Is 50ml one or two shots?

When looking at alcohol serving sizes, one of the common measurements used is milliliters (ml). A standard alcoholic drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. But when it comes to shots, what is considered one shot in terms of ml? Is 50ml one or two shots?

Quick Answer

50ml is generally considered one standard shot of liquor. Most shot glasses are designed to hold 1.5 ounces, which is approximately 44ml. So 50ml falls within the typical range for a single shot.

How Many ml is a Shot?

There is no universal standard for exactly how many ml are in a shot. However, most common guidelines reference the following:

  • A single shot is typically 44-50ml
  • A double shot is typically 90ml

This means most standard 1.5oz shot glasses are intended to hold a single shot of 44-50ml. While there is some variation in exact ml, 50ml falls within the typical range.

Standard Shot Sizes

Here are some standard shot sizes:

Shot Type ml oz
Single shot 44-50ml 1.5oz
Double shot 90ml 3oz

As you can see, a single shot is considered 44-50ml, while a double shot is 90ml. So 50ml falls within the typical range for a single alcoholic shot.

How Many Shots are in 50ml?

Given that a single shot is considered 44-50ml, 50ml equates right to one standard shot. While ml amounts may vary slightly by country or region, most places treat 50ml as a single alcoholic shot.

Calculating Shots from ml

To calculate the number of shots from a ml amount, you can use the following general guidelines:

  • Divide the total ml by 44-50ml to get the shot amount
  • 50ml would equate to 50 / 44 = 1.13 shots rounded to 1 shot
  • 100ml would equate to 100 / 44 = 2.27 shots rounded to 2 shots

Using this math, you can see that 50ml equates to a single standard shot, while 100ml equates to two shots. So the number of shots can be determined by dividing the total ml by 44-50ml.

Alcohol Concentrations

It’s important to note that different types of liquor have different alcohol concentrations. This means the amount of pure alcohol in a 50ml shot depends on the proof of the spirit:

Spirit (40% ABV) Alcohol Content
Vodka 20ml pure alcohol
Rum 20ml pure alcohol
Gin 20ml pure alcohol
Whiskey (40% ABV) 20ml pure alcohol
Whiskey (50% ABV) 25ml pure alcohol

Spirits like vodka, rum, and gin are normally 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). This means in a 50ml shot, there is approximately 20ml of pure alcohol.

Whiskey, on the other hand, can range from 40-50% ABV or higher. So a 50ml shot of 40% whiskey would have 20ml alcohol, while 50% whiskey would have 25ml alcohol.

Size of Different Shot Glasses

Shot glasses come in a few different standard sizes worldwide:

  • 1 oz = 30ml
  • 1.5 oz = 45ml
  • 2 oz = 60ml

The most common size is the 1.5oz (45ml) shot glass. This holds between 44-50ml, fitting right within the standard single shot range. The 2oz (60ml) glass can hold a more generous pour, but is still intended for a single shot.

Smaller 1oz (30ml) glasses are sometimes used for concentrated spirits like absinthe or liqueurs. Larger glasses may be used in some places, but 44-50ml is considered standard.

Shot Glass Sizes

Shot Glass Size ml oz
Small 30ml 1oz
Standard 44-50ml 1.5oz
Large 60ml 2oz

This shows the variety of shot glass sizes, with the 1.5oz (44-50ml) being the most common standard size.

Number of Shots in Common Drink Sizes

Using the knowledge that a single shot is 44-50ml, you can figure out the number of shots in different common drink sizes:

Drink Size Total ml Number of Shots
Single 44-50ml 1 shot
Double 90ml 2 shots
Pint glass 473ml 9-10 shots
Wine bottle (750ml) 750ml 15-17 shots

This gives you a sense of how many standard shots are in different common drink servings. So a pint of beer would contain 9-10 shots worth of alcohol if it was a spirit.

What About Different Drink Types?

It’s important to note that these standard serving sizes are based on distilled spirits that are pure alcohol mixed with water, like vodka, rum, whiskey, etc. Other drinks like wine, beer, and liqueurs have lower alcohol concentrations, so the number of “shots” is just a rough estimate.

For example, most wines are 11-15% alcohol, so a 750ml bottle would have closer to 5 actual shots worth of pure alcohol, not the 15-17 standard shots. Similarly for beer, the alcohol content is 3-6%, so a pint may only have 1-2 shots of pure alcohol rather than the 9-10 standard shots.

This demonstrates that the number of shots is just a rough guideline when comparing to drinks with lower alcohol percentages. The concentration must be considered when determining actual alcohol content.

Other Factors To Consider

There are a few other factors to keep in mind when looking at shots and alcohol content:

  • Proof: Higher proof liquors will have more alcohol concentration and therefore more pure alcohol content.
  • Drink size: Bars may use different size shot glasses ranging from 1-2oz rather than the common 1.5oz.
  • Pour size: Bartender pours often don’t fill up the glass completely and may be less than the stated amount.

Accounting for these factors, the amount of alcohol in a shot may vary slightly. But the 44-50ml (1.5oz) range serves as a good standard baseline for a single shot.

Should Shots be 50ml or 45ml?

Since shots generally fall within the 44-50ml range, should the standard be 50ml or 45ml? Here are some pros and cons:

Pros of 50ml:

  • 50ml lines up with 1.5oz exactly
  • Easy to remember one standard size
  • Allows for fuller pours in 45ml glass

Pros of 45ml:

  • 45ml is the exact size of a typical 1.5oz glass
  • Less alcohol per serving
  • Standard in many countries already

Given these considerations, both 50ml and 45ml work as reasonable standard single shot sizes. Bar owners can choose either based on their preferences. But for customers trying to estimate, it’s safe to assume 44-50ml is a single shot.

Drink Responsibly

While discussing alcohol serving sizes, it’s important to drink responsibly. Moderation is key, and factors like food intake and hydration also impact alcohol absorption. Consider your own tolerance and never drink excessively or when prohibited based on age or other regulations.


In summary:

  • A single shot is typically 44-50ml
  • 50ml equates to one standard shot for most liquors
  • Shot sizes can range from 30ml to 60ml depending on glass size
  • Higher proof liquors contain more alcohol in the same 50ml volume
  • The number of “shots” is a rough estimate when comparing to wine or beer
  • For responsible consumers, 50ml or 1.5oz can be considered a single serving

So while the exact ml may vary between regions, 50ml falls squarely within the standard for a single shot. Understanding serving sizes and alcohol content helps ensure awareness of intake.

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