How Many Shots Are In A Handle Of Tequila? The numbers

For new and seasoned drinkers, it can be difficult to know how much you have drank over a night or a week. Perhaps you have splashed out on a handle of Tequila and you and some friends have finished this off in recored time. But just how many shots of Tequila was that? How many shots are in a handle of Tequila?

How many shot are in a handle of Tequila?

There are 33.8 shots in a handle of Tequila. A shot is 1.5fl oz and there are 50.7fl oz or 1750ml in a handle bottle of Tequila. It represents half of a fluid gallon of Tequila. A handle is over twice the size of a 750ml bottle of Tequila.

How big is a handle of Tequila?

A handle of gin is 1750ml or 1.75l of Tequila. It is half of a fluid gallon.

1.75 litres is 59.2fl oz of Tequila.

It is called a handle as it is big enough to have a handle on it! It is difficult to carry it as just a bottle.

How big is a bottle of Tequila.

In all these calculations, in different parts of the world, there will be different sizes for just about any bottle.

In the USA…

If you think of a standard bottle of Tequila, it will almost always be 750ml which equates to roughly 25.4fl oz of Tequila.

In the UK, a bottle of Tequila would likely come as a 700ml bottle.

CountrySize of bottle
Size of bottle per country

Why is a bottle of Tequila in the USA 750ml/25.4fl oz?

The answer comes from its other name, “a fifth”

750ml or 25.4fl oz is a fifth of a liquid gallon so that is where the name “a fifth” comes from and why a bottle of tequila is 750ml in the USA

Why us a bottle of Tequila in Europe 700ml?

Back in the 1990s, the EU decided that the size of a bottle of Tequila should be 700ml. The reason is that a shot is usually 25ml or 35ml and both can be divided into 700ml easily, so it was the perfect size for a European pub.

What is a standard shot of Tequila?

Tequila can come in lots of unique shapes, sizes, strengths and from all over the world. What one person thinks of as a standard gin might be completely different from someone else.

Luckily for everyone, the USDA have devised a list of “standard” alcoholic drinks. Each one contains the exact same amount of alcohol – 14g of alcohol (0.6 ounces).

Below is a list of the standard drinks, volumes and ABV that all give 14g of alcohol.

Drink and volumeAlcohol content
12fl oz Beer5%
5fl oz Wine12%
1.5fl oz Spirit (e.g Tequila)40%
Standard Drinks

How big is a standard shot of Tequila?

From the information and definitions given to us by the USDA, we can see that a standard shot of Tequila is 1.5fl oz. 

So in the USA, a standard shot is 1.5fl oz of 45ml of Tequila.

Do standard shots of Tequila change in different countries?

Unfortunately, a standard shot of Tequila will change from country to country.

Even within an overall country or single market there can be lots of differences.

Take the UK for example…

A standard shot of Tequila in England and Wales is 25ml (remember a standard US shot is 45ml).

A standard shot of Tequila in Scotland and Northern Ireland is 35ml.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all make up the UK but there can be various laws, in this case liquor laws, that differ, how weird is that?!

So how many shots of Tequila in a handle?

There are 39.5 shots of Tequila in a handle of Tequila in the USA. 

A handle has 59.2fl oz, so if you divide this by 1.5 (the size of a 1.5fl oz shot) you get 39.5.

Are the any other different sized bottles of Tequila available?

There are many different types and sizes of tequila bottles. The common ones you might come across are the miniature, bottle, litre and handle. 

Below is the sizes difference and how many shots each of these contains…

Bottlemlfl ozShots
Handle/Half gallon150059.239.5
Shots in different sized Tequila bottles

How many shots of Tequila to get you drunk?

So just how much of a bottle of Tequila do you need to get drunk?

I have written a whole article on this which you can read here

How many alcoholic Tequila does the average adult need to drink to get to a BAC of 0.08% and drunk under the law?

The CDC tells us that the average 160lb adult male will need to drink 4 standard drinks, in this case Tequila, to get to a BAC of 0.08%.

The answer is therefore, it would take 4 standard Tequila to get drunk. These need to be drank over 1-2 hours however, as your liver will start breaking down the alcohol in your blood as soon as it encounters it.

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