The container in which your whiskey comes should be as fascinating as the content. Its design, shape, colour, etching, and style reveal much about the drink and its manufacturer.
Whiskey bottle manufacturers, lovers of showmanship, create vessels of unique and extraordinary designs that give the bottle and its content an enchanting feel.
The bottling of whiskey has advanced through the years, with sizes varying from 50ml miniature spirit bottles prevalent in aeroplanes to the 4.5litre whiskey bottle sizes popular in the UK.
This article will explain the mini, half-pint, pint and other whiskey bottle sizes with their history, and will also highlight the standard sizes in Europe and the UK.
Mini Whiskey Bottles
Miniature whiskey bottles were occasionally seen towards the end of the 19th century. But only became popular at the turn of the century, during and after the period of alcohol prohibition in the US. With the world weakened financially by the two world wars, the 50ml miniature whiskey bottle sizes were better economical options than the larger bottles.
The mini whiskey bottle now varies between 40ml and 50ml, but initially, the U.S mini bottles contained 44ml/1.5oz and 59ml/2oz. However, towards the end of the 1970s, the United States liquor industry switched to metrics, making the miniature bottle size, 50ml/1.7oz.
50ml miniature spirit bottles may serve as tasters, gifts, or used for advertising. Their popularity is chiefly because they are often available in airplanes, trains, and hotel minibars. Individuals or groups, such as the Mini bottle club UK collect miniature whiskey bottle sizes as a pastime or hobby.
Half-pint Whiskey Bottles
The half-pint whiskey bottle contains 200ml/6.8oz of liquor. The birth of glass whiskey bottles came in the 16th century when specialised hand blowers were used to create them. Whisky producers looking for ways to store and sell their spirits effectively found glass to be the perfect solution as a result of its impermeability and inertness.
Glass liquor bottles were not widespread until its mass production in bottle plants and factories began in the 19th century, along with the standardisation of liquor bottles in different countries in the world.
The EU ended the operation of multiple standard bottle sizes by standardising the bottle sizes in 1993. The EU sizes were standardised as 700ml, 1 litre, and 50ml miniatures. The standard bottle size in the United States is 750ml.
The half-pint whiskey bottle also became popular during the prohibition era in the United States as it could be easily moved and hidden. Modern whiskey bottling companies and manufacturers consider it as a classic pocket whiskey carrier.
Pint Whiskey Bottles
A Pint whiskey bottle, also called a shoulder or a Demi, contains 350ml/11.8 oz of liquor by Europe metric standards. Called a double-nagging in Irish lands, the ‘pint’ is one of the oldest standard bottle sizes and was used in most countries before metrification.
A pint liquor bottle in the United States contains 375ml. The pint bottle size and the 1500 litre magnum are very common bottle sizes in America. A pinta, as pints are popularly called in Central America, carries 365ml of liquor.
Whether containing Scotch whiskey, Bourbon, Irish whiskey, or Rye whiskey, the pint bottle is common in bars, restaurants, hotels, and other places. The pint bottle can hardly be carried around like the 50 miniature spirit bottle or the half-pint bottle, but what it lacks in ease of mobility, it delivers in satisfaction.
Other Whiskey Bottle Sizes
While the mini, half-pint, and pint sizes of liquor bottles are very common, other sizes are standard in specific countries like the UK or America.
Some of these bottle sizes include:
- 500ml (Half-litre): The half-litre is usually of glass or plastic form. Notable liquors use the 500ml as a standard size in Europe.
- 700ml: The 700ml is considered a standard spirit bottle size in Europe and the UK. A 750ml glass wine bottle contains the same quantity as a 700ml whiskey bottle.
- 750ml: This bottle size is prevalent in the U.S. Known as a ‘fifth,’ this bottle size is not standard in Europe and used to be 757ml before the metrification.
- 1 litre: Popular in the duty-free section, this bottle size is usually used for distribution.
- 1.75litres: This is the half-gallon size. Before the metrification, the half-gallon size was 1.89litres.
Whiskey Bottle Volumes
Shots and ounces
Shots are small glasses with thick bottoms. Shots are either one or one-and-half ounces mostly, but one-and-half ounce glasses (jigger) are the usual size for 80-proof spirits.
Using a jigger, a standard bottle of whiskey (750ml in the U.S.) contains between 16 and 17 shots (16.9 to be exact).
The regulation of alcohol permits the selling of alcohol within specific volumetric limits. These limits depend on the method of sale (glass or bottles/boxes).
Liquor bottles or jars have more volumetric capacity than glasses and therefore have higher specification limits.
Quantities in glass
- Fortified wine (port, sherry, marsala) – 50ml, 70ml glasses, and their multiples.
- Still wine (Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc) – 125ml, 175ml glasses, and their multiples.
- Beer and cider – Third, half, two-thirds of a pint, and multiples of half a pint
- Spirits (Gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey) – 25ml and multiples of 25ml or 35ml and multiples of 35ml (both can not be sold in the exact location)
Glasses of sparkling and yellow wine, and other spirit drinks not listed above have no specific quantity limits.
Quantities in bottles or similar containers
- Spirit drinks – quantities between 100 and 2000ml bottles.
- Sparkling wine – amounts between 125 and 1500ml bottles.
- Yellow wine – sold in 620ml bottles
- Fortified wine – quantities between 100 and 1500ml bottles.
- Still wine – quantities between 100 and 1500ml.
As whiskey increases in value, whiskey bottle manufacturers source for ways to provide comfort and a better experience for consumers. They achieve this by creating bottles of high quality, exceptional designs, and aesthetically pleasing packaging.
This post explains the different whiskey bottle sizes with their history and standard sizes in Europe and the UK. These different bottle sizes have specific advantages, such as ease of mobility or satisfaction.
Roetell is in the business of manufacturing high-quality bottles and jars, including whiskey bottles, liquor jars, and wine bottles with a wide range of sizes and shapes. They provide bespoke packaging options, customised bottles, and a variety of designs to match your interest. You can reach out to us for your custom bulk orders!