There are approximately 17 standard 1 ounce shots in a typical fifth (750 mL) bottle of distilled spirits such as vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, gin or bourbon.
What is a Fifth?
A fifth is a common size for bottles of distilled spirits like vodka, tequila, whiskey, rum, gin and bourbon. A fifth refers to 1/5 of a US gallon, which is approximately 750 mL or 25.4 oz. The term “fifth” originated in the 19th century when liquor bottles were designed to contain 1/5 of a gallon of alcohol.
In the US, a standard fifth bottle contains exactly 750 mL of liquid according to federal regulation. In Europe and other places, a fifth may instead refer to 700 mL. However in the US context, a fifth is always 750 mL.
Why is it Called a Fifth?
The term “fifth” arose in the 19th century due to the common bottle size for liquor being 1/5 of a US gallon. A US gallon contains 128 ounces. 1/5 of 128 ounces is approximately 25.6 ounces.
So a fifth of a gallon was about a 750 mL bottle size, which held around 25 ounces of liquid. The name “fifth” stuck even after metric bottle sizes in mL became standard.
How Many Shots are in a Fifth?
A standardfifth bottle contains 17 shots if each shot is 1 ounce (30 mL). Here is the math:
- A fifth bottle contains 750 mL of liquid.
- There are approximately 30 mL in 1 liquid ounce.
- So 750 mL is approximately equal to 25 ounces (750 / 30 = 25).
- If a shot is 1 ounce of liquor, then there are 25 shots in a fifth.
So in summary, a typical fifth of vodka, whiskey, rum, etc. contains about 17 one ounce shots.
Standard Shot Sizes
While a single or solo shot is usually around 1 ounce, shot sizes can vary by location.
|Solo or single shot||1 ounce|
|Double shot||2 ounces|
|Rocks pour||1.5 ounces|
In the United States, a standard single shot is generally considered 1.5 ounces. In Japan, the traditional shot size is around 2 ounces. Yet across many European countries, a single shot is often only 1 ounce or even 25-30 mL.
Fifth Bottle Sizes Around the World
While a fifth in the United States is always 750 mL, some other common fifth bottle sizes include:
- United States – 750 mL
- Europe – 700 mL
- Australia – 750 mL
- Japan – 720 mL or 750 mL
- Brazil – 950 mL
So in Australia or the US, a fifth is the typical 750 mL. But in Europe, a fifth may only be 700 mL. And in Brazil, a “fifth” can be as large as 950 mL.
How Many Shots in a Fifth Worldwide?
Here’s how many 1 ounce shot are in a fifth bottle based on the common sizes around the world:
|Country||Fifth Size||Number of 1 oz Shots|
|United States||750 mL||25|
So while a fifth is commonly 17 shots in the US, it may range from around 23 to 32 shots globally based on the exact bottle size.
Other Common Liquor Bottle Sizes
In addition to fifths, some other common liquor bottle sizes include:
- Pint – 375 mL
- Half Pint – 200 mL
- flask or hip flask – 200 mL
- Nip or miniature – 50 mL
- Magnum – 1.5 L
- Handle – 1.75 L
Here’s how many 1 ounce shots are in some other common bottle sizes:
|Bottle Size||Total Volume||Number of 1 oz Shots|
|Half Pint||200 mL||7|
|Nip or Miniature||50 mL||2|
Factors That Can Influence Number of Shots
While a fifth typically contains around 17 shots, there are some factors that can alter the exact number of shots in a given bottle of liquor:
- Actual bottle volume – Bottle sizes can vary slightly above or below the nominal size.
- Alcohol percentage – Higher alcohol spirits may contain slightly less total liquid.
- Mixers and ice – Shots are often served with mixers like juice or soda that increase the volume.
- Spills and waste – Real world pouring often results in some waste.
- Shot size – Bars may pour heavier or lighter than 1 ounce.
These factors mean the number of shots you get from a particular bottle in practice may be slightly more or less than the theoretical number based on strict volume calculations.
Fifth Sizes for Different Spirits
While fifths are commonly 750 mL, some popular spirits are also sold in slightly smaller or larger fifth size bottles including:
|Spirit||Common Fifth Size|
Vodka, gin, rum, tequila and other clear spirits are commonly sold in the standard 750 mL fifth. Popular whiskies like bourbon, rye, and scotch also come in 750 mL fifths. And while cognac and brandy may use slightly different bottle shapes, the standard fifth size is still 750 mL.
Miniature and Half-Size Fifths
In addition to the standard 750 mL fifth, some smaller fifth-sized bottles include:
- Miniature Fifth – 200 mL
- Half Fifth – 375 mL
These smaller fifth bottle sizes contain proportionally fewer shots. A 200 mL miniature fifth may have around 7 shots. And a 375 mL half-fifth would contain approximately 12 shots.
Cocktail and Mix Drink Recipes Using a Fifth
Some popular cocktail and mixed drink recipes that can be made using a standard fifth bottle include:
Vodka Fifth Cocktails
- Moscow Mule – 2 oz vodka, 4-6 oz ginger beer, 0.5 oz lime juice
- Bloody Mary – 1.5 oz vodka, 3 oz tomato juice, dashes of hot sauce and Worcestershire
- Screwdriver – 1.5 oz vodka, 3-4 oz orange juice
- Martini – 2.5 oz vodka, 0.5 oz dry vermouth
- Vodka Tonic – 1.5 oz vodka, 4-6 oz tonic water
Whiskey Fifth Cocktails
- Old Fashioned – 2 oz bourbon, dashes of bitters, 1 sugar cube
- Manhattan – 2 oz rye whiskey, 1 oz sweet vermouth, dashes of bitters
- Whiskey Sour – 2 oz bourbon, 1 oz lemon juice, 0.5 oz simple syrup
- Irish Coffee – 1.5 oz Irish whiskey, 3-4 oz hot coffee, 1 tsp brown sugar
- Mint Julep – 2 oz bourbon, 4-5 mint leaves, 1 tsp simple syrup
Rum Fifth Cocktails
- Daiquiri – 2 oz rum, 1 oz lime juice, 0.5 oz simple syrup
- Mojito – 1.5 oz rum, 1 oz lime juice, 6-8 mint leaves, 1.5 oz soda water
- Piña Colada – 1.5 oz rum, 2 oz coconut cream, 1.5 oz pineapple juice
- Hurricane – 1.5 oz rum, 2 oz passionfruit juice, 1 oz lime juice, 0.5 oz grenadine
- Mai Tai – 1 oz rum, 0.5 oz orange curaçao, 0.5 oz orgeat syrup, 0.5 oz lime juice
Gin Fifth Cocktails
- Gin and tonic – 1.5 oz gin, 4-6 oz tonic water
- Tom Collins – 1.5 oz gin, 1 oz lemon juice, 1 tsp superfine sugar, 3 oz club soda
- Negroni – 1 oz gin, 1 oz Campari, 1 oz sweet vermouth
- Gimlet – 2 oz gin, 0.75 oz lime juice
- French 75 – 1 oz gin, 0.5 oz lemon juice, 0.5 oz simple syrup, 2 oz champagne
Tequila Fifth Cocktails
- Margarita – 1.5 oz tequila, 1 oz orange liqueur, 1 oz lime juice
- Paloma – 1.5 oz tequila, 3-4 oz grapefruit soda, 0.5 oz lime juice
- Tequila Sunrise – 1.5 oz tequila, 4 oz orange juice, 0.5 oz grenadine
- Tequila Sour – 2 oz tequila, 1 oz lemon juice, 1 oz simple syrup
- Matador – 2 oz tequila, 1 oz pineapple juice, 0.5 oz lime juice
This covers some of the most common modern cocktails that can be made using a standard fifth bottle of clear or brown spirits.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many shots in a liter of alcohol?
There are approximately 33 standard 1 ounce shots in a liter of spirits like vodka, whiskey, gin or rum.
What is a regular sized bottle of liquor?
The most common liquor bottle size is a fifth, which is 750 mL or approximately 25.4 ounces. This size contains about 17 shots.
How much alcohol is in a fifth?
A 750 mL fifth of 40% alcohol spirit contains approximately 17.5 ounces of pure ethyl alcohol.
How many drinks in a fifth of liquor?
There are around 17 standard drinks in a fifth bottle. However, this can vary based on the actual pour size of each drink.
Can you bring a fifth of liquor on a plane?
Yes, you can generally bring up to 5 liters of alcohol when flying internationally. For domestic US flights, carry on rules vary by airline but you can usually carry up to 3.4 ounces.
A fifth bottle, containing 750 mL of liquor, generally provides around 17 shots if each shot is 1 fluid ounce. While the exact number of shots may vary slightly based on pour sizes and other factors, a fifth of vodka, whiskey, rum or other spirits will classically make between 15-20 standard mixed drinks or shots.
Understanding typical bottle sizes and number of servings helps when shopping for spirits and planning parties or cocktails. With a little math and some drink recipes, you can take full advantage of the approximately 25 ounces of alcohol in a fifth.