If you enjoy a drink or two, you might have come across the term ‘fifth’ when browsing liquor stores or reading cocktail recipes. But what exactly is a fifth, and how much alcohol does it contain?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A fifth of liquor contains 25.6 fluid ounces or 757 milliliters of alcohol.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of the term ‘fifth,’ how it relates to other bottle sizes, and how to convert between fluid ounces and milliliters. We’ll also explore some popular types of liquor that are commonly sold in fifths and share some tips for responsible drinking. So, let’s get started!

What is a Fifth of Liquor?

A fifth of liquor is a common size for bottles of distilled spirits in the United States. It contains 25.6 fluid ounces (757 milliliters) of liquid. The term “fifth” comes from the fact that it was originally one-fifth of a gallon, which is equivalent to 4/5 of a quart.

History of the Term ‘Fifth’

The use of “fifth” as a measurement for liquor bottles dates back to the early 1800s when the US government started regulating the production and sale of distilled spirits. At that time, the standard size for a liquor bottle was a half-gallon, but this was difficult to transport and store. In 1879, the government changed the standard size to a gallon, but this was also deemed too large. Finally, in 1906, the government settled on the current size of a fifth of a gallon, which is where the term “fifth” comes from.

How a Fifth Compares to Other Bottle Sizes

A fifth of liquor is smaller than a liter bottle, which contains 33.8 fluid ounces (1 liter) of liquid. It is also smaller than a handle or half-gallon bottle, which contains 59.2 fluid ounces (1.75 liters) of liquid. In terms of shots, a fifth of liquor contains approximately 17 1.5-ounce shots.

Bottle Size Fluid Ounces Milliliters Shots
Fifth 25.6 757 17
Liter 33.8 1000 22
Handle/Half-Gallon 59.2 1750 39

Converting Between Fluid Ounces and Milliliters

Fluid ounces and milliliters are both units of volume, but they are used in different parts of the world. In the United States, fluid ounces are the standard unit of volume for measuring liquids, while milliliters are more commonly used in other parts of the world. To convert between fluid ounces and milliliters, use the following conversion factors:

• 1 fluid ounce = 29.5735 milliliters
• 1 milliliter = 0.033814 fluid ounces

So, a fifth of liquor contains 25.6 fluid ounces, which is equivalent to 757 milliliters.

Popular Types of Liquor Sold in Fifths

• Whiskey: Whiskey is a popular type of liquor sold in fifths. A fifth of whiskey contains 25.6 ounces of liquid. Some popular types of whiskey sold in fifths include Jack Daniels, Jameson, and Crown Royal.
• Vodka: Vodka is another popular type of liquor sold in fifths. A fifth of vodka contains 25.6 ounces of liquid. Some popular brands of vodka sold in fifths include Absolut, Grey Goose, and Smirnoff.
• Rum: Rum is a sweet liquor that is also sold in fifths. A fifth of rum contains 25.6 ounces of liquid. Some popular brands of rum sold in fifths include Bacardi, Captain Morgan, and Malibu.
• Gin: Gin is a popular type of liquor that is also sold in fifths. A fifth of gin contains 25.6 ounces of liquid. Some popular brands of gin sold in fifths include Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, and Hendrick’s.
• Tequila: Tequila is a strong liquor that is sold in fifths. A fifth of tequila contains 25.6 ounces of liquid. Some popular brands of tequila sold in fifths include Jose Cuervo, Patron, and Don Julio.

If you are wondering why a fifth of liquor contains 25.6 ounces of liquid instead of 20 ounces, it is because the term “fifth” comes from the fact that in the early 1800s, a standard liquor bottle size was a fifth of a gallon, which is equivalent to 25.6 ounces.

It is important to note that while a fifth of liquor is a common size sold in many liquor stores, it is not the only size available. Liquor can also be sold in smaller or larger sizes such as pints, liters, and handles, which contain 16, 33.8, and 59.2 ounces respectively.

Remember to always drink responsibly and in moderation. If you are unsure about the amount of alcohol you can consume, consult with a healthcare professional or visit a website such as https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/ for more information.

Tips for Responsible Drinking

Drinking in moderation can be enjoyable and safe, but it’s important to be responsible and mindful of your alcohol consumption. Here are some tips to help you drink responsibly:

• Measure Your Drinks: It’s important to know how much alcohol you are consuming. A standard drink in the US contains about 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol, so a fifth of liquor, which is 25.6 fluid ounces, contains about 16.9 standard drinks. Use a measuring cup or shot glass to make sure you’re not overpouring.
• Alternate with Water: Drinking water between alcoholic drinks can help you stay hydrated and reduce the effects of alcohol. Aim to drink at least one glass of water for every alcoholic drink.
• Eat Before and During Drinking: Having a meal before drinking can help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Eating snacks or meals during drinking can also help prevent excessive drinking.
• Avoid Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery: Alcohol can impair your judgment and reaction time, so it’s important to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after drinking. Use a designated driver, public transportation, or a ride-sharing service.
• Know When to Stop: It’s important to know your limits and stop drinking when you feel intoxicated. Signs of intoxication include slurred speech, impaired balance, and impaired coordination.

By following these tips, you can enjoy drinking in moderation while still being responsible and safe. For more information on responsible drinking, visit National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Conclusion

A fifth of liquor might not be a term you use every day, but it’s good to know what it means and how it relates to other bottle sizes. Whether you prefer whiskey, vodka, rum, gin, or tequila, you can find these popular types of liquor conveniently sold in fifths at many liquor stores. However, it’s important to drink responsibly and follow the tips we’ve shared to avoid negative consequences. So, the next time you’re at a party or making a cocktail at home, keep these guidelines in mind and enjoy your drink in moderation!