A handle of liquor contains 1.75 liters, which equals 59.1705 fluid ounces. This large bottle size is also sometimes referred to as a “half-gallon” since it contains roughly half the volume of a gallon. Handles are a common bottle size for liquors like whiskey, rum, vodka, tequila, and gin. They allow you to buy your favorite spirit in bulk for a lower per-ounce price. But exactly how much liquor do you get in a handle bottle? Let’s take a closer look at the handle size and how many ounces of booze it actually holds.
What is a Liquor Handle?
A liquor handle refers to a 1.75 liter bottle of distilled spirits. The term “handle” comes from the large handle that is attached to the neck of the bottle for easy carrying. Handles contain exactly 1.75 liters, which is equal to 59.1705 fluid ounces. This large format bottle has become a popular way to buy liquor for bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and even homes when you want to stock up on the basics. The handle size strikes a good balance between offering value in bulk along with portability. They are easy to store and pour from compared to even larger formats.
Other Names for a Liquor Handle
You may also hear a handle-sized 1.75 liter liquor bottle referred to by some other names, including:
- Half-gallon – It contains roughly half the volume of a full gallon.
- Handle bottle
- Texas bottle – Common term in the Southern United States.
- Seventy-fiver – Refers to the 1.75 liter volume.
- Alaskan bottle – Common term in Alaska.
- Multiple-serve bottle
But whether you call it a handle, half-gallon, Alaskan bottle, or a seventy-fiver, these all refer to the same 1.75 liter sized liquor bottle.
Handle Sizes for Different Liquor Types
The 1.75 liter handle bottle size is widely available across many types of distilled spirits. Here are some of the most common liquors you’ll find handles of:
Vodka is one of the most popular liquor types sold in handles. Brands like Tito’s, Smirnoff, Absolut, and Svedka all package their vodkas in handle sizes. The neutral spirit profile makes vodka a versatile base spirit for cocktails and mixed drinks. Handles offer a more affordable way for bars and mixologists to keep vodka stocked compared to buying by the liter or 750 ml bottle.
For whiskey drinkers, handles provide an economical way to buy premium bourbons, ryes, Scotches, and Irish whiskies to enjoy over time. You can find handles of top brands like Jack Daniel’s, Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Jim Beam, and many more. Handles allow you to save over buying multiple smaller bottles.
Spiced rums like Captain Morgan make great additions to handles for parties or stocking up your home bar. White rums like Bacardi are also widely available in the bigger handle sizes. Dark rums, like Kraken Black Spiced Rum, come in handles too. The tropical spirit’s versatility makes rum a popular liquor for handle sales.
Gin is the key liquor for martinis and gin and tonics. With its juniper and botanical flavors, gin handles offer an economic way for cocktail bars to meet demand. Brands like Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater, and Hendrick’s sell handles. With the recent resurgence of classic cocktails, gin handles make perfect additions to any home or professional bar.
You can also purchase tequila in the larger handle sizes. Reposado and silver/blanco tequilas, like Jose Cuervo Especial, offer affordable options in handles. More premium brands like Patron Silver tequila also come in handles for margarita lovers. It allows you to mix and sip this iconic Mexican spirit while saving money.
Common Handle Sizes
While 1.75 liters is by far the most common liquor handle size, you may occasionally see some slight variations:
This is the standard handle size found across liquor brands, types, and retailers. 1.75 liters equals exactly 59.1705 fluid ounces.
Some brands offer a slightly smaller 1.7 liter handle size. This container holds 57.48 ounces of liquor.
A slightly larger option is the 1.8 liter handle bottle. This extra large size contains 60.85 fluid ounces. But it is much less common than the standard 1.75 liter version.
So if you see a reference to a liquor handle, it is almost certainly referring to the 59.17 ounce 1.75 liter size. Only occasionally will you come across the slightly smaller 1.7 liter or larger 1.8 liter options. But when comparing prices and calculating per oz costs, be sure to note any deviation from the standard 1.75 liter volume.
How Many 750 ml Bottles in a Handle?
A common question people have is how many regular 750 ml liquor bottles fit into one handle?
A standard 750 ml liquor bottle contains 25.4 oz of alcohol. Since a 1.75 liter handle contains 59.17 oz, you can divide the total ounces by the size of one normal bottle:
59.17 oz divided by 25.4 oz per 750 ml bottle = 2.33
So there are approximately 2.33 regular 750 ml bottles in one 1.75 liter handle. Or another way to think of it is one handle equals almost two and a third 750 ml bottles of liquor.
This helps give perspective on how much booze you are actually getting when you buy a handle instead of smaller 750 ml sizes. It shows how handles can provide much more value per ounce compared to buying individual bottles.
How Many Shots in a Liquor Handle?
Another common question people have about handles is exactly how many shots they contain.
To determine this, you first need to define what size your “shot” is. A standard shot is generally considered 1.5 fluid ounces.
So if a handle contains 59.17 ounces of liquor, you can divide this by the 1.5 oz shot size to get your answer:
59.17 oz divided by 1.5 oz per shot = 39.4
With this math, we can conclude that a standard 1.75 liter liquor handle contains approximately 39 shots.
This can make handles the perfect solution for stocking up for parties or events where shots will be served. Instead of having to buy multiple smaller bottles, handles offer the convenience of nearly 40 pre-measured shots in one container for easy pouring and portability.
Shots in Other Handle Sizes
If you have a slightly smaller 1.7 liter or larger 1.8 liter handle, the number of shots will be slightly different:
– 1.7 liter handle = 38.3 shots
– 1.8 liter handle = 40.6 shots
But the standard 1.75 liter bottle equals about 39 shots in convenient round numbers.
Cost Savings of Buying Alcohol in Handles
One of the biggest reasons people buy liquor handles is to take advantage of the bulk pricing discounts compared to smaller bottles. Handles offer significant per-ounce savings over 750 ml and 1 liter bottles.
Let’s take a look at a real example to see the price differences.
Say you’re shopping for tequila. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver costs approximately:
– $17 for a 750ml bottle
– $27 for a 1 liter bottle
– $40 for a 1.75 liter handle
If we calculate the per ounce prices:
– 750ml bottle: $17 divided by 25.4 oz = $0.67 per oz
– 1 liter bottle: $27 divided by 33.8 oz = $0.80 per oz
– 1.75 liter handle: $40 divided by 59.17 oz = $0.68 per oz
As you can see, the handle offers the best per ounce value by a significant margin. This means with handles, you get more tequila for the money.
The same cost savings applies across nearly all liquor types and brands when comparing handles to smaller bottles. It demonstrates why handles appeal to both average consumers who like deals and liquor business owners trying to control beverage costs.
Estimated Savings on Liquor Handles
Exactly how much can you save by buying liquor in handles compared to standard bottles? Here are some estimates on potential savings:
– Compared to 375 ml – Saves around 30%
– Compared to 750 ml – Saves around 20%
– Compared to 1 liter – Saves around 10%
– Compared to 1.5 liter – Saves around 5%
These are general estimates since actual prices vary between specific liquor brands and retailers. But the upside shows why handles remain such a popular bulk booze option with consumers. The discount per ounce adds up, especially if you entertain often or own a bar/restaurant.
Downsides of Buying Liquor in Handles
While there are certainly financial incentives to buying liquor handles, there are some potential downsides to consider as well:
Even though they offer the best per-ounce price, the larger volume means handles have a bigger upfront cost. For some budgets, it may be harder to justify $30-60 at once rather than spacing out smaller bottle purchases.
The large glass handle bottles take up considerable storage space, especially if you buy multiples. You need adequate room in cabinets or on shelves to store them properly.
It may take longer to finish a whole handle before the liquor starts losing its peak freshness. With less air in the bottle and lower light exposure they’ll keep better after opening. But still not as ideal as smaller bottles for maintaining ultimate spirits quality.
Having access to larger volumes of liquor in one handle could promote irresponsible overconsumption. Caution should be exercised when available quantities increase.
Overall the upsides tend to outweigh the downsides for most liquor purchasers. But pros and cons should still be weighed based on your specific situation. Moderation and responsibility are key with any liquor bottle size.
FAQs About Liquor Handles
Why are some handles plastic instead of glass?
Polyethylene plastic provides an ultra-durable, lightweight alternative to traditional glass for handles. It’s easier to transport without breakage. Some higher-end spirits still use glass, but plastic handles are popular for value brands.
Where can you buy liquor handles?
Handles are commonly sold at liquor stores, warehouse clubs, grocery and convenience stores, and online spirits retailers. Availability for specific brands varies by state and locality based on distributor networks and liquor laws.
Are liquor handles good value?
Handles offer one of the most economical per-ounce prices compared to any liquor bottle size. The bulk volume results in significant savings over smaller bottles for both consumers and business owners.
Do handles expire sooner than regular bottles?
Properly stored and sealed, liquor handles retain quality just as well as smaller bottles. The booze itself does not expire or go bad. However, opened handles need to be used within a shorter window before oxidization impacts flavor.
Can you bring liquor handles on airplanes?
No, handles exceed the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for carry-on liquids. You cannot bring a handle through security. You may be able to check it with baggage depending on airline policies. Best to buy mini liquor bottles for air.
In summary, a liquor handle refers to a 1.75 liter distilled spirits bottle which contains exactly 59.1705 ounces. This popular bulk bottle size goes by various names like half-gallon, Texas bottle, or multiple-serve. It represents 2.33 standard 750 ml liquor bottles worth of alcohol. Handles provide nearly 40 shots at 1.5 ounces each. When compared to smaller bottles, handles offer excellent value per ounce across liquor types like whiskey, vodka, tequila, rum, and gin. They provide big savings for both average drinkers and bartending professionals. While the large glass bottles have some downsides like storage space and upfront cost, for most liquor buyers the convenience and bulk pricing of handles make them too good a deal to pass up. Just be sure to enjoy your booze responsibly. Excessive drinking poses health and safety risks regardless of bottle size. But when consumed in moderation by responsible adults, liquor handles can be a smart way to save money while keeping your bar or spirits cabinet amply stocked for any occasion.