What is a 1.75 liter of alcohol called?

A 1.75 liter bottle of alcohol is commonly referred to as a “handle” in the United States. This size contains approximately 59 shots of liquor and is equal to about 1/2 gallon or 70 fluid ounces. Handles come in a wide variety of spirits but are especially popular for purchases of vodka, rum, whiskey, and gin.

Why is it Called a Handle?

The 1.75 liter bottle gets the nickname “handle” because of the handle-shaped neck and pour spout that allows it to be easily grasped and poured. This differentiates it from the more standard 750 mL or 1 liter bottle shapes. The handle gives convenient portability for a large volume of liquor, hence the nickname.

Other Names for a 1.75 Liter Bottle

While “handle” is the most common slang term, there are some other names used to describe this large format bottle size:

  • Half-gallon – As mentioned above, 1.75 liters is approximately half a gallon.
  • Flask – Refers to the flat bottom and bulbous container shape.
  • House bottle – A large format bottle for keeping stocked at home.
  • Airplane bottle – Humorously referring to its large size similar to an airplane liquor bottle.

Standard Sizes

Here are some of the standard liquor bottle sizes:

Size Milliliters Ounces
Nip/Miniature 50 mL 1.7 oz
Airplane 100 mL 3.4 oz
Flask/Pint 375 mL 12.7 oz
Half-Liter 500 mL 16.9 oz
Liter 1000 mL 33.8 oz
1.75 L/Handle 1750 mL 59.2 oz

The 1.75 L or handle size provides a large volume for liquors frequently consumed at home. The handle allows easy pouring compared to the standard 750 mL “fifth” bottle shape.

Liquor Types Found in Handles

Here are some of the common types of liquor that come in 1.75 L handle bottles:


Vodka is one of the most popular liquors found in the 1.75 L format. Brands like Smirnoff, Absolut, Svedka, and Tito’s are readily available in handles.


Spiced and white rums like Captain Morgan, Bacardi, and Malibu frequently come in handle sizes. The value size is useful for rum cocktails and mixes.


Blended whiskies like Seagram’s 7 and Jim Beam can provide a more affordable way to buy this spirit in a larger quantity. It’s also common to find Canadian whiskies like Crown Royal in handles.


Gins like Beefeater, Seagram’s, and Tanqueray are widely available in the 1.75 liter bottle format, which is convenient for martini lovers and gin and tonic drinkers.


Reposado and silver/blanco tequilas like Jose Cuervo and Sauza provide value in the larger size. Great for margaritas and shots.

Flavored Vodkas

Handles allow you to stock up on flavored vodkas at a better price point. Brands like Pinnacle, Absolut, and Svedka offer variety flavors in 1.75L.

Cocktails to Make with a Handle

Here are some classic cocktails you can easily batch make in quantity using a liquor handle:

Moscow Mule

Mix vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and simple syrup in a pitcher and serve over ice in copper mugs.


Blend tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake with ice and serve in salt-rimmed glasses.

Whiskey Sours

Combine whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white. Shake vigorously and garnish with an orange slice.

Pina Coladas

Mix white rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice. Blend with ice and top with fresh pineapple.


Muddle mint leaves and lime wedges with white rum and simple syrup. Top with soda water and garnish with mint sprig.

Advantages of Buying Liquor in a 1.75 Liter Bottle

  • Value pricing – Cost per volume is significantly lower compared to 750ml sizes
  • Convenience – Less frequent shopping trips needed to replenish stock
  • Volume for cocktails – Makes a high quantity of drinks for parties and events
  • Variety – Find your everyday spirits as well as higher end liquors in handles
  • Speed pouring – Neck pour spout allows fast pouring compared to smaller bottles

Disadvantages of the 1.75 L Bottle

  • Large size – Bulkier and heavier than a standard bottle, may not fit in cabinets
  • Lower quality – Some premium liquors not available in handles, skews cheaper
  • Price commitment – Significant one-time cost, need to drink it all
  • Freshness – Contents may lose flavor before a handle is finished
  • Drinking caution – Large volume enables heavy consumption


The 1.75 liter “handle” provides a way to buy larger volumes of liquor at better value. It’s a convenient option for regularly consumed spirits or for stocking up for parties. While the bigger size has some disadvantages in terms of freshness, storage, and responsible drinking, handles remain a popular bottle format that allows generous pours at an economical price per ounce.

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