How Many Shots In a Fifth?

Are you planning a party or a night out with friends and wondering how many shots in a fifth?

The question has crossed the minds of many drinkers and party-goers.

But fear not, because, in this blog post, we will dive deep into the world of fifths and answer all your questions about their shot capacity.

If you’ve ever been curious about the true meaning behind this seemingly perplexing term, get ready to have all your questions answered.

So grab your drink of choice and let’s explore the mystery behind those fifth bottles.

What Is a Fifth?

Before we get into the number of shots in a fifth, let’s first understand what exactly a fifth is. 

The term “fifth” refers to a standard bottle size for liquor, which is equivalent to 750 milliliters (ml) or about 25.4 fluid ounces.

A fifth originally referred to a fifth of a gallon, which converts to 25.6 ounces or approximately 757 milliliters.

In the world of liquor and spirits, a fifth became the standard bottle size for many years. 

Although in recent times the bottle volume has been metriced to 750 milliliters, popularly known as a 750 or a “standard bottle,” the name ‘fifth’ has endured in everyday language.

This measurement dates back to the early 1800s when glass bottles were hand-blown, and the fifth bottle size became a standard in the liquor industry.

Today, it remains a popular size for various types of liquors like whiskey, vodka, rum, and tequila.

Shot Measurements

Now that we know what a fifth is, let’s talk about shot measurements. 

A standard shot is generally considered to be 1.5 fluid ounces or 44 ml.

However, this can vary depending on the type of liquor and the country you are in. 

– In the United Kingdom, for example, a standard shot is usually 25 ml, while in Japan it can be as small as 20 ml.

– In the United States, shots are usually measured in fluid ounces, with 1.5 fluid ounces being the most common size. 

However, this is just an estimate and can vary based on individual pouring habits and glass sizes.

It’s essential to know the standard shot measurement in your area, especially if you’re planning on serving drinks or participating in drinking games with friends.

Next, let’s learn about the different types of shots that are popular today.

There are various types of shots, each with its unique size and measurement.

Here are a few common types of shots you may come across:

1. Standard Shot – As mentioned before, this is the most common type of shot measuring 1.5 fluid ounces or 44 ml.

2. Pony Shot – This is a smaller version of a standard shot, measuring only  1 fluid ounce or 30 ml.

3. Tall Shot – This shot is taller and thinner than a standard shot, with a measurement of 2.5 fluid ounces or 74 ml.

4. Double Shot – As the name suggests, this shot contains double the amount of a standard shot, measuring 3 fluid ounces or 88 ml.

Understanding these varying types of shots is crucial when it comes to accurately measuring and serving alcoholic beverages.

The choice between a pony shot or a double can significantly impact the strength and taste of your drink – and, of course, how many shots in a fifth will last.

How Many Shots In a Fifth?

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – how many shots can you get out of a fifth bottle?

If you do some simple math and divide 750 milliliters (the standard size of a fifth) by the standard shot measurement of 44 ml, you’ll get approximately 16 shots.

However, keep in mind that this is just an estimate and can vary depending on the type of shots you pour.

For example, if you’re using a double shot measurement, you’ll only get about 12 shots out of a fifth bottle.

It’s also essential to note that these measurements are based on standard shot glasses, which often hold just under one ounce (29 ml) of liquid.

If using larger or smaller shot glasses, the number of shots in a fifth may vary.

The Importance Of Knowing How Many Shots In Fifth

We’ve explored the number of shots in a fifth, so why should we need to know clearly about that?

Knowing how many shots in a fifth is essential for various reasons. 

Some of these include:

1. Budgeting – If you’re hosting a party or planning on buying liquor for an event, knowing the number of shots in a fifth can help you estimate how much you’ll need to purchase.

2. Responsible Serving – As mentioned before, accurate shot measurements are crucial for responsibly serving and consuming alcohol. Knowing how many shots are in a fifth can help you keep track of your intake and avoid overdrinking.

3. Cocktail Creation – If you’re planning on creating cocktails or mixed drinks, knowing the number of shots in a fifth can help you accurately measure and combine different types of liquor to create the perfect blend.

In short, understanding how many shots in a fifth is important because it helps you make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing, serving, and consuming alcohol.

It also allows you to accurately measure and create delicious cocktails for yourself and your friends.

Some Factors That Affect The Number Of Shots In A Fifth

As mentioned above, in a fifth we have about 16 shots.

However, there are a few factors that can affect the number of shots in a fifth. 

These factors include:

1. Size Of Shots – As mentioned before, using different types of shots will result in varying numbers.

2. Type Of Liquor – Different types of liquor may have varying densities, which can impact how much liquid fits into a shot. For example, whiskey is denser than vodka, so you may get fewer shots out of a fifth bottle of whiskey compared to vodka.

3. Serving Style – Some cocktails or mixed drinks require different amounts of the base spirit, which can change the number of servings one can get out of a fifth.

4. Cultural Norms – In some cultures or drinking settings, a “shot” may be larger or smaller than the standard size, which would change how many shots a fifth can pour.

Factors like these can impact the number of shots you get out of a fifth bottle, but overall, the standard measurement of 1.5 fluid ounces per shot remains the same.

Do Different Types Of Spirits Have Different Numbers Of Shots In a Fifth?

While the standard shot measurement remains the same, each type of liquor may have a different number of shots in a fifth bottle due to varying densities and proof.

Therefore the answer is yes! Here are some general estimates for common spirits:

1. Whiskey – 16 to 17 shots per fifth

2. Vodka – 17 to 18 shots per fifth

3. Rum – 17 to 18 shots per fifth

4. Tequila – 16 to 17 shots per fifth

However, keep in mind that these are just estimates and may vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

It’s always best to measure each drink individually to ensure accurate serving sizes.


In conclusion, understanding how many shots are in a fifth bottle of liquor is more complex than it might appear at first glance.

While standard calculations might suggest approximately 16 shots per fifth, real-life factors such as liquor type and serving style all influence the actual count.

Whether you’re a bartender aiming for precision or a host ensuring a pleasant experience for guests, keeping these factors in mind will assist in achieving a balanced and satisfying pour. 

Besides, always remember to drink responsibly, prioritize safety, and enjoy the richness of each spirit in moderation.

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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