxication and hangovers. If you have an upset stomach or feel nauseous, then you have had too many drinks! Give your body time to process them all and hydrate!

Bars typically pour liquor with measuring cups that hold 1 cup or 8 ounces of liquid. This makes it easy to know how much liquor to pour into a shot glass. You can also do this at home to ensure a consistent serving size.

3 oz shot

how many a shot

A standard shot size is 3 ounces, also known as a liquor ounce. This is the standard most bars and nightclubs use to give you your favorite spirit.

Typically, vodka bottles have a volume of 1.75 liters, which would make the standard bottle of vodka a 3-oz shot. Whiskey bottles have a volume of 1 liter, making the standard bottle of whiskey a 3-oz shot as well.

Given that most spirits are slightly less dense than water, you would need to pour slightly more than a full glass of spirit to make up a shot. You could measure this with a liquid measuring cup or using your hands as a guide.

Using hands as guides may be easier if you are already slightly intoxicated! Kidding, please do not drink and drive. Keep in mind that alcohol affects people differently, so some people may need more shots to feel the effects.

3.5 oz shot

how many a shot

A standard shot size is 3.5 ounces, which is approximately one hundred ml. One hundred ml is roughly 3 oz, so a 3.5 oz shot is slightly more than the standard amount.

Many people assume that a shot is one ounce, but that is very wrong! One ounce is only thirty ml, so that would not be enough to feel anything.

One shot of alcohol is enough to make you feel slightly tipsy depending on the alcohol content of the drink. A higher alcohol content will make you feel more intoxicated than a lower alcohol content drink.

Variations of the one shot standard do exist though. In some countries such as the United States, a shot can be one and a half ounces or two ounces depending on what type of liquor it is.

4 oz shot

how many a shot

A standard shot size is four ounces, or one hundred and eight milliliters. Many bars and clubs enforce a one-ounce minimum, meaning you must order one shot per person.

This is most likely due to people drinking more than one shot per person, making the bar money less. One ounce is also a standard measurement in liquor sales.

Three oz. shots are also common, but can be too much for some people to handle. If you are not a heavy drinker, one ounce shots are your best bet for fun!

Two oz shots are very rare, but can be ordered if you want less of a drunk effect. Two ounces is half of four ounces, so this shot will look half empty.

4.5 oz shot


A standard shot size is 4.5 oz, which is around 120 ml. This is the standard bar shot size, so if you are familiar with bar shots, then you will know how much a 4.5 oz shot is.

Many people do not know that a jigger contains 1.25 oz, so if you want to make a cocktail by the jigger, you need two of them. One to fill with liquor and one to pour into the glass.

The problem with some bars is that they use a larger shot glass for a 4.5 oz shot which can be up to 150 ml. This makes for a very strong shot!

A common mistake made by bartenders is pouring 140 ml shots instead of the standard 120 ml shots.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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