A Closer Look at Shot Glasses

by Julie on July 15, 2010

Over the past few weeks I’ve talked a lot about the liquid that goes into shots, but this week I started thinking about the glasses used to serve these shots.  For me, glasses not only give us the means to take a shot, they also provide an opportunity to look at the history and size of shots. 

First, I checked out Wikipedia to see what they had on shot glasses.  They define a shot glass as “a small glass designed to hold or measure liquor.”  The word shot means small dose, or small amount.  Shots were originally spelled Schott and named after a German chemist and Glass Technologist, Friedrich Otto Schott, who later went on to develop some of the first Optical lenses.  (Now I have two things to thank him for).  And according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word shot glass first appeared in print in the 1940s in the New York Times.  Now, it appears over 4.7 million times daily in Google.

Now, for the size of shots.  They seem to vary country to country, from 0.7oz to 2oz, with the USA averaging 1.5oz per shot.  Upon further research on ShotGlass.org, I discovered that there is no federal definition for the size of a shot in this country.  I know my shot glass collection has all different sizes to prove this.  Check out my ‘trophy’ case pictured below. 

Shot Glass Collection

Sadly, my mere 47 glasses has nothing on Brad Rodgers, The Guinness Book of World Records holder for Largest Shot Glass Collection.  In 1999, Brad owned over 8,000 shot glasses. I wonder how many he has today.  Do you have a shot glass collection? We’d love to see it.

To sum it up, not all shots are created equally.  So, this begs the question, what is the best size for a shot?  Our core HARLEM shot recipes are 1.5oz and that’s what we recommend.  But we’d like to hear what size you prefer to serve and enjoy.  You can write to us here or comment on our Facebook page.  Proost!

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