What is a fifth of rum?

In this article, we will answer the question “What is a fifth of rum?”, and how many shots are in a bottle?  

What is a fifth of rum?

The term ‘fifth’ was used in the old times when bottles were 4/5 of a quart, which is the same as 1/5 of a gallon. If we go to buy a fifth of rum in the present times, it means we are buying a bottle containing 750ml of beer.

Do we still use the term Fifth? 

The term fifth has become a thing of the past since the bottle sizes are not measured by fractions of a pint or gallon anymore. But the term is still used because 1/5 gallon, or 4/5 quart is 25.6 ounces, which is approximately equal to 750ml (25.4oz).

The US stopped using fifth as the standard size of a liquor bottle on January 1, 1980. Back then, the 4/5 quart bottles were referred to as “short quarts” or “commercial quarts.” Because the liquor wholesaler unlike the liquor retailer used the term quart to sell liquid. 

Moreover, the retailer was not selling exactly a quart of liquor but something a bit less than a quart. To avoid the confusion of the pint, quart, and gallon measurements, an effort to turn the liquor bottle sizes to the metric system started back in the 1960s.

What are the most common liquor bottle sizes of today?

Bottle size, metric Ounces Gallon, quart, or pint “equivalent”
1.75 liters 59.2 oz.½ gallon 
1 liter33.8 oz.1-quart 
750 milliliters25.4 oz.4/5 quart, a “fifth” or 1.5 pints
375 milliliters12.7 0z.⅘ pint 
200 milliliters6.8 oz.⅖ 
100 milliliters3.4 oz.⅕ 
50 milliliters1.75 oz.1, 1.6, and 2-ounce

How many shots are in a bottle? 

The average Cocktail Pour 

The amount of liquor in each type of cocktail varies depending upon the recipe for that cocktail. To estimate how much liquor you need to make a cocktail you should have the following basic information about making a cocktail. 

  • The base liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, etc.) is often a standard shot of 1 1/2 ounces.
  • Add Liqueurs in quantities between 1/2 ounce and 3/4 ounce.
  • Use 1/4 ounce to 1/2  of the accent juices, such as lemon and lime.
  • Use 4-6 ounces to fill a highball or tall drink with juice or soda.

What is meant by Liquor shots per bottle?

You can find most of the distilled spirits and wines in the 750-milliliter bottle size. However, liquor sold in pints, half-pints, liters, and miniature bottles are not uncommon. But you won’t commonly see the liquor in the largest sizes (magnums and handles).

The following table shows common bottle sizes in both metric and U.S. imperial volumes and their average number of standard 1 1/2-ounce shots equivalent.

How many shots are in a bottle? 
Bottle Milliliters Ounces Shots-per bottle 
Miniature (aka Mini or Nip)50 ml1.7 oz1 shot
Quarter pint 100 ml3.4 oz2 shots 
half a pint 200 ml6.8 oz4 shots 
Pint 375 ml12.7 oz8 shots 
Standard Bottle (aka Fifth)750 ml25.4 oz16 shots 
Liter 1 L33.8 oz22 shots 
Magnum 1.5 L50.7 oz33 shots 
Half a Gallon (aka Handle)1.75 L59.2 0z39 shots 
Double-Magnum (aka Jeroboam)3 L101.4 oz67 shots 
Rehoboam 4.5 L152.2 oz101 shots 

How to Estimate Mixer yields? 

There is no standard bottle size for mixers such as juices, syrups, and sodas. But it is easier to buy mixers in bulk so you do not run short of them since they are less costly than liquor. The following table shows the average mixer pours found in cocktail recipes. 

Mixers in the average cocktail 
Drink style Accent juice Syrup Soda 
Martinis, Sours, & Short Drinks1/4-1/2 oz1/4-1/2 ozSplash 
Highballs, Collins, & Tall DrinksSplash–1/2 oz1/4-1/2 oz4-6 oz

Since the average soda bottle or can is 12 ounces, there will be 2-3 drinks in each container. Two-liter bottles contain 67 ounces and are best used for sodas due to their low price. 

Fresh citrus fruit juice 

The following table will help you guide how many pieces of fruit you will need if you are adding fresh citrus juice to your cocktail.

Fresh Citrus Fruit Yields 
1 average-sized fruitJuice yield 
Lime 1/2–1 oz
Lemon 1 1/2 oz
Orange 2-3 oz
Grapefruit 5-6 oz 

Other FAQs about Rum that you may be interested in.

Does rum go bad after opening?

Does rum extract contain alcohol?

Does rum cake have alcohol?


In this article, we answered the question “What is a fifth of rum?”, and how many shots are in a bottle.