Bartender Pours the Vodka or Tequila in Small Shot Glass

5 Interesting Facts About Shot Glasses That You Should Know

Bartender Pours the Vodka or Tequila in Small Shot Glass

Shot glasses are a staple in most bars and parties. They often come in sets of four, six, or eight with different colors to differentiate between types of alcohol. But did you know that they were initially created for the military? 

Shot glasses date back as early as 1795 when one was used by George Washington to toast his troops on New Year's Day. However, it wasn’t until the 1940’s when the term shot glass was first coined in a New York Times article.

In this blog post, we'll explore what shot glasses are and why they exist, plus give you 5 interesting facts about these little pieces of barware.

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1. Different Theories Surround the History of Shot Glasses

It’s pretty unclear where shot glasses originated, but there are theories about their origin. Here are some of them:

Theory 1

In the old wild west days, miners would trade bullets for shots of liquor. It was a way to make up for not being paid or the underpaid wages from their work in the mines.

Theory 2

People used to hunt for their meals. With a home operation, it was not unusual for those bullets to get lodged inside their food. Those hunters placed the shells in small glasses.

Theory 3

The shot glass is named after the German chemist who invented borosilicate glass, which has revolutionized cooking and chemistry. His name was Friedrich Otto Schott.

Theory 4

This one involves how a shot glass is usually used. A loud "shot-like" sound is produced by drinking a shot of whiskey and slamming it on the table or counter.

2. Shot Glasses are Made from Various Materials

Advanced Mixology Copper shot glasses

The most commonly used shot glass in bars and events is made of glass. However, many materials are used to manufacture shot glasses. Examples of which are:

  • Plastic
  • Borosilicate glass
  • Tristan crystal glass
  • Ceramic
  • Recycled materials (broken glasses)
  • Copper
  • Soapstone
  • Stainless steel
  • Himalayan salt

3. The Volume of a Shot Differs from Place to Place

Two Person Having Shots

When it comes to the volume of a shot glass, you have options. Shot glasses can contain varying amounts of liquor from 1 to 2 fluid ounces, depending on the type of shot glass and the state or country you are in. For instance, a shot is 1.5 oz in Utah but ranges from 1.25 to 1.5 oz elsewhere in the U.S.

Knowing the correct ml or oz in a shot can be a helpful tool, especially if you want to keep track of the alcohol you consume before ordering another round. You can also use it to measure liquid ingredients when preparing cocktails.

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4. Shot Glasses are Not Only Used for Drinking Alcohol

Various snacks, bruschettas, gazpacho shots

Shot glasses have much more potential than just being used to drink alcohol. People have come up with creative and exciting ways of using them for everything, from smoothies, taste tests, candles, or arts and crafts.

A new trend among organizers is to serve desserts in shot glasses. You can fill your guests' appetites with various sweet treats in a heavy shot glass. With so many options for creativity at your disposal, you'll be sure not to run out of ideas!

5. There are Several Designs of Shot Glasses

Funnlyboxx Shot Glasses with Heavy Base, Set of 6

It might be unknown to some people, but you can choose different designs of shot glasses depending on the occasion. Thick, heavy glass shot glasses are durable and can be used for various events, just like this luxurious set by Funnlyboxx.

There are also wedding favors shot glass to celebrate the love between two people. Another type is shot glass party favors that you can use to make your next party more memorable. 

If you’re searching for a personalized gift for birthdays or other events, you can consider gifting engraved shot glasses as well. Different types include Standard Shot Glass, Pony Shot Glass, Fluted Shot Glass, “Cheater’s” Shot Glass, and Tall Shot Glass.


Shot glasses are often overlooked in the world of barware. They're not as flashy as a martini glass or as intricate as a wine glass. However, they serve an important purpose, and there are some interesting facts about them that you might not know!

We hope you liked learning about shot glasses. If there is a shot glass trivia that you think should be included in this list, let us know in the comments!

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