In the immortal words of the great poet LMFAO, “Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, everybody!” But you know what LMFAO didn’t teach us? How many ounces there are in a shot.
Some would argue that a night out isn’t complete without a round of them. And despite the fact that they’re a staple of get-over-your-ex evenings, passed-over-for-a-promotion nights, and TGIF afternoons, we don’t always know what we’re going to get when we order them.
So, come with us as we break down shot sizes and how they vary around the world.
|Single||1.5-2 fl oz||44.36 ml||3 tablespoons||9 teaspoons|
|Double||1.5-4 fl oz||88.72 ml||6 tablespoons||18 teaspoons|
How Many Ounces Are in a Shot?
The number of ounces in a standard shot glass varies by country. In the United States, a shot is typically 1.5 ounces. But, there’s no federally-mandated size.
Who’s getting the shortest end of the shot glass? That would be Denmark and Germany, clocking in at 0.67 oz. Suddenly, we have a hard time believing that Denmark is actually one of the happiest countries in the world.
Maybe just one of the most hangover-free.
If you want to get really messed up, go to Italy, Japan, or Israel. Their standard measurement of a single shot is 2.02 oz. Because just 2 oz of vodka was clearly not enough.
How Many Ounces Are in a Double Shot?
If a standard shot in the United States is typically 1.5 oz, it would stand to reason that a double shot is 3 oz. Right? Wrong!
Although those of us who passed second-grade math are probably confused by why 1.5 times 2 isn’t 3, there’s a reason why, as the kids say, the math doesn’t math.
Although 1.5 oz is standard, a shot isn’t always 1.5 oz. So, a double shot isn’t always 3 oz. In some cases, it’s as little as 2 oz. In other cases, it’s as much as 4 oz.
How Many Tablespoons Are In a Shot?
Pop quiz: If a tablespoon is half an ounce, how many tablespoons are in a standard shot? The answer is that it depends on the size of the shot glass. Since a shot’s size is typically 1.5 oz in the United States, then you would need to measure out 3 tablespoons.
How Many Milliliters Are In a Shot?
If you’re across the pond (or literally anywhere else in the world except the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar), you may need to know shots in milliliter format. If your shot is 1.5 oz, you’d need 44.36 ml.
And if you’re in England and have too many, you’d need to be extra careful when you cross the street. Those cars come around fast on the left side of the road!
What Size Is a Shot Glass?
There’s no official size of a shot glass. They’re designed for taking shots of liquor, AKA pouring back a potentially throat-burning amount of alcohol. So, if a standard shot in the United States is 1.5 oz, it makes sense why many shot glasses in the US hold 1.5 to 2 oz.
Asking for shot glass size is a little like asking what the size of a steak is. At Outback Steakhouse, the answer is “the size of your head.” At a $500-per-bite steakhouse, the answer is more like “we hope you like the taste of air.”
Some small glasses can hold less than an ounce, while a larger shot glass can hold over 3 oz. So, depending on the type of shot glass, you may feel nothing at all after a shot. Or you may be reaching for that chaser really fast.
Shot glasses do have one standard defining feature, though: a thick bottom. Why? So that when people slam their glass back on the bar after taking a shot, the glass doesn’t break. Turns out, drunk people have a habit of breaking stuff.
How Do You Measure a Shot?
That depends on who you’re asking. Some people might measure a shot by eye. Others might use that kitschy shot glass they got on a Cabo trip in 2003. But bartenders use a tool called a jigger.
This double-sided hourglass-shaped measuring tool has different sizes on each side. The bartender pours the alcohol into one side of the jigger, which helps them measure the right amount for the drink they’re making. And then, as is tradition, they do a jig. We’re kidding. But we wish we weren’t.
Now, let’s say you’re at home and want a shot, but you’re without a jigger. You could use a measuring cup, which often has ounces listed in addition to cups. Or you could use a measuring spoon.
The Importance of Accurate Shot Measurements
If you’re making a mixed drinks, getting the right proportions is essential. Get them wrong and you might be bummed that all you can enjoy is the burning sense of too much whiskey in your Old Fashioned.
If a cocktail recipe calls for 2 oz of whiskey, you want to aim to get as close to that amount as possible. Too little, and there’s no buzz. Too much, and you drown out every other flavor in the recipe.
Kind of like when you add “a little” hot sauce to your dinner and end up crying and choking back milk. Darn you, Carolina Reaper.
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