How many grams is 1 shot?

A shot is a commonly used unit of measurement for alcoholic beverages. Specifically, one shot is generally defined as 1.5 fluid ounces or 44 milliliters. However, when looking at the mass or weight of a shot, the answer depends on the type of liquor as well as the proof of the alcohol.

What is Proof?

Proof refers to the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV) in a liquor. Specifically, proof is twice the ABV percentage. For example, an 80 proof liquor contains 40% alcohol by volume. Here’s a breakdown of common proof levels:

Proof ABV
80 proof 40%
90 proof 45%
100 proof 50%
110 proof 55%
120 proof 60%

As proof increases, there is a higher percentage of alcohol and less water in the liquor. This affects the density and weight per volume.

Weight of Different Types of Liquor

The weight of a shot depends on the density of the particular liquor. Here are some estimates for common liquors:

  • Vodka: Around 1.2 ounces or 34 grams per shot
  • Gin: Approximately 1.3 ounces or 37 grams per shot
  • Rum: Roughly 1.7 ounces or 48 grams per shot
  • Tequila: About 1.2 ounces or 34 grams per shot
  • Whiskey: Around 1.6 ounces or 45 grams per shot

As you can see, whiskeys and rums tend to weigh more than clear liquors like vodka and tequila. This is because higher proof dark liquors have a higher sugar content and density.

Account for Dilution

The above weights are based on densities of straight, undiluted liquors. However, liquors are often diluted with water, ice, or mixers when served as shots or cocktails. This decreases the density and therefore the weight per shot. For example:

  • An 80 proof whiskey diluted with water or on the rocks may weigh around 1.2 ounces or 34 grams per shot instead of the typical 1.6 ounces.
  • A 40% ABV vodka mixed into a fruit juice cocktail may weigh around 0.8 ounces or 23 grams per shot instead of 1.2 ounces straight.

The more diluted the liquor, the less it will weigh per fluid ounce or shot. Shake drinks with ice and citrus juices can weigh 20-30% less than neat pours.

Other Factors Affecting Weight

A few other considerations when looking at the weight of a shot:

  • Higher altitudes: Shots weigh slightly less at high altitudes due to lower air density.
  • Temperature: Shots weigh slightly less at higher temperatures as liquids expand when heated.
  • Glassware: The shape of a shot glass can slightly impact the actual volume and weight poured.
  • Pouring: A heavy-handed pour will have more liquid and weigh more than a standard shot.

However, these factors normally only change the weight by a few grams in either direction. The purity and dilution of the liquor itself has the greatest influence on weight.

Typical Shot Weights

As a general rule of thumb, here are typical shot weights for different liquor types:

Liquor Shot Weight
Vodka 34 grams / 1.2 oz
Gin 37 grams / 1.3 oz
Light Rum 37 grams / 1.3 oz
Dark Rum 48 grams / 1.7 oz
Tequila 34 grams / 1.2 oz
Bourbon 45 grams / 1.6 oz
Scotch 48 grams / 1.7 oz

These weights are based on typical proof levels and neat pours. Heavily diluted liquor or cocktail mixes will weigh substantially less.

Measuring Shots for Recipes

When it comes to precisely measuring out shots for cocktail recipes or volumetric measurement of alcohol intake, using weight with a kitchen scale is much more accurate than using shot glasses. Shot glasses can vary in actual volume, and the meniscus of the liquid makes judging a precise 1.5 oz fill tricky.

For example, if a recipe calls for “3 shots tequila”, you could precisely measure that as 3 x 34g = 102g of tequila using a digital kitchen scale. This removes the variation you can get across different shot glasses and pouring technique.

Tips for Measuring Shots by Weight

  • Use a digital kitchen scale that measures in grams.
  • Measure shot quantities by weight, not by fluid ounces or using shot glasses.
  • Refer to the shot weight guide above for common liquors.
  • Adjust for dilution – diluted shots may weigh 20-30% less.
  • Chill liquor first – liquids weigh slightly less when cold.

Using weight to measure shots takes the guesswork out and improves consistency versus trying to eyeball fluid ounce amounts in shot glasses.

Estimating Calories and ABV

Knowing the weight of shots is also useful for estimating the calorie and alcohol content when tracking nutrition and alcohol intake:

  • Calories: Multiply the weight in grams by the kcal/gram for the liquor (~7 kcal/g for 80 proof). For a 45g shot of whiskey, 45 * 7 = 315 calories.
  • Alcohol content: Multiply the weight in grams by the ABV% as a decimal. For a 45g shot of 40% whiskey, 45 * 0.4 = 18g of pure alcohol.

This allows you to accurately calculate the totals even when free-pouring mixed drinks instead of precisely measuring ounces or fluid volume.

Common Shot Glass Sizes

While weighing shots removes the guesswork, it’s still helpful to know the various common shot glass sizes and their approximate volumes:

Shot Glass Size Fluid Ounces Milliliters
Mini 1 oz 30 mL
Standard 1.5 oz 44 mL
Double 2 oz 59 mL
Jumbo 3 oz 89 mL

So if you want to roughly estimate weight from shot glass volume, use around 30g for a 1 oz mini, 44g for a 1.5 oz standard shot, and so on. But for truly consistent results, nothing beats actually weighing out your shots or cocktail ingredients directly.

Shot Weights of Popular Cocktails

Here are the approximate shot weights for some classic cocktails, assuming a standard 1.5oz pour per shot. Keep in mind, these will vary based on specific recipes, proof of liquors used, and dilution.

Cocktail Total Weight
Vodka Martini 100g
Whiskey Sour 130g
Margarita 170g
Piña Colada 240g
Mai Tai 210g
Long Island Iced Tea 260g

Again, the actual weight can vary quite a bit depending on the recipe, glassware, and precise pouring technique. But this table gives you a ballpark figure for conceptualizing these classic cocktails by weight instead of fluid volume.

Measuring Liquor Pours Without Scales

While measuring shots by weight is ideal, it’s not always practical to use a kitchen scale when pouring drinks. In cases when you don’t have a scale handy, here are some tips:

  • Use a measuring shot glass or jigger for consistent 1.5oz pours.
  • Fill the shot glass to the very top of the meniscus for an accurate fluid ounce.
  • Standardize on a single type of shot glass – volumes can vary across brands.
  • Count “shots” by number of times filled rather than estimating fluid ounces.
  • Aim for a smooth, fast pour right up to the rim rather than eyeballing the fluid level.

With practice and consistency, you can nail the standard 1.5oz shot volume by sight fairly accurately. But for perfection and removing all guesswork, nothing beats weighing out cocktails directly on a digital kitchen scale.

Alternative Units of Weight

While grams are the typical unit used for food and cocktail measurements, other units of weight can also be handy references for shot amounts:

  • 1 standard shot = approx 0.04 pounds
  • 1 shot = around 7.5 teaspoons
  • A jumbo 3oz shot is roughly 1/5 pound or 3 teaspoons

So if you only have measuring spoons and not a gram scale, 3 teaspoons is a decent approximation for a single shot pour. Note liquid teaspoons are equivalent to dry teaspoons by weight of water only.

Should You Switch to Weighing Shots?

While fluid ounces and shot glasses are traditional tools for measuring liquor pours, using weight and a digital kitchen scale has some significant advantages:

  • More accurate and removes guesswork around fluid volume measures.
  • Consistent results across different bartenders, recipes, and bars.
  • Easier to precisely track calories, nutrition, and alcohol consumption.
  • Faster to mass out multiple ingredients vs. measuring individually.
  • Scales are cheap and widely available as kitchen tools.

The main downside is that weighing shots takes a bit more active effort than just free pouring into a shot glass. However, the benefits often outweigh the small added inconvenience.

For casual free pouring or shots, fluid volume is fine. But for consistent results and tracking intake, weight is a superior approach. The days of eyeballing a shot volume are nearing an end as scales become more ubiquitous.


While defining a shot as 1.5oz or 44mL is common, the actual weight in grams can vary significantly based on the liquor and dilution. For the most accuracy in recipes and tracking intake, weighing shots removes the guesswork inherent in using fluid volumes or eyeballing glassware fills. With the right techniques and standards, shots can be precisely measured by weight just as well or better than fluid volume.

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