How many ounces in a shot - header image

How many ounces are in one shot

By Timo Torner / Last updated on October 31, 2022

First published on July 2, 2021 

When ordering a shooter at a bar in a foreign country, you probably don't give it a second thought. But do you know how many ounces are in this shot? Because, depending on where you go in the world, you'll get completely different amounts.

Do you know these nights out when you have had too many shots? And the morning after, you wake up and have no idea how to get up and get your coffee? 

It is already a challenge to remember how many shots you had. But it is sheer impossible to know how much alcohol it was. So, how many ounces are in a shot?

In the US, a standard shot contains 1.5oz of liquor. There's no law defining that size. Still, it's the regular amount. The typical range of shot sizes is between 1 oz to 2 oz.

Some countries regulate alcohol pour sizes; -The UK, for example. The US, like most other countries, does not. However, common pour sizes were established over time. Therefore, we can give you standard values of how many ounces actually are in a shot:

How many oz in a shot glass?

As a rule of thumb, most shot glasses will hold 1.5oz. So if you're looking at a shot glass that feels somewhat small, it's probably 1 oz.

CountryShot size in ozShot size in ml
Germany0.67 oz20 ml
Channel Islands, South Africa0.84 oz25 ml
France, UK0.84 or 1.18 oz25 or 35 ml
Isle of Man0.96 oz28.4 ml
Australia, India1.01 oz30 ml
Serbia1.01 - 1.69 oz30 - 50 ml
Netherlands1.18 oz35 ml
Ireland1.2 oz35.5 ml
Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Norway1.35 oz40 ml
Hungary, Slovakia1.35 or 1.69 oz40 or 50 ml
Italy 1.35 - 2.02 oz 40 or 60 ml
USA, Canada1.5 oz44 ml
Greece1.52 oz45 ml
Albania, Bulgaria, Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia1.69 oz50 ml
Israel1.69 or 2.02 oz50 ml or 60 ml
Japan2.02 oz60 ml

I've often seen people using shot glasses to measure pour sizes. It is a common misconception that they're standardized to hold 1 oz of liquid. But similar to a dash or a dram, they are not officially standardized. Shot glasses usually have a volume between 1 and 2 liquid ounces. 

Thus, there's a good chance your shot glass holds something around 2 oz, so double the amount you were perhaps expecting. That makes it clear: you shouldn't measure your intake in shot glasses.

Also note: If you're about to make a cocktail and your recipe asks for a shot, it usually refers to a jigger shot. A jigger shot means 1.5 oz of liquor. 

And by the way, if you don't have a jigger at home, I suggest getting one. It's an absolutely essential tool for your home bar.

How many ml are in a shot?

To answer this, you need to convert oz into ml. 1 oz is approximately 30ml. So 1.5 oz of liquor is about 45ml (to be precise, it's 44ml, but 45ml is easier to memorize), and 2 oz equals 60ml.

The same goes for cl: 1 cl is 10ml, so 1 oz equals 3 cl, 1.5 oz equals 4.5cl, and 2 oz equals 6cl. Once you know that, converting amounts from oz to ml or cl becomes pretty straightforward.

Size of a single shot by country [Infographic]

You don't have to travel far to notice that a shot isn't always what you expect it to be. As I mentioned earlier: even within the US, there are considerable differences.

But transnational, the differences are even more significant, which I find very interesting. -And sometimes telling 😉 So check out the graphic above, showing the various sizes of a shot in different countries.

Size of a Single Shot by country

On a final note

Before mixology became my passion, I assumed a shot would be a fixed international standard and didn't consider the possibility that it could be different in other places. Maybe you did, too?

So, the next time you have a shot at a new place, you know what you will get. -At least at the first one. After the fourth, things get blurry anyway.

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