A person making a whiskey cocktail

How Much Whiskey Should You Pour In A Glass?

A person making a whiskey cocktail

Whether it’s financial or health reasons, the standard pour for hard drinks has received comments on being too small or too little. In whiskey neat or on the rocks, the ideal serving is 2 ounces in a whiskey glass.

In this article, you’ll learn why whiskey is served in certain amounts and factors that can help you with your pour.

The Standard Whiskey Pour

There are different whiskey orders, such as a shot, neat, on the rocks, and double. Depending on what you get, the standard whiskey pour will vary.

  • Shots

4 shots of whiskey

A shot of whiskey is 1.5 ounces or 44 milliliters. You can use a shot glass for measuring, or you can do a free pour where you count to 3 seconds if a shot glass is unavailable.

  • Neat or On the Rocks

A glass of whiskey with ice

The standard pour for a whiskey neat or scotch on the rocks is 2 ounces or 59 milliliters. You can use a tall shot glass because it carries exactly 2 ounces, or you can practice free pour by counting to 4 seconds as you pour on your whiskey glass.

  • Double

A glass of Jack Daniels

A whiskey double is 3 ounces or 88 milliliters. You can use the standard shot glass for measuring since it holds about 1.5 ounces, or try your hand at free pouring by counting to 6 seconds as you pour.

Why Pour a Certain Amount of Whiskey?

  • Money Matters

3 different bottles of whiskey

Whiskey is an expensive drink. The cheapest whiskey bottles can range from $15 to $25, so you need to get your money’s worth.

If you're bartending, wasting good liquor equates to a loss of profit. Pouring too much means you could lose money in the long run, and pouring too little could lead to a disgruntled customer and bad reviews.

If you're hosting a party, the standard whiskey pour ensures that no guest is left unhappy with the amount they got. Depending on how many guests you have, buying whiskey can be an expensive endeavor, so make sure that every pour counts.

  • Health Concerns

Friends having a toast of whiskey shots

Hard drinks like vodka, gin, and whiskey tend to have higher alcohol concentration because of distillation. A whiskey’s ABV (Alcohol by Volume) could vary from 40-68%; the higher the serving, the more dangerous it gets for the drinker. 

Following certain serving guidelines for whiskey can prevent any health risks like blacking out and alcohol poisoning.

Things That Help You Pour Whiskey Accurately

Barman pouring hard spirit into glasses using Pour Spout

Pour spouts are small, compact bar accessories with a narrow passage for a more controlled high flow pour. Investing in a good spout can make your free pours easier with lesser spills.

There are different types of pour spouts, each with a unique design and mechanism. But the standard free flow pourers are highly recommended for parties or small gatherings. They have a long nozzle to help liquid flow as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

A person using a jigger

Jiggers are dual-sided hourglassed-shaped measuring cups usually used for making cocktails. Investing in this bar tool will help you avoid overpouring your whiskey. Jigger measurements can range from 1.5 x 0.75 to 2 x 1 ounce. 

  • Shot Glass

Whiskey being poured in a tall shot glass

Shot glasses are not only used for party tricks and beautifully layered social media-worthy pics; they are also for measuring drinks. As mentioned earlier, the standard shot glass can hold up to 1.5 oz., while tall shot glasses hold up to 2 oz.

Whiskey being poured in a tall shot glass

The counting method has been taught to bartenders for many years. You can free pour without a pour spout, but having one certainly helps. Each number represents 0.5 ounces. So if you pour for 3 seconds, you’ll get 1.5 oz., or 3 oz. if you pour for 6 seconds.


Whiskey is a luxurious drink, and too much of it can be dangerous to your health and wallet. The perfect whiskey pour depends on the type of glass used. Pouring techniques like free pour and investing in bar tools can also help you measure the right amount of whiskey. 

Did you find this article informative? Share it with your fellow whiskey connoisseurs, or leave your thoughts in the comment section below.




  • Thank you for the informative article. Just wondering how much ice is normally used when serving on the rocks?


    David T

  • Indeed having a measuring stick does come great as you definitely will be practicing a safer whiskey drinking habit including spending reasonable amount of money



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