How Many Ounces Are in a Standard Shot?
There are 1.5 fluid ounces in a standard sized shot in the United States.
Written by CraftJack | Updated | 7 min read
What you’re probably thinking is, “I know how big a shot glass is.”
And it’s true, you probably do. Like we said, a standard, common, typical (whatever word you want to use) shot glass has a volume of 1.5 fluid ounces (oz for short). But here we tackle shot glasses, jiggers, shooters, and the amount of alcohol in anything called a shot.
A small shot glass may only be 1oz or less. A larger shot glass can sometimes be 2oz, 3oz (double shot), 4oz, 6oz and even up to 8oz, though at that point, the shot glass should really be called a drinking vessel.
Why? Because eight ounces of liquor is an extreme amount of alcohol to consume at once and you should never do it. Not tequila, not vodka, not even a liqueur or cordial, really. These types of shot glasses are more novelty than anything else.
But, the different sizes of a shot glass mentioned above have nothing to do with the actual pour. You can still quaff a 1.5 ounce shot of liquor - which is the standard measurement - from an 8oz shot glass if poured correctly.
Featured Types of Shots
Below is a list of fun shot recipes. We like to go beyond simple Tequila Shots and have a good time. If you do too, check these out. And be responsible, please, as the ABV of some of these shots is quite high.
You just need a proper measuring tool. Liquid measuring cups are common in homes and will serve in a pinch. But what you really need is what bartenders refer to as a jigger.
A jigger is the hourglass looking tool that bartenders use to accurately pour different amounts of liquor into the drinks that they are making. It’s one of the most important tools in Mixology 101. A US Standard Jigger tends to be reasonably priced between $8-12.
It offers a variety of graduations that let you assume precise measurements depending on the size of the shot you want to pour. Sure, a jigger could serve as your drinking glass for a single shot. Given that though, you really ought to invest in some glassware.
Some might label you a cheater for not freehanding your pour, but a jigger shot will be a correctly poured shot. And, in using the tool properly, you can be confident when adding booze to mixers that the alcohol content of the drink you’re making is spot on to what the recipe calls for, whether that is an old fashioned or an espresso martini.
But enough of that, that dives too far down the path of cocktail recipes when we’re here, talking about shooting booze out of a small glass.
- Barfly Japanese-Style Jigger
- Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Jigger
- MATCH Italian Pewter Jigger
- OXO SteeL Double Jigger
Part of the challenge of figuring out shot size per country is that there is (or at least was) no standardization across the world. One need look no further than the Metric System versus the Imperial System to see that an agreement cannot be made on the proper terminology for the measurement itself.
That’s how you see a differential of 1.35oz in the shots poured in a country like Denmark versus one such as Japan. And that makes sense, as they are 5,000+ miles apart and one is an island. In the old days, you know, back when shots were created, information didn’t exactly travel as fast.
One fluid ounce in the Imperial System is equal to 29.57 milliliters in the Metric System. Here are the shot size conversions below.
- 44.36 ml (one shot)
- 88.72 ml (two shots)
- 133.08 ml (three shots)
- 177.44 (four shots)
Yes, you can measure your alcoholic cocktails using shot glasses. In fact, it is the easiest way to free pour a drink at home. With the standard shot glass being 1.5oz, a 1/3 pour will get you to 1/2oz and a 2/3 pour will get you to 1oz. And obviously, a full pour will get you to 1.5oz.
From there you can build your drinks by simply eyeballing the amounts. Because let’s face it, most people aren’t so picky as to require exacting precision when it comes to the home consumption of mixed drinks.
What you want to look for is a graduated shot glass that lets you know the levels like a traditional measuring cup would. You can find these on Amazon, as well as any novelty store or market near a college.
A double shot in the United States should be 3oz of the liquor you are ordering. However, some places mislabel it a bit and only pour 2oz. Best to ask first prior to ordering if you are concerned about the ounces of liquor in your beverage order.
A double drink is typically a stronger version of the standard size regular. Caution, this will bring on a more rapid intoxication. So be wary of that when ordering. Technically, you should always be wary when ordering any amount of liquor as to your tolerance and current intoxication level.
A pony shot is a 1oz pour. The funny thing about the pony shot is how it feels like it should really be what’s known as, “the shot”. That’s because 1oz just feels right.
Australia's standard size shot is essentially a pony shot, coming in at 1.01oz.
Not to be confused with Slim Shooters, a shooter is a bigger version of a shot glass. In essence, it’s a larger, more aggressive version of it’s small glass counterpart.
A shot in Utah is the same size as it is in the rest of the United States. The funny, prohibition-style liquor laws only really come into play when you’re ordering beer it seems.
Hey listen, we didn’t make up the rules.
It is only a rumor that Friedrich Otto Schott invented the shot glass. This is asserted by Marshall Trimble, an author based out of Arizona, and the state's official historian.
Trimble waxes over the history of the shot glass, where he states that maybe it came from the sound a shot glass makes when being slammed upon a bar. He also posits that perhaps the glass got its name from trade, in that a bar patron would offer up a shot (ammo) for some liquor.
A shot is a shot is a shot. Doesn’t matter if you’re ordering a shot of Irish Whisky or a shot of Cranberry Juice, you’re getting 1.5oz. For those who care, we used Cranberry because who would shoot Lime Juice? And don't even get us started on bitters.
Unless you’re pouring at home. Then maybe you’re allowed a double shot. Which we contend is 3oz.
Have a fun (and safe/responsible) night.