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.
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:
- 1 1/2 ounces (the average shot) of a base liquor (i.e. vodka, gin, rum, etc.).
- Liqueurs are typically poured at 1/2 to 3/4 ounce.
- Accent juices (i.e. lemon and lime) typically use 1/4 to 1/2 ounce.
- Filling a highball or tall drink with juice or soda often requires 4 to 6 ounces.
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 Bottle||Milliliters||Ounces||Shots per Bottle*|
|Miniature (aka Mini or Nip)||50 ml||1.7 oz||1 shot|
|Quarter Pint||100 ml||3.4 oz||2 shots|
|Half Pint||200 ml||6.8 oz||4 shots|
|Pint||375 ml||12.7 oz||8 shots|
|*Standard Bottle (aka Fifth)||750 ml||25.4 oz||16 shots|
|*Liter||1 L||33.8 oz||22 shots|
|Magnum||1.5 L||50.7 oz||33 shots|
|Half Gallon (aka Handle)||1.75 L||59.2 oz||39 shots|
|Double Magnum (aka Jeroboam)||3 L||101.4 oz||67 shots|
|Rehoboam||4.5 L||152.2 oz||101 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 Style||Accent Juice||Syrup||Soda|
|Martinis, Sours, & Short Drinks||1/4-1/2 oz||1/4-1/2 oz||Splash|
|Highballs, Collins, & Tall Drinks||Splash-1/2 oz||1/4-1/2 oz||4-6 oz|
The average soda bottle or can is 12 ounces, so estimate 2-3 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 Fruit||Average Juice Yield|
|Lime||1/2 - 1 oz|
|Lemon||1 1/2 oz|
|Orange||2 - 3 oz|
|Grapefruit||5 - 6 oz|
Planning a Party? Find out how much liquor, beer, and wine you should stock.