If mixing drinks is your profession or hobby, you may find yourself asking, "how many ounces are in a shot?" The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem, so I've gathered everything you need to know when measuring liquor!
Everything you need to know about how to properly measure shots (including milliliter conversions)!
From tequila to whiskey and everything in between, shots are a shared interest around the world. Not simply in the form of a single shot, but also as a measurement for the perfect cocktail.
Whether you are playing bartender at home, hosting a party, or need to perfect your skills behind the bar for work - knowing the right measurements for a single shot will ensure you produce not only tasty cocktails but keep yourself (and others) off the floor.
How Many Ounces In a Shot
If you have ever ordered a drink in a different state or country, you may have noticed a difference in your cocktail.
While there is a standard measurement for shots in each country and state – they are not always standard across locations. Therefore, knowing the differences can make all the difference in what cocktail you order or make.
In the United States, a standard shot glass is debatably 1.48 or 1.5 ounces, depending on who you ask. You may be surprised to find out that this is neither the largest nor smallest shot around the world.
Shots Around the World
Take a look at how other countries measure up, shot by shot:
- Denmark and Germany: .67 ounces
- United Kingdom and South Africa: .84 ounces
- Australia, India, and Serbia: 1.01 ounces
- Ireland: 1.2 ounces
- Finland, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland: 1.35 ounces
- Canada: 1.44 ounces
- Greece: 1.52 ounces
- Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Russia: 1.69 ounces
- Italy, Japan, Israel: 2.02 ounces
You can see there is quite a range from country to country. If you plan on traveling internationally, keep these numbers in mind – one shot in Italy will be a very different experience than one in Germany!
How to Use a Shot Glass to Measure Cocktails
In the United States, knowing how many ounces are in a shot glass is helpful when you are mixing drinks at home. At the bar, most bartenders have all the tools necessary to craft a perfect cocktail – including a jigger.
A jigger is a small metal cone-shaped cup that is used to measure the ingredients in a cocktail. Most jiggers are two-sided: the small side is 1-ounce, and the larger side is 1.5-ounces.
Rather than run out and buy a jigger, simply use that shot glass you picked up at the tourist shop on your last beach trip to measure your liquor and mixers.
Is a Shot Ever More or Less than its Standard Measurement?
When you order a straight shot of liquor, such as tequila or whiskey, it will be served in its standard size shot glass. However, if you order a mixed shot – such as a lemon drop – it will often be served in a larger shot glass or lowball glass.
For example, in the United States, a mixed shot will often be served in a 2-ounce shot glass. The larger glass is used to accommodate for the addition of mixers. The measurement of alcohol will still typically be the standard 1.48 ounces though.
In certain states, you can order a double shot. The measurement of a double is only 2 ounces though, not double the standard measurement. In other countries though, such as Poland and Sweden, a double is double the standard measurement.
Sometimes a Shot is Less than the Standard Measurement
In some rare cases, a bar may serve their shots in a cheater glass. A cheater shot glass has a thicker glass bottom that gives the allusion of a standard-sized shot glass but only holds about ⅔ of the standard measurement.
Not to worry though, most countries require a minimum amount of alcohol to be served per shot!
That’s right, the government is making sure that every bar patron gets the full amount they are paying for.
It is kind of nice to look at the standard measurement as what you must be served, rather than what you can only be served. If you want to get in on the fun of shots at home though, without the hangover, you can buy your own cheater glasses to enjoy celebrating at home.
How Many Milliliters in a Shot
The standard measurement for liquids in the United States is ounces, hence the 1.5-ounce shot glass. However, many other countries use milliliters as their measurement.
If you are traveling or using a recipe that references milliliters you can use the chart below for a quick conversion to ounces. This will ensure you get the perfect measurement for any cocktail!
How Many Milliliters in an Ounce
While the ounces listed above were exact, many people and countries round the values up or down to make it a bit easier for conversions.
To reflect that and make it easier for you, the chart below takes the ounces from above and gives you a nice round number for converting easily from milliliters to ounces.
You will also find a few extra countries listed to help cover more travels and recipes!
How to Measure a Shot, Without a Shot Glass
While you may have picked up a souvenir shot glass on one or more trips you may be missing it or not have enough to make shots for everyone. Whether you are serving single shots or need to measure alcohol for a mixed drink, you can get exact measurements with basic kitchen measuring spoons.
How many tablespoons in an ounce
1 ounce = 2 tablespoons
1.5 ounces = 3 tablespoons
2 ounces = 4 tablespoons
These three conversions will help you measure the basics for most standard cocktails in the United States and several other countries.
If you need to get into more detailed measurements, use the basic conversion for teaspoons to tablespoons to figure out the exact ounces or milliliters needed.
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
How to Measure Alcohol in Baking
Beyond mixing a cocktail or shooting a shot, shot glass measurements can be helpful in the world of baking. Knowing how to properly measure a shot is the key to making a classic dessert like bananas foster or adding a spin to a chocolate cake with a shot of Kahlua.
Whether it’s a classy cocktail or a throwback to your carefree days, knowing how to measure a shot is a skill every adult needs.
🍹 A Few of My Favorite Cocktails!
We hope we answered all your questions about properly measuring shots! Leave a comment below with some cocktail recommendations so we can put this knowledge to the test!
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!