Ingenious Ways To Measure A Shot Without A Shot Glass

6 Ingenious Ways To Measure A Shot Without A Shot Glass

Ingenious Ways To Measure A Shot Without A Shot Glass

A shot glass is a go-to glass that holds or measures liquors. In the absence of a shot glass, what do you use to measure your drink? Apparently, you can use common household items like spoons, measuring cup, or even a medicine cup to measure a shot without a shot glass. In this post, we compiled every possible shot glass alternative to fast-track your cocktail party.

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1. Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons

If you are looking for an accurate device that can measure your spirit, measuring spoons are the best alternative. Usually, when you purchase these spoons, they are already marked with a certain measurement. So, you don’t need to calculate in your mind what a tablespoon or teaspoon would probably look like. 

According to the shot glass conversion table, a single shot is equivalent to 3 tablespoons. Nothing too complicated, right? Just pour in your favorite whiskey or rum on the spoon and transfer it to the glass. If by any means a tablespoon is not available, its smaller version aka the teaspoon can also be used to measure a shot. The conversion shows that a teaspoon can hold a third of what a tablespoon can. This means, to come up with the size of a single shot, it takes around 9 teaspoons.

Although it is quite an effort to pour in your spirit 9 times, it is still pretty much doable. We suggest having quality measuring spoons in your kitchen. The regular tablespoon or teaspoon we use when eating may not hold the same amount of liquid compared to those with markings.

2. Measuring Cup

Measuring Cup

We are not teaching you how to bake, we promise! The good thing about using a measuring cup to measure a shot is that this baking tool is most likely present in your kitchen. Just like measuring spoons, this cup is designed to have specific measurements printed on its exterior for easy viewing.

Usually, measuring cups have various liquid conversion charts from ml, oz, and pints among others. This feature makes it easier for you to estimate the amount of liquor needed to come up with a full shot glass. 

Although the numbers printed are factors of 5 or 10 (e.g. 5 ml, 10 ml, 20 ml), you can simply estimate a 44 ml (1.5 oz) shot by pouring the liquid around 45 ml. Or if the measuring cup has an oz conversion, just look for the marker that says “1.5 oz”. Then, you are good to go. 

3. Medicine Cup 

Medicine Cup

Do you still recall those childhood days where you were forced to drink a shot of Tylenol when sick? We know how bad the medicine tastes, especially for kids. But the cup that goes along with the bottle of medicine can be a good alternative for a shot glass. 

A medicine cup is almost the size of a 1.5 oz shot glass. So, if you do the math, you might just need to add or lessen a few drops of your liquor to get the right measurement. Simply pour in your desired spirit until it reaches the mark, then transfer it to a serving glass. Or if you are feeling a little nostalgic, you can just drink straight from the medicine cup. For sure, no one will call you out.

4. Red Solo Cup

Red Solo Cup

Chances are, you don’t have a shot glass but you do have stacks of red solo cups. If you think that these party drinking cups are only used to fill cola or beer, you are wrong! Bartenders or even normal individuals have been using these cups to measure their shot. In the absence of a shot glass, fill up the cup just right on the first line close to the bottom of the cup. This does not exactly equal a single shot but it is close enough.

5. Practice Free Pour

Free Pour

We know it sounds a little intimidating to free pour when you are not a professional bartender or mixologist. But all it takes is a good sense of anticipation and instinct to identify if you already poured exactly 1.5 oz of liquor. Learning how to free pour is a great skill to acquire and is something you can brag about the next time around.

Make sure you have a pour spout and practice your pouring skills with a bottle of water. Once you start pouring into a glass, count from 1 to 4. Then, measure the amount of liquid you have in the glass. If it reaches the 1.5 oz mark then you did well! But if the measurement is a little over the top or less, it means you need to practice some more.

6. Water Displacement Method

Remember the Archimedes’ principle? This shot glass substitute requires more effort than those mentioned above. But you will feel a sense of fulfillment once you come up with your homemade shot glass.

Water Displacement Method

What You’ll Need:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Fill a plastic cup with around 2 inches of water. Mark the top level with a marker.
  2. Submerge three nickels and five quarters to the water. These are the standard amount of coins you will need to displace around 1.5 oz of water. 
  3. With all the coins inside, mark the new high rise of water using a marker. 
  4. Take out the coins and water to a separate cup. 
  5. Fill the cup with your desired liquor until the top line. Then, slowly pour out the liquid until it reaches the first line you made.
  6. Enjoy your shot!


We know how challenging it is to have a drinking session without a shot glass. But in this day and age where various tools are readily available in our kitchen, there is no reason not to continue a fun-filled night with your friends and family. Share other suggestions you may have in mind on how to measure a shot without a shot glass.

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  • Dear administrator, Great job!


    Dong Antonio

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