How Many Shots of Liquor Are in a Pint?

In the United States, a pint of liquor has 10.67 shots. In the United States, the average shot glass holds about 1.5 US fluid ounces. Since a US pint is exactly 16 ounces, you’ll get just over 10 shots from it.

But it’s important to remember that shot glass sizes outside the US can vary a lot. This means that the number of shots in a pint can be less or more, depending on where you are.

The Drinking Glass

Most people agree that the shot glass was made in the United States, but nobody knows for sure when or how it was made. Some people say that the first shot glasses were used in the 1800s, when bars and saloons served samples of whiskey in simple glasses that looked a lot like modern shot glasses.

The first written record of the shot glass was in a 1940 article in the New York Times. Before this article came out in the New York Times, shot glasses were already common. After Prohibition ended, they were used in many towns across the United States.

How Much Is in a Shot Glass?

Even though the shot glass was made in the United States, there is no Federal law that says how big it has to be. The state of New York tried to pass a law that would have made shot glasses the same size, but it didn’t pass. Only Utah has a law that says a shot glass is 1.5 US ounces, or about 44 millilitres. This is the only state that has such a law.

Even though the US doesn’t have a “official” standard size for shot glasses, most hold 1.5 ounces of alcohol. A “short shot” or “pony shot” is a smaller shot glass that can be found in sets of glasses. One ounce of liquor fits in each of these smaller shot glasses. So, a short shot glass can hold 16 shots of liquor from a pint.

Sizes of Shot Glasses All Over the World

Countries outside of the US don’t always use the “standard” size of an American shot glass. In Denmark and Germany, shot glasses are small and can only hold 0.68 ounces for each shot. If you like big shots, you’ll like the bars in Japan, Israel, and Italy, where shot glasses hold 2 ounces of alcohol. Here is the number of shots in a pint of alcohol in each country.

Denmark and Germany

0.68 oz per shot = 23.5 shots per US pint

South Africa and the UK

0.84 oz per shot = 19 shots per US pint

Australia, South Africa, and India

1.01 oz per shot equals about 16 shots per US pint

Sweden, Finland, Hungary, and Poland

11.85 shots per US pint, which is 1.35 oz per shot

Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Russia

9.46 shots per US pint at 1.69 oz per shot

Italy, Japan, and Israel

7.92 shots per US pint, or 2.02 oz per shot

The English Pint of Beer

If you go to the UK, “having a pint” of alcohol can mean something completely different. This phrase is often used to invite someone to have a beer or other brew. It could mean to have a proper pint of beer, but it might not.

The fact that the US customary unit pint is smaller than the British imperial pint is more interesting. One US customary pint is equal to 1.2 British imperial pints. At 12.8 ounces, the UK pint can hold more alcohol than the US shot.

Why this info is important

Having a little bit of alcohol can be fun, as long as you don’t drink too much. If you know how much alcohol you can handle and keep track of how much you’re drinking, you’ll have a lot more fun and stay out of trouble.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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