Measure a Shot Without a Shot Glass

How to Measure a Shot Without a Shot Glass? (6 Ways!)

Originally Posted On May 2, 2023 and Last Updated On

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6 Ingenious Ways to Measure a Shot Without a Shot Glass?

Okay, so maybe you’re creating that awesome drink recipe at home and you don’t have a shot glass to measure out the cocktail ingredients. So what now? Here are 6 ways to measure a shot without a shot glass

1. Jigger

bartender using a jigger to measure a shot

A jigger is just a metal measuring cup that normally has two sizes in one cup. The top and bottom are usually a 1.5 ounce shot measure and the other is a half shot measure.

Other than a shot glass this would be also perfect as it is made for the bar and meant to be used to measure out drink ingredients just like a shot glass.

2. Measuring Cup

bartender using a measuring cup to measure a shot

Another way to measure is to use an actual measuring cup. You’re looking to pour 1.5 ounces or 44 milliliters for a shot, so if your measuring cup has both measurements printed on it, you can get down to the nitty gritty as far as accuracy. Other than an actual shot glass, this is probably the most accurate way to measure other than maybe a Jigger.

3. Tablespoon

bartender using a table spoon to measure liquer

One of the easiest ways after counting would be to use a tablespoon to serve your shot. A tablespoon is about half and ounce of alcohol, so it would take three tablespoons to equal an American 1.5 ounce shot.

Just make sure you’re measuring using a Tablespoon, not a teaspoon. If you don’t have a tablespoon and have no choice, then you’ll need nine teaspoons which is also probably going to be less accurate way to measure. So try using a Tablespoon!

4. Bar Spoons

bartender using a bar spoon to measure a shot of alcohol

If you are working in a bar, there should be a bar spoon around. These little spoons normally equal about ⅙ oz or 2.5 ml. of liquid per spoonful. I actually wrote a detailed article on how much a bar spoon holds here.

Again, it is more accurate than counting, but another extra step which is why you should learn to count pour instead.

5. Count Free Pours

bartender free pouring alcohol into a shot glass

The easiest way I know to pour a shot is to count in my head as I’m pouring IF the bottle has a speed pourer. The pourer regulates the flow of the alcohol pour and makes each pour the same.

If I am pouring a drink that calls for a shot, I count to four depending on who the drink is for.

If you’re a bartender and someone asks for a whiskey neat, I’ll usually pour a five count to be a bit generous. It even looks better as far as presentation. This equals a bit more than a traditional shot. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re being short changed when buying a drink.

If you are contemplating becoming a bartender, I suggest you practice your pours. Just grab an empty bottle, fill it with water, add a speed pourer and start pouring and counting into a real shot glass.

After twenty pours or so, you should be able to count out your pours pretty accurately.

Now start pouring into a rocks glass or some sort of bar glass that you know the exact measurements of. After each pour, dump the liquid in the rocks glass into the shot glass to see how accurate your pour was. Then keep practicing until you get it right.

6. Eye-balling

bartender pouring alcohol into a rocks glass

Obviously this will be the least accurate way to measure your ingredients. But with practice you can get pretty good at guesstimating how much a shot looks like in a glass. Better than nothing at all, but also the least accurate and consistent way to measure.

Read Something Similar: Check out how to make Jello shots without cups!

Wrapping Up…

So I’ve listed six ways on How to Measure a Shot Without a Shot Glass? Some are more accurate and consistent, others will take some practice. But all will at least get you close to the correct drink equivalents.

Measure a Shot Without a Shot Glass Pinterest

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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