shot glasses one and a half ounces

How Many Ounces Is a Shot? What My Research Says!

Originally Posted On March 27, 2023 and Last Updated On

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How Many oz is a Shot?

In the USA a standard shot glass is equal to 1.5 ounces, or 44.3603 milliliters. But one ounce is also common. So anywhere between 1 ounce to 1.5 ounces is an acceptable shot. Or so they say! Here’s what my in-depth research actually found…

Confusing Times!

One of the problems with getting a clear answer to how many ounces are there in a shot glass is there is no federally mandated guideline when it comes to the exact volume of liquid should be in a shot glass.

And yes, you will see many websites stating that Utah has set a 1.5 ounce ‘rule’ but that is not correct! And what’s really strange is I couldn’t even get to the website or page, instead I had to use to see what had been referenced by Wikipedia. No state clearly states what the standard shot size is.

If someone took the time to actually read the Utah rule, it says that a dispensing unit used to dispense liquor can not dispense more than 1.5 ounces at a time. It does not state that 1.5 ounces is the required amount. So all the sites referencing this are incorrect.

Utah liquor dispensing law
Utah liquor dispensing law

I went ahead and looked at a few state laws and none of them state clearly what an accepted shot size is. In fact, my girlfriend was a bartender for years in North Carolina, and she told me according to the ABC board it was 1.5 ounces.

Again, that proved to be false. In fact, all the ABC board has to say about shot size is that if an establishment will make a drink with less than one ounce, they must inform the customer that it is less than one ounce. It doesn’t say one ounce must be used or any other measurement, just that.

So no wonder everyone keeps asking how much a shot should be! It really is confusing. Especially if you are a legal establishment as you wouldn’t want to get into trouble and you need to have a standardized way of accounting inventory and costs.


There is one place that is stating the size of an accepted shot containing alcohol with is 40% ABV. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism lists the shot size of 1.5 ounces under the heading ‘What Is A Standard Drink?‘.

This is the only federal government entity I can find that give an actual measurement for an acceptable shot size. And it is a federal entity. So that’s something I guess.

NIH shot glass volume
NIH shot glass volume

So after spending what seemed like days to actually answer this with some sort of authority? What ‘should‘ a standard shot be?

One and a half ounces, 1.5 ounces.

That is an educated guess weighted a bit by the NIH. Also, I found many Alcohol Impairment Charts usually referenced a 1.5 ounce shot as well. So although no one with authority has stood up and clearly stated that this is the required measurement, it seems safe that most Americans would expect their shots to be one and a half ounces.

The ‘norm‘ is between 1 to 2 ounces if you’re ordering a shot at a bar or buying a mixed drink.

Further Investigation

Okay, so maybe I’m a bit anal retentive. I really wanted to know! So I thought of one more thing that could possibly settle this. I went to Amazon to see if one shot glass size outsold all the other by a huge margin. I figured that would be what people thought of as far as size.

But no, shot glasses of all sizes sold equally well. So that wasn’t very helpful!

Then I thought jiggers. After all, that’s a super common bar tool. And that is what bars would be buying and they’re the ones that matter, right?

Of course I already knew a proper jigger is one and a half ounces. And the best selling band, according to feedback left, was indeed a 1.5 ounce jigger. In case you’re not familiar with a jigger, it’s a measuring tool that usually has two sides, one jigger (1.5 ounces) and a half jigger (.75 ounces).

So although not at all scientific or accurate, it does seem the jigger is pushes us towards the standard being 1.5 ounces as well. So I’m going with that.

World Sizes

Albania50 ml100 ml
Australia30 ml60 ml
Bulgaria50 ml100 ml200 ml
Canada30 ml (1 US fl oz) or 28 ml (1 imp fl oz)44 ml (1.5 US fl oz) or 43 ml (1.5 imp fl oz)71 ml (2.5 imp fl oz)
Channel Islands25 ml50 ml
Denmark20 ml40 ml50 ml
Estonia20 or 30 ml40 ml
Finland20 ml40 ml
France25 or 35 ml50 or 70 ml
Germany20 ml40 ml
Greece45 ml90 ml
Hungary20 or 30 ml40 or 50 ml80 or 100 ml
India30 ml30 ml60 ml
Ireland35.5 ml71 ml
Isle of Man28.4 ml56.8 ml
Israel30 ml50 or 60 ml
Italy30 ml40 or 60 ml
Japan30 ml60 ml
Korea50 ml
Netherlands35 ml
Norway20 ml40 ml
Poland20 ml50 ml100 ml
Romania50 ml100 ml
Russia50 ml100 ml
Serbia20 ml30–50 ml60–100 ml
Sweden20 ml40 ml60 ml
Slovakia20 or 25 ml40 or 50 ml80 or 100 ml
Slovenia30 ml50 ml100 ml
South Africa25 ml50 ml
United Kingdom25 or 35 ml50 or 70 ml
United States30 to 44 ml (1.0 to 1.5 US fl oz)59 to 89 ml (2 to 3 US fl oz)


Is a Shot Glass an Ounce?

Although one ounce shot glasses are common in the USA and Canada, the “standard” shot size is one and a half ounces. So no, a shot glass is not an an ounce.

But a “standard” shot glass in Australia, India and Japan are one ounce shot glasses. So it depends on where you are.

Standard Shot Size

A standard shot glass size is 1.5 ounces (oz) in the USA. Remember, this is not an official size, there is no government agency that has ever declared a standard size. I

Stand shot glass sizes are also different in other countries and each adapts it’s own size variations. You can check out my chart above to see what the standard shot size is in other countries.

About the Author

  • Bill Allen

    I'm Bill Allen, the guy behind this site. I've been a bartender, bar owner and sitting on both sides of a bar for almost 35 years, so I have some experience in the whole mixology scene. And now I'm just building out my site with as much helpful content as I can share with you. Allen Bill

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