Bar Basics: How Many Shots Are in a Bottle?

Learn how to estimate how much liquor you need to stock

Illustration depicting number of shots per bottle
Illustration: Katie Kerpel. © The Spruce, 2018 

There are many times when you need to use math in the bar. One of the most important times is when we need to know how much liquor to stock and that requires knowing how many shots you can pour from the standard bottle.

Whether you are stocking a bar or planning a party, the information in the following charts should be helpful.

Liquor Shots per Bottle

The most important question is: How many cocktails can I make with one bottle of liquor?

The answer to this is, of course, going to vary from drink to drink and there are a few things to consider.

The average cocktail uses:

With this information and the recipes you intend to serve, you can estimate how many bottles of each liquor you will need to create a certain number of drinks.

This first chart represents popular bottle sizes in both metric and U.S. measurements and the average number of standard shots each will produce. The most popular bottle sizes are the fifth and liter (marked with an asterisk *) and are the sizes you will find most distilled spirits available in.

Standard BottleMillilitersOuncesShots per Bottle**
How Many Shots Are in a Bottle?
Miniature (aka Mini or Nip)50 ml1.7 oz1 shot
Quarter Pint100 ml3.4 oz2 shots
Half Pint200 ml6.8 oz4 shots
Pint375 ml12.7 oz8 shots
*Standard Bottle (aka Fifth)750 ml25.4 oz16 shots
*Liter1 L33.8 oz22 shots
Magnum1.5 L50.7 oz33 shots
Half Gallon (aka Handle)1.75 L59.2 oz39 shots
Double Magnum (aka Jeroboam)3 L101.4 oz67 shots
Rehoboam4.5 L152.2 oz101 shots

**Based on the average 1 1/2 ounce shot.

Estimating Mixer Yields

Mixers such as juices, syrups, and soda are not quite as easy to estimate because there are no standard bottle sizes. However, mixers are less expensive than liquor, so it's always a good idea to overstock rather than be unprepared.

The next chart includes the average pour of a mixer if it is included in a cocktail recipe.

Of course, not every drink is going to use each mixer and some use more than others, so this is just a general guide.

For instance, you may be mixing a Cosmopolitan that requires 1/2 ounce of lime juice, but if you are also offering a Whiskey Sour, you will need a full 1 1/2 ounces of lemon juice. Likewise, tall drinks like a Gin & Tonic will require 4 or more ounces of soda to fill the glass while a booze-filled highball like the Long Island Iced Tea may need less than 1 ounce of Cola for fill.

Drink StyleAccent JuiceSyrupSoda
The Average Cocktail Uses
Martinis, Sours, & Short Drinks1/4-1/2 oz1/4-1/2 ozSplash
Highballs, Collins, & Tall DrinksSplash-1/2 oz1/4-1/2 oz4-6 oz

The average soda bottle or can is 12 ounces, so estimate 2 to 3 drinks per container. Two-liter bottles are a cost-effective option for the more popular sodas and there are about 67 ounces per 2-liter.

Other mixers like bitters are easy and one bottle of each required style will be more than enough.

Fresh Citrus Fruit Juice

Are you going to use fresh citrus juice? If so, the following chart will help you decide how many lemons, limes, and oranges you will need.

1 Average FruitAverage Juice Yield
Fresh Citrus Fruit Yields
Lime1/2 - 1 oz
Lemon1 1/2 oz
Orange2 - 3 oz
Grapefruit5 - 6 oz