Here's How Many Shots Are In A 750 Ml Bottle Of Liquor

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Is that bottle of tequila enough for a few rounds of shots at tonight's party, or should you grab another? While it's always good to overstock slightly so that you don't have to rush out to the store mid-hosting, knowing how many drinks you can get out of a bottle can help make planning parties and making large-batch cocktails much easier.

A standard liquor bottle (aka a fifth) is 750 milliliters or 25.4 fluid ounces. There are also larger bottles available like a full liter or handle (1.75 liters),  common for vodkas, rum, and whiskey, but you'll nearly always encounter the fifth bottles. The volume of a shot is where things can get fuzzy since there is no standard shot size in the U.S. While most bartenders stick to a 44 ml (1.5 ounces) measure when making a drink, this can sometimes change if you consider the alcohol by volume (ABV) of various spirits. For example, shots of liqueurs or aperitifs with a lower ABV can be larger than the standard amount. 

If you stick to the 1.5-ounce measurement, a 750 ml bottle should give you 17 shots. However, some caveats — like the size of the shot glass you use and potential spillage while serving — could throw off the calculation. 

You'll get about 17 shots out of a 750 ml bottle (if you don't spill!)

For distilled spirits that are around 40% ABV like whiskey (or is it whisky?), vodka, rum, gin, and tequila, those behind the bar tend to stick to the 1.5-ounce shot. For drinks like Jägermeister (35% ABV) or Bailey's Irish Cream (17% ABV), expect to serve larger shots to compensate for the lower booze content, where, naturally, bottles will be gone through more quickly. 

Another important aspect is shot glass sizes, which can vary significantly. It's unlikely you'll measure out every shot, so figure out exactly how much liquid your shot glasses hold and try to get ones with a volume of 1.5 ounces — this will make it easier to keep track.

Another common issue when trying to track your pours is spillage. It all adds up, and since there is very little wiggle room if you're trying to pull 17 shots out of a 750 ml bottle, you need to keep a careful eye on pouring. It's a good idea to pick up a few metal pourers for accurate pouring if you're using a liquor bottle with an open mouth. You can pretty much bet on some amount of spillage or overpour, so to avoid shorting someone, just think you'll get just 16 shots out of a bottle and the rest is lost to the bartop. 

Here's how many bottles of liquor you'll need for a party

The calculations run slightly differently if you're hosting or preparing batch cocktails. As a first step, consider how many drinks you'll need in total. Of course, this depends on several factors, like the event's length and the guest's drinking habits. However, on average, consider about three drinks per person over a couple hours. Therefore, if you're hosting a party of 20, you'll need liquor (and other supplies like mixers) for 60 drinks. Irrespective of whether you account for spillage, you'll need a little less than four 750 ml bottles of liquor for the party. When stocking up on different spirits, keeping a little extra of popular ones like gin or vodka is also a good idea.

For batch cocktails, see how many liquor bottles the recipe calls for to calculate how many drinks you'll get from the mixture. Since you're pouring entire bottles, there's no need to worry about spillage. Quite the opposite — be careful not to pour in more alcohol than the recipe calls for. It may seem like guests will appreciate the extra boozy cocktail, but additional alcohol can throw off the flavor and make the beverage less enjoyable. It can also risk people getting more intoxicated than planned. Therefore, stick to the recipe and simply multiply the number of 750 ml bottles you've poured into your batch cocktail by 17 — you shouldn't be losing any to spillage in this case — to get an idea of how many drinks it contains.