The concept of Shots Is very vast to be considered. If one wants to get to know about the number of shots in a fifth, he will have to go through different aspects like how it started, its real meaning, as well as its use and how many shots are in a fifth. Let us have a look at these in detail further.
History of The Shot
We may not remember the history of what happened after we have shots, but the history of the shots themselves is not as murky.
When we say shots, of course, we are really talking about shooters- those tiny mixed drinks served by the ounce or two with the name like a lemon drop.
Generally, these are totally different from the basic shot, or we can say of straight spirit – as a shooter is generally mixed with something. And shooters actually emerged pretty recently, around 70s a dark time in the history of spirits culture.
The origin of the straight shot goes back much further since people have been knocking back small amounts of hard liquor since the first barstool was dragged up to the bar counter when they had a very bad day.
As per Dave Wondrich, the cocktail historian, these shooters existed after the late 50s and 60s cocktail era, which was a time when the new generation was much fascinated in drugs than the hard drinks of the previous generation.
By combining relatively uninspired spirits with syrups and giving the results clever names, liquor companies were able to rebrand the experience and general purpose of the hard alcohol to keep up with the appeal of drugs.
Liquor basically became something to be masked with syrup, shot down, and chased with equally uninspiring beer. The importance was not the taste, but the effect.
What Exactly A Shot Is:
As compared to today, when crafts distilleries are popular all across the country, to give competition to get the best whiskey to an already crowded market, and you will notice a large disparity in drinking culture over the years.
Not that shooters, or shots, are irrelevant now. They exist even today, and these shots are knocking back on a large scale. But their place in drinking culture will always be a bit dubious since they are both blatantly oriented toward quick, generally thoughtless consumption and encourage a culture of rapid, dangerous alcohol ingestion.
This is to say; there are absolutely a time and a place. But there is also most certainly a limit.
If you like to drink occasionally, or in parties only, then you must be familiar with the real definition of fifth. Just in case, know that usually, when people speak of a fifth of something, they are referring to a fifth of a gallon, or 750 ml, or quarts.
Now that we have that cleared up, it’s easy to wonder, why we speak of a fifth? This is particularly important when you are trying to watch your drinking intake or when you prepare cocktails.
What Is The Real Meaning Of A Fifth?
A fifth usually refers to a bottle of 750 ml or 25.4 ounces of a bottle. Most commonly, this term is used with alcohol, but it can be used for any liquid setting.
If you find it in a recipe, it may be referring to the amount of liquid needed for a dish, and though a fifth is a very large amount, it can still happen.
The term fifth dates back to the 19th century, when liquor used to be sold in 32-ounce bottles, but was actually a bit underfilled to what is equal to a fifth.
How Many Shots In A Fifth Of Liquor?
If you are less of a number person and more of a visualizer, like me, you will find that thinking in terms of shots will make the use of a fifth easier for you. In this case, you should know that there are 17.07 shots in a fifth or 17 shots for easiness, but only if you use a 1.5-ounce shot glass.
Alternatively, if you consume a shot of 2 ounces, then you will conclude that a fifth is a total count of around approximately 13, shots.
When Do We Use A Fifth?
In the early 70s, the fifth was a general measurement for all bottles. But, today it is widespread in every bar setting. Examples of commonly used words for the shot are a fifth of vodka or scotch.
Also, in some cases, it is called a fifth of wine. Today your fifth is probably not going to be mentioned unless you are giving someone an entire bottle of liquor.
Just because you will not be using a whole fifth, does not mean that you will not make cocktails soon. These are some of the standard measurements used in cocktails:
Shots used in bars: 1. 1/5 ounces of a standard liquor
Liqueurs are served in shots ranging from 1.5 to ¾ ounces
Lime and lemon juice are served in shots between ¼ to ½ ounces
A fall drink instead, usually requires 4-6 ounces
Now you know how many fifths of alcohol you will need to make those drinks for your next party!
Why Do We Still Use The Term A Fifth
We no longer measure bottle sizes by fractions of a pint or gallon, and the term fifth may be archaic. However, 1/5 gallon or 4/5 quart is 25.6 ounces, which is so very close to 750ml that we still use the term fifth to describe this size bottle.
It’s was the standard size of a liquor bottle until January 1, 1980. These 4/5 quart bottles were called short quarts or commercial quarts.
This had to do with the difference between being a liquor wholesaler versus a liquor retailer, and selling liquid by the quart was a general threshold for wholesaler.
Conclusion: I think hard drinkers would be at least a little drunk after 3-4 shots of anything around 35% alcohol minimally, which is a typical amount.