Liquor Laboratory

The Potent Elixir: How Many Shots in a Bottle of Bourbon (2024 Update)

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Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Lydia Martin

How many shots in a bottle of bourbon, you wonder? Step into the world of bourbon, and let me unveil the captivating enigma that awaits within each bottle.  Prepare to be immersed in the tantalizing quest for answers as we delve into the depths of this spirited puzzle. 

From the standard-sized liquor bottles to the intriguing limited editions, join me on a flavorful exploration as we uncork the secrets and unlock the magic concealed within every pour. This article is a must-read for enthusiasts and novices alike, offering insights into bottle sizes, shot calculations, and tips for enjoying bourbon to the fullest. Join us as we explore the rich heritage and nuanced flavors of this beloved spirit. Let’s sip, savor, and discover the hidden measure that makes bourbon truly unforgettable.


Understanding bottle sizes of bourbon

How Many Shots in a Bottle
How Many Shots in a Bottle

Standard Bottle Size (750 ml)

The most common and widely available size for bourbon. It is considered the industry norm and can be found on liquor store shelves.

Half-sized Bottle (375 ml)

A bottle that is half the size of a standard bottle makes the half-sized bottle. It is a convenient option for those who want to drink half pint of the bourbon or want to try different varieties without committing to a full-sized bottle.

Liter Bottle (1,000 ml)

A larger bottle size that contains more bourbon compared to the standard 750 ml bottle. It is a popular choice for those who consume bourbon regularly or enjoy hosting gatherings.

Oversized Bottles

These bottles go beyond the standard sizes and often come in larger formats, such as 1.75 liters or even 3 liters. They are less common but can be found on occasion. Oversized bottles are suitable for special occasions, parties, or collectors who want a unique display piece.

Limited Edition or Collectors Bottles

These bottles are not defined by a specific size, as they can come in various volumes. Limited edition or collector’s bottles are often produced in small quantities and feature unique designs, packaging, or aged expressions. They are sought after by enthusiasts and collectors for their rarity and collectible value.

Standard Bottle Sizes

How many shots in a bottle of bourbon are typically in a standard bottle?

How many shots in a bottle of bourbon can vary, but as a rough estimate, a 750 ml bottle can yield approximately 17 to 25 standard shots. It’s important to note that this estimate can vary depending on factors such as alcohol content and pour size.

Factors affecting the number of shots in a standard bottle

Alcohol Content

Bourbon typically ranges in alcohol content from 40% to 50% ABV. [1] Higher alcohol content means that each shot contains more alcohol, which IF your bartender pours smaller sized shots, this may increase the number of shots per bottle.

Pour Size

The size of the pour also affects the number of shots in a bottle. Standard shots are typically 1.5 ounces (44 ml) or 2 ounces (59 ml). Larger pours will yield fewer shots per bottle, while smaller pours will increase the number of shots.

Shots Per Bottle Calculation

How many shots in a bottle of bourbon

Determining the shot size

To accurately calculate the number of shots in a bottle, you must establish the size of a shot. The most common shot sizes are 1.5 ounces (44 ml) and 2 ounces (59 ml). These sizes are widely accepted and used in most drinking establishments.

Calculating how many shots in a bottle of bourbon

To calculate the number of shots in a bottle, we need to ensure that the units are consistent and correctly applied.

First, let’s establish our units:

  • 1 ml (milliliter) is a measure of volume.
  • 1 oz (ounce) is also a measure of volume, but it’s a different unit commonly used in the U.S. 1 oz is approximately equal to 29.57 ml.


  • A standard bottle size is ml.
  • A standard shot size is 1.5 oz.

To find out how many 1.5 oz shots are in a ml bottle, we first need to convert the shot size into milliliters. Then, we divide the total volume of the bottle by the volume of one shot.

The conversion from ounces to milliliters for the shot size is: 1.5 oz × 29.57 ml/oz = 44.36 ml

Now, we can correct the formula by dividing the total volume of the bottle by the volume of one shot in milliliters: 750 ml (size of bottle) / 44.36 ml (ml per shot)

Upon calculating this, we find that a ml bottle contains approximately 17 shots, each being 1.5 oz. [2].

Oversized Bottles and Limited Editions can vary 

Large format bottles

Large format bottles, such as 1.75 liters or even 3 liters (the double magnum), naturally contain more bourbon compared to standard-sized bottles. 

While the exact number of shots may vary depending on the specific pour size and how much liquor is desired per shot, an estimated range can be provided. 

On average, a 1.75-liter bottle of bourbon may yield approximately 39 to 58 shots, while a 3-liter bottle could provide around 86 to 128 shots.

Limited edition or collector’s bottles

Limited edition or collector’s bottles come in various sizes, making it challenging to provide a specific estimate without knowing the bottle’s volume. 

However, these bottles are often produced in smaller quantities and may contain premium or aged bourbon expressions. 

The number of shots in limited edition or collector’s bottles will depend on the specific bottle’s size and the pour size, following the shots per typical bottle calculation mentioned earlier.

Personal Factors and Consumption

Individual pouring habits

Individual pouring habits can significantly influence the number of shots in one bottle. Some people may pour larger shots, resulting in fewer shots per bottle, while others prefer smaller, more frequent pours. Personal pouring habits can vary based on taste preferences, desired strength, or drinking rituals.

Variations based on personal preferences

Personal preferences significantly affect the number of shots consumed from a bottle. Some individuals savor their bourbon by sipping it neat, enjoying the complexities of the spirit, while others prefer to mix it in average cocktail recipes. These personal choices will influence the number of shots consumed and the lifespan of a bottle.

Social drinking and serving sizes

When enjoying bourbon in social settings, the serving sizes may vary. Some individuals may prefer larger shots, while others opt for smaller, more frequent pours or even tall drinks.

This variability can impact the number of shots consumed from a single bottle, typically ranging from two to three drinks per shot.

It is common for social drinking scenarios to have different serving sizes to accommodate personal preferences and social interactions.

A Guide to Pouring the Perfect Shot

Pouring the perfect bourbon shot is an art form, sprinkled with a dash of science and a pinch of humor. Now that we’ve helped you determine how many shots in a bottle of bourbon, next you need to choose your glass wisely; a Glencairn glass can elevate the experience. When pouring, imagine you’re filling the glass with liquid gold, ensuring not to spill a drop, as that’s considered a party foul in bourbon circles.

Aim for the sweet spot of 1.5 ounces, but if your hand wobbles, blame it on the bourbon’s anticipation. Remember, pouring too little might disappoint the spirits, while too much could startle them (and your wallet). For a twist, try the “bourbon waterfall” by tilting the glass and pouring down its side, reducing the chance of aerating the bourbon too much, unless you prefer your bourbon with a hint of oxygen. And if you’re sharing, make sure everyone gets an equal share; after all, bourbon is best enjoyed with friends and laughter.

Bourbon Pairings and Party Tips

When hosting a bourbon-themed party, consider pairing your drinks with hearty, flavorful foods like smoked meats or rich cheeses, which complement bourbon’s complexity. For a humorous party tip, set up a “Bourbon Buffet” with various labels and a cheeky warning sign: “Bourbon Tasting Ahead: Proceed with Amusement.” Encourage guests to share their funniest bourbon tales, turning the evening into a blend of laughter, good spirits, and delicious pairings. Remember, the goal is to create an enjoyable experience that’s as memorable as the bourbon itself.

Iconic Bourbon Cocktails

Exploring iconic bourbon cocktails offers a journey through classic mixology and innovative creations. From the smooth and sophisticated Old Fashioned, with its rich history and simple elegance, to the refreshing Mint Julep, a staple of Southern hospitality and the Kentucky Derby, each cocktail showcases bourbon’s versatility. The Manhattan, with its perfect balance of sweet and bitter, invites a deeper appreciation for the spirit. Crafting these cocktails allows enthusiasts to appreciate the nuances of bourbon and its ability to blend harmoniously with a variety of ingredients, making each sip a celebration of tradition and creativity.

  • Old Fashioned: Traditionally made with one shot (1.5 oz) of bourbon, a sugar cube, bitters, and a twist of citrus rind. From a 750ml bottle, you could make about 16 Old Fashioneds.
  • Mint Julep: Requires about two shots (3 oz) of bourbon, mixed with fresh mint, sugar, and crushed ice. You could get around 8 Mint Juleps from a 750ml bottle.
  • Manhattan: Made with two parts bourbon (typically 2 shots or 3 oz), one part sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters. This ratio yields approximately 8 Manhattans from a 750ml bourbon bottle.

The Bourbon Collector’s Humorous Guide

Embarking on bourbon collecting is akin to entering a world where each bottle tells a story, and every sip is a chapter. Start with a sense of humor, knowing that your collection might grow faster than your ability to sample. Label your bourbons with funny notes or imagined histories to entertain your guests. And remember, the value of a bottle may soar, but it’s the joy and the stories shared around each opened bottle that truly enrich the collector’s journey.


In conclusion, exploring the world of bourbon through the perfect pour, delightful pairings, and the joy of collecting can transform ordinary moments into memorable experiences. Now that we know how many shots are in a bottle of bourbon, just remember it’s not an exact science. Just enjoy your favorite bottle with your friends and family.

Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a curious newcomer, the journey through bourbon’s rich landscape is filled with laughter, camaraderie, and the discovery of new favorites. Cheers to your bourbon adventures, where every sip tells a story and every gathering is an opportunity to create new tales.


How many shots in a 750ml bottle of bourbon?

A 750ml bottle of bourbon typically contains around 17 to 25 standard shots. This estimate is based on the assumption that a standard shot size is 1.5 ounces (44 ml) or 2 ounces (59 ml).

How many shots are in a 1.75 bottle of bourbon?

A 1.75-liter bottle of bourbon, also known as a large format bottle of liquor, can yield approximately 39 to 58 standard shots.

This estimate is based on the same assumption of a standard shot size of 1.5 ounces (44 ml) or 2 ounces (59 ml).

How much is 2 shots of bourbon?

Two shots (double shot) of bourbon will typically amount to 3 ounces (88 ml) if each shot is measured as 1.5 ounces (44 ml).

However, if each shot is measured as 2 ounces (59 ml), then two shots of bourbon would amount to 4 ounces (118 ml).

The shot glass size can vary depending on personal preference and standard pouring practices.

How many shots in a half gallon of bourbon?

A half gallon of bourbon is equivalent to approximately 1.89 liters. We can estimate the number of shots in a half gallon of bourbon using the standard shot size of 1.5 ounces (44 ml) or 2 ounces (59 ml).

Considering a shot size of 1.5 ounces (44 ml), a half gallon of bourbon would yield around 40 shots. However, if the shot size is 2 ounces (59 ml), the number of shots would be approximately 30.


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