Re: How much is in a shot?

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Posted by Mark (leave feedback to contact me) on February 16, 2006 at 21:45:02:

In Reply to: Re: How much is in a shot? posted by Paul on July 09, 2005 at 20:53:25:

While Paul gives the best "quick" answer, the right answer requires more detail.

While it is true that "it depends" applies to what you are served when you order a shot, this should not affect the definition of a shot. A poor analogy is that when someone goes to an optometrist, they usually leave with a product that does not contain any glass, but are commonly called glasses -- just because they are made of plastic does not change the definition of "a pair of glasses."

Although never defined formally by a standards body, a shot is one ounce. Actually, it has been legally defined: In 1947 the New York State Assembly had passed a bill requiring the ‘jiggers’ and ‘shot glasses’ used to measure alcohol in bars have a minimum capacity of one fluid ounce.

Shot glasses are made in a variety of sizes, and often have a measuring line. Filling the glass to the line gives one measurement, while filling to the rim will provide another measurement.

The idea behind the measuring line is to provide the bartender a visual clue to dispensing the right amount, without the need to fill to the rim, which leads to spilling and wasted alcohol. The most common glass size from Libbey is a one and one half (1 1/2) ounce glass -- room for one ounce of liquid, with room for a little motion without spilling.

While glasses that hold less than an ounce exist, many people consider these to be "cheaters."

When it comes to larger glasses, there is less variability, and this helps solidify the idea that a shot equals one ounce.

Most Double shots, regardless of where the line may be, hold two ounces. If a shot was defined to be one and one half ounces (like the most common glass from Libbey) then a double should hold three ounces. But a double only holds two ounces. (there are "double" sized glasses that only hold one ounce, but these are typically called cheaters, although I am not sure anyone would be fooled by them -- the glass at the base is so thick, it is hard to miss) More recently, "Doubles" that hold 1 1/2 ounces have appeared, which only confuses things more...


: :There is no correct answer. There is no official standard. Bartenders will say their bosses tell them to never put more than one oz of booze in a mixed drink so some say 1oz. Libbey glass company one of the worlds largest shot glass manufacturers makes shots any where from 1oz and up.Different bartending books will say 1.5 ozs or less. This question is one that comes up alot and causes quite a "stir"

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