Best Shot Glasses

The 10 Best Shot Glasses for Shots, Espressos, Shower Favors and More!

If like many of us, you threw out your collection of shooters that you acquired during your college days, then maybe it is time to think about investing in some new ones. Not just for drinks; shot glasses are multifunctional, whether you use them for serving espresso in, for individual desserts at dinner parties, or for party favors, the uses for shot glasses are almost endless.

In this review we take a look at a variety of the best shot glasses on the market and consider what you should look for when choosing shot glasses. We also delve into some of mystery of where the shot glass may have come from and some of the technicalities of the shot glasses, including differences in volumes.

​Best Pick

JoyJolt 6-Pack Heavy Base Shot Glass Set

For straight-up, no nonsense shots, the JoyJolt 2 oz shot glasses are our dishwasher safe best pick of the shot glasses.

​Budget Pick

BCnmviku 1.5 oz Shot Glasses

The classic shaped BCnmviku 1.5 oz shot glasses are our budget pick of all-purpose shot glasses.


1. ​JoyJolt 6-Pack Heavy Base Shot Glass Set  

Highlighted Features

  • Set of two clear shot glasses with a 2 oz capacity
  • Square shaped with heavier bases
  • Come in a gift box
  • Suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher

The six pack of JoyJolt 2 oz shot glasses are clear glasses that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. These shot glasses have a contemporary squared shape with a heavy sham/base and they also come gift boxed. The odd buyer has received these damaged, and they may not be as durable over time as expected. There also appears to be confusion over the capacity of these as a number of buyers have found that they only hold 1.5 oz, however these are advertised as being 2 oz glasses.

​Pros

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    Clear glass
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    Heavy base
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    Gift boxed
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    Dishwasher safe

​Cons

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    May not be as durable as expected
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    Some confusion over whether these are 2 or 1.5 oz shot glasses
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    Risk of receiving them damaged

2. BCnmviku 1.5 oz Shot Glasses 

Highlighted Features

  • A set of two 1.5 oz shot glasses
  • Made from clear glass these are classic shaped glasses
  • Have a heavy base for stability
  • Can be cleaned in the dishwasher

The twin pack of BCnmviku 1.5 oz shot glasses are clear glasses in a classic shape with a heavy base for extra stability. These are dishwasher safe glasses. Although these are well packaged for shipping, there is still a risk of breakage and the odd buyer has struggled to etch these glasses.

​Pros

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    Classic shot glasses
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    1.5 oz capacity
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    Heavy base
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    Dishwasher safe

​Cons

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    Although well packaged, there is still a risk of receiving these broken
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    The odd buyer has struggled to etch these glasses

3. Hayley Cherie - Mason Jar Shot Glasses

Highlighted Features

  • A set of eight 2 oz mini mason jar shot glasses that come boxed
  • Made from premium lead-free glass, the jars have ‘Mason Shooter’ embossed on them
  • Also come with imprinted silver colored metal lids that contain seals
  • The jars can be cleaned in the dishwasher and the lids by hand

The eight set of Hayley Cherie 2 oz mason jar shot glasses are mini mason jars complete with handles and imprinted silver metal lids which also contain seals. These also have ‘Mason Shooter’ embossed on the side of each glass. Made from premium lead-free glass and coming boxed, these jars can be washed in the dishwasher although the lids should be hand washed.

As with any glass there is a chance or receiving one or more glasses broken, and the lids need to be washed and dried well after use to prevent any mold growth inside the lids.

​Pros

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    Mini mason jar shot glasses
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    With lids
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    Lead-free glass
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    Dishwasher safe glasses

​Cons

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    ​The lids can only be hand washed after use
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    ​Lids need to be washed and dried properly to prevent any mold growth in them
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    ​Risk of receiving one or more glasses broken

4. Barbuzzo 50 Cal Shot Glass 

Highlighted Features

  • Two shot glasses shaped as 50 caliber bullet casings
  • Have a 2 oz capacity
  • Made from ceramic with a gold electroplated finish
  • Suitable for hand washing only

The Barbuzzo 50 caliber 2 oz shot glasses are ceramic shot glasses shaped as 50 caliber bullet casings. This pair of novelty shot glasses have a gold colored electroplate finish and should be hand washed only. Some buyers have been disappointed with the quality of these glasses; especially when they have been bought for gifting. There is also a risk of the ceramic chipping and the printing on the base may not be as clear as expected.

​Pros

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    Bullet casing shot glasses
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    2 oz capacity
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    Ceramic
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    Gold colored finish

​Cons

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    A number of buyers have been disappointed with the quality of these when they have received them
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    The printing on the base is not always as clear as it should be
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    Can only be handwashed

5. Gmark 2-Ounce Heavy Base Shot Glass Set 

Highlighted Features

  • Four shot glasses made from lead-free glass
  • European styled glasses with heavy bases
  • 2 oz glasses that have a total capacity of 3 oz
  • Safe to be washed in the dishwasher

The set of four Gmark shot glasses are 2 oz glasses in the European style. With heavy bases, these shot glasses are made from lead-free glass and are suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher. Some buyers have bought these thinking that these are made from smoked glass rather than clear and these glasses actually hold 3 oz, rather than just 2 oz.

​Pros

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    European style shot glasses
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    Heavy bases
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    Lead-free glass
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    Dishwasher safe

​Cons

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    These appear to be smoked glass in some photos, but they are actually clear glass
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    Total capacity is 3 oz capacity rather than 2 oz

6. Thirsty Rhino Karan 1.5 oz Shot Glass 

Highlighted Features

  • Clear glass 1.5 oz shot glass
  • Has a solid and heavy base
  • Suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher

The sturdy Thirsty Rhino Karan 1.5 oz shot glass has a heavy solid base and is made from transparent glass. This glass is dishwasher safe. As with any glasses there can be a risk of receiving it damaged and it may arrive quite greasy and dirty. The odd buyer also considers that these are lower quality/thinner glass compared to other shot glasses.

​Pros

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    1.5 oz shot glass
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    Clear glass
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    Heavy base
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    Dishwasher safe

​Cons

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    May arrive very dirty and/or greasy
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    Some buyers have commented that these are lower quality compared to other shot glasses

7. Mustard Plastic Shot Glass Shooter

Highlighted Features

  • A set of four shot glasses designed as 12 gauge casings
  • Made from food safe red plastic with stainless steel bases
  • Come gift boxed
  • Should only be hand washed

The set of four Mustard 12 gauge shot glasses are food safe plastic and stainless steel shot glasses in the style of red 12 gauge casings. They also come boxed. These are not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher. The odd buyer would have preferred that these were made from glass rather than plastic, and the overall quality of these may be disappointing to some buyers. These are also larger shot glasses.

​Pros

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    Red 12 gauge shot glasses
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    Food safe plastic
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    Stainless steel bases
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    Gift boxed

​Cons

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    Some buyers who have bought these for gifts have been disappointed with the quality of them
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    Larger capacity shot glasses

8. Nansch Measuring Cup Shot Glasses 

Highlighted Features

  • A set of two shot glasses which can also be used as measuring cups
  • These clear glasses have a 1.5 oz capacity for measuring liquid and dry ingredients
  • Come in gift packaging

The measuring cup shot glasses have a 1.5 oz capacity and contain large markings for measuring out liquids and dry ingredients. Made from clear glass, this set of two glasses have heavy bases and also come gift boxed. Although these are supposed to be dishwasher safe, the marking on the glasses will fade when they are placed in the dishwasher. The odd buyer has also commented that some of the measurements are ‘off’.

​Pros

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    1.5 shot glasses/measuring cups
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    Clear glass
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    Heavy bases
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    Gift boxed

​Cons

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    Although dishwasher safe, the glass markings will fade when cleaned in the dishwasher
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    Some of the measurements may be less than accurate

9. ELIVIA Shot Glass Set 

Highlighted Features

  • A set of 12 smaller 1.5 oz shot glasses
  • Taller glasses with heavy bases
  • Can be cleaned in the dishwasher

The 12 set of ELIVIA shot glasses are smaller 1.5 oz shot glasses made from clear lead-free glass. These have heavy bases and are dishwasher safe. As these are smaller capacity yet taller than other styles of shot glasses, they may not suit all purposes and as with any glass, there can be the risk of occasional shipping damage.

​Pros

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    1.5 capacity
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    Lead-free glass
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    Heavy bases
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    Dishwasher safe

​Cons

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    Taller than other types of glasses with smaller capacity means they may not be ideal for all purposes
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    Occasional risk of shipping damage

​10. Decodyne Moscow Mule Shot Glasses 

Highlighted Features

  • A set of four mini Moscow Mule 2 oz shot mugs
  • Made from stainless steel with a brass handle
  • The exterior is 100% genuine copper plated and has been lacquered to prevent tarnishing
  • Clean with a damp cloth after using

The 2 oz Moscow Mule shot mugs come as a set of four mugs in a gift box. These shot mugs are made from stainless steel and have a 100% genuine copper plated exterior which is lacquered to help prevent tarnishing. These also have contoured brass handles and should be cleaned by wiping over with a damp cloth. Some buyers have commented that these appear more plastic-like than metal and the handles may not be attached as well as expected.

​Pros

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    Moscow mule shot mugs
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    Metal construction
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    Copper plated exterior
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    Brass handles

​Cons

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    The handles may not be attached as well as they should be
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    Some buyers have been disappointed that these appear more plastic-like than metal

Things to Consider Before Buying Shot Glasses

Shot glasses are usually made from thicker lead-free glass than other types of glasses. They also have a thick and heavy base, so that the glass will not shatter when slammed down on the bar after downing the shot. Using transparent shot glasses also means that drinkers can see exactly what it is the glass – helping enhance their drinking experience.

Some shot glasses are made of other materials such as food safe/BPA-free plastics or ceramics. They can also be made of metals such as stainless steel. Depending on what you are drinking from a metal shot glass, there is a slight risk of the metal affecting the flavor of the drink.

When selecting shot glasses, consider that taller and thinner shot glasses will better show off layered shots while the shorter classic shot glass is better for straight liquor shots or for shooters which are shaken and strained.

Shot glasses are also multipurpose glasses. If suitable for hot liquids, they can be used in a variety of ways, such as for espressos, for wine tasting parties, canapes, dipping sauces, individual deserts, mini flower vases, party and shower favors and even for making candles in.

The shot glass was first mentioned in the US press in the 1940s, but it is known that they were in use before the 1940s.

There is some debate as to where the ‘shot’ in shot glasses comes from. Some suggest that ‘shot’ can refer to medicine or tonic, while others suggest that the small glass left on the table in early America for guests to fill with any buckshot that they found in their food was also a shot glass.

It is also possible that the shot glass was filled with lead shot and left on writing desks as a tool to store writing quills when not in use.

Even more folklore suggests that a shot was a small amount of whiskey served, and once downed, the glass would be slammed down onto the bar making the ‘shot’ noise. Another tale from the Old West is that the price of a bullet for a six-gun was the same price as a glass of whiskey and a cowboy without any money in his pocket could exchange one of his bullets for a glass of whiskey.

Shot Glass Measurements

Only in Utah is a shot defined as a 1.5 fl. oz measure. Elsewhere, there is no standard measure. Most of our shot glasses serve between 1.25 and 1.5 fl. oz, with a double being 3 or more fluid ounces. A shot known as a short shot or pony shot is usually 1 fl. oz. Sometimes shot glasses for short shots are known as cheater shot glasses as they are the same size as a standard shot glass but have been filled with more glass to reduce the volume of the shot.

In the US, fluid ounces and ounces are often misused, although the fluid ounce should always be used to measure liquid as a volume, while the ounce is a weight measurement for dry ingredients.

Many shot glasses are sold as 1.5 or 2 oz shot glasses, but in its truest sense, this means that the 2 oz measurement given should be by weight of dry goods rather than liquid volume.

Although 1 fl. oz of water usually equals around 1 oz, knowing the weight of other liquids relies on having to know the density of the liquid. If a density is known, then fluid ounce can be converted to ounce and vice versa.

This means that if a shot glass has been measured in ounces rather than fluid ounces, there can be a slight difference in the capacity.

Just to confuse things even more, one fluid ounce converts to 29.58 ml using the US Customary measurements while it is only 28 ml if you use the imperial system!

Shot glasses can also have larger capacity, but often have a mark line for the 1.5 or 2 oz. These larger shot glasses can be better for serving desserts with, but when using them for shots, be careful as you may find yourself filling up to the top of the glass with liquor so that it does not look like you are pouring short shots!

Conclusion

In this review we looked at some of the confusion around the use of ounces and fluid ounces as measurements in shot glasses and also what measure a shot is, depending of course on where you live. We also trust that you have enjoyed reading about some of the folklore on how shot glasses came into use.

If you are looking to rebuild a shot glass collection for parties, or want to make up party favors, we hope our reviews of the best shot glasses will now help you to choose the right shot glasses – whatever you want them for!

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