You know the party is starting to warm up when the shot glasses get pulled out of the cupboard. Even the quietest wallflower can transfer into a raging bull after shooting back a few Cowboys!

A common question that gets asked is “how many ml in a shot?”. But why would anyone want to know this? There are several reasons but the most common is this: often a cocktail recipe will call for a shot of alcohol; if you don’t have a shot glass, it’s hard to know how much to use. If that’s your problem then don’t fear; we have all the answers for you on this page.

How many ml in one shot?

The quick answer: In the US, a common shot size is around 1.5 ounces or 44 milliliters. However, it turns out the answer isn’t as clear cut as that. The volume will vary depending on the country you live in. In fact, there is no official volume even within countries. So you will see some variation in shot sizes within countries. We’ve compiled the common measurements for a selection of countries below.

Single Shot

CountryMlFl OzU.S. Tbsp
Germany200.71 ½
Ireland35.51.22 ½
Italy401.42 ½
Russia501.73 ½
Sweden401.41 ½
South Africa250.81 ½
United Kingdom250.81 ½
United States441.53

Double Shot

CountryMlFl OzU.S. Tbsp
South Africa501.63
United Kingdom501.63
United States59-892-34-6


  • These volumes have been rounded for easier measuring.
  • Although shots can vary within a country, many will have a minimum volume that bars are required to serve by law. This is mostly to stop unscrupulous bars from short-selling their customers.

What Is A Shot Glass?

A shot glass is a small glass that is essential if you enjoy making cocktails. It is made to hold one shot which can then be consumed in one gulp or added to a larger glass to make a cocktail with.

How to measure a shot without a shot glass

1. The 4 count method

Learning to free pour isn’t hugely difficult. It is a good party trick to learn before the party starts (and while sober).

The idea is simple. In your head, count as you pour. Each count represents half a shot. To practice, slowly pour water into a glass counting to four. Then use a shot or measuring cup to determine whether you poured the right amount. Continue practice pouring using the four count until you are accurately pouring a half shot on each count.

With 10-30 minutes you should have some accurate pouring skills and no shot glass will be needed.

2. Measuring spoons

This is an easier option the free pouring, although you won’t look like a seasoned bartender. Simply refer to the shot measurement table above and measure a single or double shot using measuring spoons. For example, if you’re in the U.S. measure 3 Tablespoons for a single shot. Double that to increase the fun level.

3. Medicine cup

Most medicine cups are around 1-2oz and the fact they have measuring lines makes them an excellent choice for easy cocktail creation.

How many shots in a bottle?

While we’re on the topic of measuring spirits, it’s also worth looking at how many shots are in a bottle of alcohol. This will come in handy when you’re trying to work out how much alcohol you need for your next cocktail party.

Number of people at party x Average number of shots consumed = Total shots required.

Size of bottleMlFl ozNo. of shots
Half gallon175059.239

Popular shooter cocktails

Melon Ball


¼ part melon liqueur
¼ part pineapple juice
½ part vodka

Pour ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir well. Strain into a shot glass.

Black Russian

Black Russian

1 ½ part vodka
1 part coffee liqueur

Pour the ingredients into a shot glass filled with ice cubes. Stir gently.



2 parts vodka
½ part orange liqueur
Dash of lime

Combine ingredients in a shaker glass. Add ice, shake and strain into a shot glass.

Blue Kamikaze

Blue kamikaze

1 part vodka
1 part blue curacao liqueur
1 part lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass.

Alabama Slammer

Alabama slammer

1 part almond liqueur
1 part sloe gin
1 part whiskey liqueur
1 part lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker glass. Add ice, shake and strain into a shot glass.



1 part Irish cream liqueur
1 part almond liqueur
1 part coffee liqueur

Pour all ingredients over ice in a shot glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Getting measurements accurate when you’re cooking is important for a good tasting final dish. The same can be said for cocktail making. You need to get the ratios correct otherwise the cocktail won’t taste right. Understanding how many ml in a shot glass will make your mixology efforts a lot easier. A good start would be to check the tables above. If you really want to make life easy then you may consider investing in a Cocktail Mixer to make measuring precise and easy.

I also recommend learning to “free pour” shots if you enjoy the occasional big night or you’d like to pursue bartending. This skill is fairly simple but handy to have and will save you having to measure out the alcohol before pouring into a shaker. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Reference: Wikipedia