How Many Shots Are In A Bottle of Liquor?

If you have a party coming up or are simply curious, it can be extremely helpful to understand how many shots and drinks you can get from just one bottle. Of course, this answer varies depending on the bottle size and your preferred shot. Nevertheless, there are some general guidelines so you don’t run dry on your promise of “shots all-round” the next time you’re partying.

bartender pouring shots

Knowing how many shots are in a bottle is also important if you’re stocking a bar. This way, you will not run out of drinks and disappoint many thirsty customers. To figure out how many shots are in a typical liquor bottle, we gathered different-sized examples. With more bottles to compare, you will have a better understanding of where you stand when pouring shots the next time you need to. So, continue reading as we take the guesswork out of estimating how much liquor you need for the intended number of shots required. After this article, your bar should never run dry again! 

Standard Shot Size

A standard shot carries around 1.5 fluid ounces of liquor or about 44 ml. When we consider bottles of liquor, they come in a range of different sizes. Nonetheless, a typical full-sized bottle holds approximately 25.36 fluid ounces or around 750 ml. This size bottle will therefore hold slightly over 17 average shots. However, it’s not so straightforward as not all shots are identical. And, as we mentioned, neither are the bottles.In a bar, shots are carefully measured. For instance, the standard shot of 1.5 fluid ounces will be pretty spot on every time in most bars. But, outside bars where these measurements are not monitored as carefully, the amount in a shot can vary. If you have a bottle of vodka and manage to get a dozen or so shots from it, you are probably over-serving. This means you are more than likely serving double shots as this will go through a bottle much quicker. 

shots of brown liquor lined up on a bar

It goes without saying but a larger bottle will yield more shots. In the U.S, standard bottle sizes range from a small 50 ml to a 1.75 L handle. On the whole, a 1.75 L bottle will provide about 40 standard-sized shots whereas a smaller 50 ml bottle will supply only one, slightly larger shot. We should also examine the average cocktail pour when finding out how many shots are in a standard bottle of liquor. The base liquor of a cocktail such as rum, vodka, gin, etc, is usually a standard shot consisting of 1 ½ ounces. Liqueurs are generally poured between ½ an ounce and ¾ an ounce. When accent juices, such as lemon and lime are used, ¼ of an ounce to ⅓ an ounce is typically poured. When filing a tall drink or a highball with juice or some kind of soda, you will usually need 4 to 6 ounces. 

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How Many Shots Does a Bottle of Liquor Have?

As well as the regular 750 ml or 25.4-ounce bottles, some liquors are available in liters or pints. The largest bottles (magnums and handles) are quite rare so you shouldn’t expect to find these in your local grocery store. 

Below, we have set out some of the most popular bottle sizes in both metric and U.S. measurements. We have also included the average number of standard 1 ½-ounce shots that each bottle will supply.

Shots Per Bottle

Miniature (Mini or Nap) – 50 ml, 1.7 oz, 1 shot per bottle

Quarter pint – 100 ml, 3.4 oz, 2 shots per bottle

Half a pint – 200 ml, 6.8 oz, 4 shots per bottle

1 pint – 375 ml, 12.7 oz, 8 shots per bottle

A standard bottle (a fifth) – 750 ml, 25.4 oz, 16 shots per bottle

Liter bottle – 1 L, 33.8 oz, 22 shots per bottle

A Magnum – 1.5 L, 50.7 oz, 33 shots per bottle

Half a Gallon (Handle) – 1.75 L, 59.2 oz, 39 shots per bottle

Double-Magnum (Jeroboam) – 3 L, 101.4 oz, 67 shots per bottle

Rehoboam – 4.5 L, 152.2 oz, 1010 shots per bottle 

As you can see, the size of the bottle greatly affects how many shots it can yield. It’s basic math – the bigger the bottle, the more shots you will get.

Estimating the Number of Bottles You’ll Need

You can estimate how many bottles of liquor you need by determining the recipes you will use for serving different beverages. For instance, if your party has 20 guests but there is a limited drink menu, you should estimate to serve around 80 drinks. One standard 750 ml bottle of liquor should provide you with 16 shots. Therefore, you will need around 5 bottles to entertain your guests. 

If your recipe requires juices and syrups, you need to take this into consideration. If so, you may need at least 5 cups or 40 ounces for your drinks. When it comes to soda, we recommend getting more than you think you’ll need. For our party example, we suggest going with seven 2 L bottles. With so many sodas and juice options, it ensures you have a plentiful supply of non-alcoholic beverages for everyone too. 

How Much Mixer to Use

It’s not so simple when it comes to estimating the mixers such as juices, sodas, and syrups in drinks. This is because there are no standard bottle sizes for these drinks. Nevertheless, mixers are always less expensive than liquor so we recommend that you always overstock just in case. It’s better to have too much than be unprepared and run out during a social gathering. Below, we have set out the average pour of a mixer when it’s included in a cocktail recipe. Not all drinks will use each type of mixer below and some will use more or less than others. Therefore, this is simply a general guide for estimating how much you could use, but it’s going to vary based on which cocktail you’re making. For example, taller drinks such as gin and tonic tend to require 4 or more ounces of soda. This is to fill the glass. On the other hand, a Long Island Iced tea may require just 1-ounce of cola or even less due to the larger amount of alcohol in the glass. Also, a cosmopolitan usually requires ½ ounce of lime juice. However, a whiskey sour would need a full 1 ½ ounce of lemon juice. 

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Mixing Cocktails

Martinis, short drinks, and sours – ¼ to ½ oz of accent juice, ¼ to ½ oz of syrup, a splash of soda

Highballs, tall drinks, and collins – A splash to ½ oz of accent juice, ¼ to ½ oz of syrup, 4 to 6 oz of soda 

Okay, take your average soda bottle or can. This holds around 12 ounces of soda. Therefore, estimate it to have 2 to 3 drinks per container. That doesn’t add up to a lot. Therefore, 2 L bottles are the more cost-effective option for more popular, higher-priced sodas. These tend to provide 67 ounces per 2 liters. 

When it comes to other mixers such as bitters, it becomes easier to estimate. One bottle of each style should be more than enough for a party. Go to some bars and the bottles can even last years. If you get through a bottle in one party, it must have been one heck of a party!

How Much Fresh Citrus Juice to Use

If you need to use fresh citrus juice in a cocktail, you can estimate how many pieces of fruit you will need. However, you need to keep in mind that lemon and lime juices are usually accents whereas orange and grapefruit juices can sometimes require 3 or more ounces per drink. Whatever fruit you go for, you should get around 2 or 3 drinks from each piece of fruit.

Set out below is a helpful guide so you can estimate how many pieces of fruit you need per drink and vice versa.

Average Sizes of Fruit

Lemon – An average juice yield of 1 ½ oz

Lime – An average juice yield of ½ to 1 oz

Orange – Am average juice yield of 2 to 3 oz

Grapefruit – An average juice yield of 5 to 6 oz

You can maximize the juice yield of citrus fruits by letting them reach room temperature after keeping them in your refrigerator. Once they have reached the desired temperature, roll the fruit between the palm of your hand and a cutting board. Press down firmly but not so much that you squash the fruit. Then, you can go ahead and cut the fruit. 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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