There are 10.67 shots in a pint of alcohol in the United States. The average shot glass in the US holds about 1.5 US fluid ounces. Since there are exactly 16 ounces in a US pint, you’ll get little over 10 shots per pint. It's important to keep in mind, however, that shot glass sizes can vary significantly outside the US, which means that the number of shots per pint can be less or more, depending on the country you’re in.
The Shot Glass
While most agree the shot glass was an All-American invention, it isn’t fully established when and how it came about. Some claim that its earliest versions are from the 1800s when bars and saloons offered samples of whiskey served in crude glassware that resembles the modern day shot glass.
The first documented mention of the shot glass was in a New York Times article published in 1940. Prior to this New York Times article, shot glasses were already common and were widely used in towns across the United States after Prohibition ended.
Ounces in a Shot Glass
Despite being an American invention, there's no existing Federal law that regulates the size of the shot glass. The state of New York tried to legislate a law to standardize the size of the shot glass, but the bill wasn't passed. Of all the 50 states, only Utah has an existing law that defines the shot glass size at 1.5 US ounces or approximately 44 milliliters.
Despite not having an “official” standard size, shot glasses in the US typically hold 1.5 ounces of alcohol. A smaller shot glass is also available in glassware sets called a “short shot” or “pony shot.” These smaller shot glasses hold exactly an ounce of liquor. A pint of alcohol, therefore, can hold 16 shots from a short shot glass.
Shot Glass Sizes Around the World
Countries around the world do not necessarily adhere to the “standard” size of the US shot glass. Denmark and Germany have conservative shot glass sizes that can only hold 0.68 ounces per shot. If you want generous shot servings, then you’ll enjoy bars in Japan, Israel and Italy, where shot glasses hold hefty 2-ounce servings of alcohol. Here’s how many shots there are in a pint of alcohol according to country.
Denmark and Germany
0.68 oz/shot = 23.5 shots per US pint
UK and South Africa
0.84 oz/shot = 19 shots per US pint
Australia, India and South Africa
1.01 oz/shot = approximately 16 shots per US pint
Finland, Hungary, Poland and Sweden
1.35 oz/shot = 11.85 shots per US pint
Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Russia
1.69 oz/shot = 9.46 shots per US pint
Japan, Israel and Italy
2.02 oz/shot = 7.92 shots per US pint
The British Pint of Alcohol
If ever you’re in the UK, “having a pint” of alcohol can take on a whole new meaning. The expression is often said as an invitation to have a beer or similar brews. It may or may not mean to have a proper pint of beer. What is more notable though, is that the US customary unit pint is smaller than the British imperial pint at 1.2 pints to 1 imperial pint. The UK pint can hold more US-sized shots of alcohol at 12.8.
Why This Information Matters
Having a bit of alcohol can be enjoyable as long as you drink in moderation. Knowing your tolerance for alcohol and keeping watch on how much alcohol you're consuming goes a long way in keeping things fun and you out of trouble.