How Much Is A Fifth Of Alcohol? (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

For a regular drinker, all it takes is a glass, and that’s it. However, you hear some terminologies that make you wonder what it is. Like, how much is a fifth of alcohol?

Along with the team, we simplified this term, so you will know how much a fifth of alcohol is. 

A Fifth Of Alcohol: How Much Is It?

Alcohol Bottles 

A fifth of a gallon is equal to a 750 ml bottle. This size is the most common in the US and most places worldwide. If you calculate it in ounces, it should measure 25.36 ounces, around 17 shots. 

There are various terminologies used for the fifth. Some call it metric fifth, while others call it 25, as that equals 1/5 of a liquid gallon. In fluid ounces, it equals 3/5, which is a percentage lower than a metric fifth. 

Read: Meaning of Two Fingers of Whiskey

Why is 750 ml Called A Fifth?

The standard metric measurement in the US and UK is gallons. One-fifth of the content of the gallon equals 750 ml, which is how it got its name. In the 19th century, the French supplied wines and liquors to their neighboring country, the UK. 

The French used “imperial gallons” [1] then, as they did not use the metric system. Also, anything they manufacture beyond a fifth of the gallon has to be sold wholesale.

It is because the fifth was the legal threshold for selling alcohol. So these manufacturers decided to fill boxes with 750 ml bottles. Find out who invented alcohol here

What Makes It The Most Popular Alcohol Size 

Baker's Bourbon

A 750 ml bottle size is not the smallest but certainly not the largest, making it a reasonable purchase. It is convenient to transport because of its size. However, what made it popular dates back to the 18th century. 

During that time, winemakers realized that spirits, wines, and other alcoholic beverages were best stored in glass containers.

They employed glass blowers whose capacity is to blow glass at a size between 650-750 ml. Liquor manufacturers then decided to use the 750 ml bottles.

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Do People Still Use The Term Fifth? 

The terminology is rarely used today, especially when they changed the standard measurements in the early 80s. It was permanently changed to 750 ml in the US, the same as the pint, which they changed to 375 ml. 

There is a slight difference in Europe as their standard measurements are 350 ml and 700 ml.

The reason for this is for manufacturers to avoid customs duties. Since everything is already standardized, the fifth terminology is no longer that common. We’ve got 5 mind-boggling facts about alcohol here


How much liquor is in a fifth?

There is 750 ml liquor in a fifth, equivalent to a fifth of a gallon. In metric ounces, a fifth equal to 25.36 and also three-quarters of a liter. But how much does the average American drink?

How many shots are in a fifth of alcohol?

There are 17 shots in a fifth of alcohol since one-shot converts to 1.5 ounces of liquor. If the bartender gives double shots, that will produce at least eight double shots in a fifth of alcohol

Is a fifth of alcohol a day too much?

Yes, consuming a fifth of alcohol a day is too much, considering that the body can only process a shot every hour. If you do the math, a fifth is equal to 17 shots, making it unhealthy and dangerous. But, how many shots will get you drunk?

How much is 1/5 of vodka?

1/5 of vodka is equal to 750 ml alcohol. It is equal to three-quarters of a liter. And it totals 25.36 ounces. It also equals 3/5 of the metric ounce. 

Final Thoughts

In the earlier years, to make measuring and importing alcoholic liquors, the fifth emerged. It appeared to be the best measurement, especially for mass production.

A gallon is too big a size for retail. Importing alcohol in gallons also costs manufacturers too much tax and fees for shipment. 

The fifth is the most convenient size. Importation became simple as the bottles have the right proportions inside boxes for shipment.

The glassblowers producing the containers can also make these acreages without strain. Up to these days, this is still the most utilized bottle in bars and liquor stores. 



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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