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How Many Shots are in a Fifth of Whiskey? (2024 Updated)

How Many Shots are in a Fifth of Whiskey

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Lydia Martin

After a long and exhausting day, a shot from your favorite liquor might help you relax in some way. On the other hand, knowing how many shots are in a fifth of whiskey can help you remember how many drinks are left before buying a new one. 

Our team conducted a few hours of extensive research to help you with this matter.

What is a Fifth of Whiskey?

A “fifth” is a common term used to describe a 750-milliliter (ml) bottle of whiskey in the United States. This standard bottle size is widely used for various types of spirits, including whiskey, vodka, rum, and gin.

A Fifth of Whiskey: How Many Shots Are There?

A Fifth of Whiskey: How Many Shots Are There

A fifth of whiskey contains around 16 – 17 1.5-ounce shots. Back then, a drink or alcohol was measured in gallons, and one-fifth of a gallon became a fifth.

Also, certain establishments in the United States offered bottles labeled as quarts while containing significantly less. That is how commercial quarts came to be known as fifths.

Measurements vary depending on how a place defines a shot. However, the standard bottle size in the United States is 750 ml [1] or a fifth of a gallon.

So, when you hear the word “fifth” of vodka, whiskey, or any alcohol, it is equivalent to drinking a full-sized or whole bottle.

Read: Two Fingers of Whiskey Meaning

Standard Shot Size

Before we delve into the number of shots in a fifth of whiskey, it’s important to establish the standard shot size. In the United States, the customary serving size for a single shot is typically 1.5 fluid ounces (equivalent to 44 milliliters) of liquid. This measurement is commonly used in bars, restaurants, and cocktail recipes.

Understanding Bottle Sizes

In the world of spirits, including whiskey, bottle sizes vary, each serving different purposes and occasions. Below are several bottle sizes commonly found in the world of whiskey:

  1. Fifth (750ml): Also known as a “handle” or “standard bottle,” a fifth is the most common size for whiskey in the United States. It contains approximately 25.36 fluid ounces.
  2. Liter (1L): A liter-sized bottle contains about 33.8 fluid ounces, providing a bit more whiskey than a fifth.
  3. Half-Gallon (1.75L): Often referred to as a “handle” or “jug,” a half-gallon bottle holds approximately 59.2 fluid ounces, making it suitable for larger gatherings or frequent whiskey drinkers.
  4. Miniature (50ml): These small bottles, often used as samplers or for travel, hold approximately 1.7 fluid ounces of whiskey.

Number of Shots In Various Places

Number of Shots | Liquor Laboratory

US

In the United States, a standard shot is equal to a one or one-and-a-half-ounce, making around 16 to 17 shots. Now, the US doesn’t use gallons to measure alcohol or liquor. 

They’ve adopted the worldwide metric system for uniformity and moved to milliliters and liters to measure a drink. Alcohol bottle sizes have also been altered.

In Utah, a shot is defined as 1.5 ounces. If we purchase a “fifth” at 750 mL bottle, we will have slightly about 17 shots. However, most jiggers offered in the United States measure 1 or 2 ounces. More on the number of shots in a 750 ml bottle here.

UK

fifth of whiskey | Liquor Laboratory

In the United Kingdom, a typical shot is 25ml or 35ml in certain regions, resulting in 30 or 21 full shots in a fifth of liquor or drink, including whiskey and some drinks like wine, tequila, and vodka. 

Same number if you asked how many glasses of cocktails you can make in a fifth of vodka or a gallon of whiskey or any alcoholic drinks.

Read: How Many Bottles are in a Whiskey Barrel?

Shot Sizes

Shot Sizes | Liquor Laboratory

Single Shot

George Dickel with shot glass on desk

Shot glasses are tiny glasses that hold between 25ml and 50ml of liquid. As a result, if you drink whiskey, it contains around one and two single shots. There is no standard size for shot glasses.

It differs by location in terms of how a shot is defined. A single shot is 44 milliliters in the United States. A single shot equals 25 or 25 ml in the United Kingdom. Find out how to order whiskey at a bar here

Double Shot

At most bars, a double shot is 50 ml (2–3 ounces), meaning if you drink Scotch whiskey, it contains around 2 to 4 standard double pours.

In terms of alcohol content, a double shot of whiskey, a single beer, or a glass of wine all has the same amount. Additionally, several cultures use “pour” instead of “shot.”

But what whiskey does not give you a hangover?

Calculating How Many Shots are in a Fifth of Whiskey

To determine how many shots are in a fifth of whiskey, we’ll use the following steps:

  1. Convert Bottle Size to Ounces: A fifth of whiskey contains 25.36 fluid ounces (750 milliliters). This conversion enables us to use consistent units when determining the number of shots.
  2. Divide Bottle Size by Shot Size: Divide the overall volume of liquid in the bottle by the standard size of a single shot.

Number of Shots = Total Ounces in Bottle/Standard Shot Size

Number of Shots= 25.36 oz/1.5oz

  1. Calculate the Result: Perform the division to find the number of shots.

Result: By dividing the total ounces in a fifth of whiskey by the standard shot size, we find:

Number of Shots=25.36/1.5≈16.91

How Many Shots in a Fifth: Things to Consider

Like many aspects of life, there are several factors to consider.

  • Jigger Jockeys: While 1.5 ounces is the norm, jiggers (those nifty measuring tools) can come in various sizes, from 1 ounce to 2 ounces. So, your shot count might vary depending on your jigger’s preference.
  • Global Glug-Glugs: In other parts of the world, standard shot sizes can differ. In the UK, for example, a single shot is typically 1 ounce, yielding more shots per bottle.
  • Proof Positive: Whiskey comes in various alcohol proofs, which can affect how many “standard drinks” are in a bottle. Remember, a standard drink in the US is considered to be 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor. So, a higher-proof whiskey might pack a stronger punch and translate to fewer drinks (or shots).

Other Factors to Consider

While the calculation provides an estimate, several factors can influence the actual number of shots poured from a bottle of whiskey:

  1. Glassware Size: Shot glasses come in various sizes, so the number of shots poured may vary slightly depending on the glass used.
  2. Personal Pouring Habits: Individual pouring habits can affect the accuracy of shot measurements. Pouring consistently with a jigger or measuring device ensures uniformity.
  3. Whiskey Type: Different types of whiskey, such as bourbon, Scotch, or rye, may have varying alcohol content, affecting the pour size and overall number of shots.

In Conclusion

There are around 16 shots in a fifth or bottle of whiskey in a nutshell. The term fifth is equivalent to drinking an entire bottle of liquor or any drink—the standard bottle of liquor measures 750 ml or 25.4 fluid ounces [2].

As of today, gallons or fifths are rarely used to measure drinks. Instead, liters or milliliters were used. When creating good drinks, sticking to the standard pour will guarantee that you get the most out of each bottle. 

FAQs Related to How Many Shots are in a Fifth of Whiskey?

How many shots in a fifth of whiskey could get you drunk?

It’ll take 4 to 5 shots in a bottle or fifth of whiskey to be drunk for an average person. However, for veterans, drinking one bottle could make them intoxicated. A 750 ml bottle of whiskey has enough alcohol to make you drunk in 120 to 180 ml.  

How much does a shot in a fifth of whiskey cost?

A shot in a fifth of whiskey costs between $1.89 and $2.50. Depending on how many ounces you order. One-shot glass can hold anything from thirty to forty-five milliliters or one point five ounces. At the same time, pint has around eight shots. But do you know why people dip their fingers in whiskey?

References: 

  1. https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/how-many-shots-in-a-handle/ 
  2. https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-many-shots-in-a-bottle-761232
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