How many Oz are in a fifth?

A fifth is a standard bottle size used for liquor and spirits. The term refers to 1/5 of a US gallon, which is equal to 25.6 fluid ounces. Therefore, the quick answer is that there are 25.6 oz in a fifth.

What is a Fifth?

A fifth is a common bottle size for distilled spirits like vodka, whiskey, rum, gin, and tequila. It contains exactly 1/5 of a US gallon, which is equal to 25.6 US fluid ounces. The term “fifth” refers to the fact that it takes five of these bottles to make up one gallon.

• A fifth contains 25.6 oz of liquor
• 5 fifths make up 1 gallon (128 oz)
• A fifth is also known as a “750 mL bottle” in the metric system
• The fifth is the standard size for liquor bottles in the US

So when you pick up a normal-sized bottle of spirits at the liquor store, it’s almost always a fifth. The glass or plastic bottle will typically contain 25.6 oz of liquid. That’s why a fifth is used as a unit of measurement for liquor just like a gallon or pint.

Fifth Sizes Around the World

While a fifth equals 25.6 oz in the US, other countries may have slightly different sizes for their standard liquor bottles:

• UK: 70cl bottle (700mL = 23.67 oz)
• Australia: 700mL bottle (23.67 oz)
• Japan: 720mL or 750mL (24.41 oz or 25.36 oz)
• Russia: 500mL (16.91 oz)

The closest equivalent to the US fifth worldwide is the 750mL bottle used in most of Europe, Canada, and other regions. 750mL equals 25.36 oz, which is just slightly smaller than the 25.6 oz US fifth.

Fifth vs 750mL Bottle

As mentioned above, a fifth bottle is almost identical to a 750mL liquor bottle used in the metric system. Let’s compare the two units:

• 1 fifth = 25.6 US fluid ounces
• 1 750mL bottle = 25.36 US fluid ounces

So they are very close in size, with a fifth being just 0.24 oz larger. The 750mL bottle contains 3% less liquor than a fifth. But most people consider them equivalent for all practical purposes.

Both bottles are the globally recognized standard size for a spirit like whiskey or vodka. If you picked up a 750mL Jack Daniels in Europe and compared it to a US fifth of Jack Daniels, you’d be hard pressed to notice the 0.24 oz difference in volume. So fifth and 750mL bottle are interchangeable terms.

Common Fifth Bottle Sizes

While a standard fifth contains 25.6 oz, you may also see larger and smaller fifth-sized bottles including:

• Half-fifth – 12.8 oz
• Pint – 16 oz
• Quart – 32 oz
• Half-gallon – 64 oz

Liquor brands produce these sizes to offer consumers more options. The pint and quart are popular sizes a bit larger than a fifth. The half-fifth and half-gallon are options for smaller and larger quantities.

But the traditional 1/5 US gallon fifth remains the standard. When someone refers to a “fifth of vodka”, they are talking about a 25.6 oz bottle.

How Many Standard Drinks in a Fifth?

Looking at the total liquid volume doesn’t tell us too much. More important is how many standard drinks you can pour from a fifth bottle. This depends on the type of spirit:

Spirit Standard Drink Size Drinks per Fifth
Vodka 1.5 oz 17
Whiskey 1.5 oz 17
Gin 1.5 oz 17
Rum 1.5 oz 17
Tequila 1.5 oz 17

In the US, a standard drink is defined as 1.5 oz of 80-proof liquor. Since a fifth contains 25.6 oz total, you can pour about 17 standard drinks from a fifth bottle before running out.

This means a fifth of vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, or tequila will all contain roughly 17 servings.

Cost Per Ounce of a Fifth

To calculate the cost per ounce of liquor from a fifth bottle, take the retail price and divide it by 25.6 oz. For example:

• Grey Goose Vodka fifth – \$27.99
• \$27.99 / 25.6 oz = \$1.09 per oz

As an example, let’s look at some popular liquor brands and the per ounce price based on typical retail costs for a fifth:

Brand Fifth Price Cost per Ounce
Smirnoff Vodka \$11.99 \$0.47
Absolut Vodka \$17.49 \$0.68
Grey Goose Vodka \$27.99 \$1.09
Jack Daniel’s Whiskey \$21.99 \$0.86
Johnnie Walker Black \$32.99 \$1.29
Captain Morgan Spiced Rum \$17.99 \$0.70

Dividing the retail price by 25.6 oz gives you an accurate per ounce cost. This allows you to easily compare the price efficiency of different brands and bottle sizes.

Fifth Prices at Bars & Restaurants

At a bar or restaurant, you’ll usually pay much more per ounce for liquor drinks made with a fifth alcohol. Examples:

• Vodka Cranberry (made with 1.5 oz vodka) – \$7
• Whiskey Coke (made with 1.5 oz whiskey) – \$8
• Gin & Tonic (made with 1.5 oz gin) – \$9

If these cocktails contain a standard 1.5 oz pour, you’re essentially paying \$4.67 – \$6 per ounce of liquor. Compare that to the retail cost per ounce of around \$0.70 – \$1.29.

You’re paying a massive markup on fifth alcohol servings at bars and restaurants due to labor, hospitality costs, tips, and profit margins. Places need to charge considerably more than retail prices to make money selling liquor by the glass or in cocktails.

Should You Buy Liquor by the Fifth or Larger Bottles?

Fifths are convenient and affordable, but sometimes it pays to buy larger liquor bottles:

• Half-gallon – Saves ~15% vs. buying five fifths
• Liter – Saves ~5% vs. buying two fifths
• 1.75 L “handle” – Saves ~10% vs. three fifths

As you can see from the savings, larger bottles provide slightly better value per ounce compared to fifths. But you need to balance this against only needing 25.6 oz at a time before the liquor expires or loses flavor quality.

For most people, buying fifths is the best value. Only select larger bottles if you frequently host parties or have very steady liquor consumption.

Do Liquor Bottles Contain Exactly 25.6 oz?

In theory, a fifth liquor bottle is supposed to hold precisely 25.6 US fluid ounces of spirit. But in reality, minor variations in filling volumes exist:

• Bottling errors may cause 0.1-0.3 oz variance
• Evaporation can lower volume over time
• Some filling machines intentionally short-fill

So you may pour a newly opened fifth and find it contains 25.4 oz or 25.8 oz instead of an exact 25.6 oz. This is legal as long as the variance is within an acceptable range designated by state liquor control boards.

But the differences are small enough not to be noticeable. You can safely rely on every fifth containing about 25.6 oz for cocktail recipes, cost analysis, etc.

Common Questions

Why is it called a fifth?

A fifth is called that because it equals one-fifth of a gallon. Since a US gallon contains 128 oz, one-fifth of that is 25.6 oz.

Do all liquors come in fifths?

Almost all types of liquors like vodka, whiskey, rum, gin, and tequila are bottled and sold in the standard fifth size. It’s the universally expected package for spirits.

Is a fifth bigger or smaller than a liter?

A fifth is smaller than a liter. A fifth contains 25.6 oz while a liter contains 33.81 oz. A liter is equal to about 1.3 fifths.

How many shots in a fifth?

There are approximately 17 standard shots in a fifth bottle at 1.5 oz per shot. So you could make 17 mixed drinks with 1.5 oz of liquor using a new fifth.

How long does an opened fifth last?

An opened bottle will stay fresh for 1-2 years when stored properly. Liquor does not expire in a sealed fifth, but may degrade in flavor over time from oxidation.

Conclusion

A fifth is the standard 25.6 oz bottle size for liquors like vodka, rum, whiskey, and gin. It contains about 17 servings of liquor and makes up 1/5 of a gallon. Fifths offer the perfect amount of spirits for individuals and couples without tying up excess money. Their convenience and versatility help explain why the fifth has dominated as the preferred liquor format for decades. While large bottles provide some cost efficiency, most people will stick with fifths as the ideal package for spirits.