Figuring out how many drinks you can make from a bottle of vodka takes a lot of math. How big is the bottle? What is the serving size for this liquor? How many servings does this drink recipe call for? Is it cheaper to buy a larger bottle than two smaller ones?
If all of this is confusing to you, don’t worry. We’ll break down a little bit about the history of vodka, tell you exactly how much vodka is in a fifth, and give you some price points for common bottles on the market today.
History of vodka
Vodka has a long history, and the story varies depending on who you ask. We know that it originated in Eastern Europe, specifically in Russia, Poland, and Sweden. Each of these countries produces vodka differently, and thus, each type will have a different ABV%.
The beginning of vodka can be traced back to Russia in the 14th century. At this time, vodka was made via the distillation of grapes and was considered a “spirit wine.” In 1430, a man named Isidore the Monk created the first Russian vodka recipe. It was a bread wine with low alcohol content.
At the same time, people in Poland were developing their own vodka recipes. Vodka was commonly used as medicine in these times, but in the early 1500s, Polish writers discovered that vodka could be used for other purposes, and they believed it increased fertility. As time went on, the Polish began to drink vodka socially and not just as medicine.
Vodka production began in Sweden around the 15th century, but it began to take off much later, around the 18th century. Potatoes became the main product used in Swedish vodka distillation, and the distillery equipment began to improve around this time as well. Today, some of the most well-known vodka brands come from Sweden, such as Absolut.
Today, vodka is produced and enjoyed all around the world. Various flavored vodkas can be made by infusing fruit during the distillation process or adding sugar syrups after the vodka is distilled. Vodka comes in a huge variety of different sizes, the most popular being a fifth.
Common vodka sizes
As we mentioned, the most common-sized bottle of vodka you’ll usually find is a fifth. A fifth of vodka is 750 mL, which is equal to 25.3 ounces. There are approximately 17 standard 1.5 oz shots in a fifth of vodka.
You’ll probably notice a few other bottle sizes next to the fifth as well. There are nips, which most liquor stores sell, usually the smallest bottle size available. A nip contains 50 mL of vodka or 1.7 ounces. A nip is basically equal to one shot. The next size up from a nip is usually a pint. A pint is 473 mL or 16 ounces. The pint is just a bit smaller than the fifth and contains about 10.5 shots.
If you’re looking for something slightly larger than a fifth, the next size up you’ll usually see is a liter. A liter has 1000 mL or 33.82 oz. A liter has about 22 1.5 oz shots. After the liter, you have a handle. A handle has 1750 mL or 59.18 oz. A handle serves about 39 standard-size shots and is the size of a liter and a fifth combined.
Should I buy a fifth of vodka?
A fifth of vodka is standard size. It’s what you’ll see at most liquor stores, and it’s usually relatively affordable. A fifth is great to keep around the house to make cocktails with. There are 17 standard 1.5 oz shots in a fifth, so it stands to reason that you could make 17 single drinks with a fifth, or 8.5 doubles.
Vodka is a very stable alcohol that will keep almost indefinitely without going bad. So, if you have guests often or make many vodka drinks, you may want to invest in something larger, like a handle or a liter. But, if you’re not a big drinker or you’re trying a new brand for the first time, a fifth is a perfect size to start with.
How many calories are in a fifth of vodka?
The amount of calories in a given type of vodka depends on the proof of the vodka, not the size of the bottle. The proof is the number on the bottle that refers to the percentage of alcohol a given liquor contains. To find this percentage, all you have to do is divide the proof by half. For instance, a 100 proof liquor is 50% ABV, or alcohol by volume. An 80 proof liquor is 40% ABV.
The higher the proof, the higher the calories when it comes to vodka. While pure vodka doesn’t inherently contain any sugar or carbs, your body still processes the calories from vodka, so it’s important to know if you’re watching your weight.
For a 1.5 oz shot, there are:
- 85 calories in 70 proof vodka
- 96 calories in 80 proof vodka
- 110 calories in 90 proof vodka
- 124 calories in 100 proof vodka
To find the calories in a full fifth of vodka, all you have to do is multiply by the number of shots it contains (aka 17). So in a bottle of 70 proof vodka, there are approximately 1,445 calories. In a bottle of 80 proof, there are about 1,632 calories. There are 1,870 calories in a fifth of 90 proof vodka and 2,108 calories in 100 proof. Obviously, it’s never recommended to finish a fifth by yourself in one sitting, but it’s good information to have in your back pocket.
How much does a fifth of vodka cost?
The price of a fifth of vodka varies greatly based on the brand, the quality, and the ABV. We’ve broken down the prices of some popular brands’ fifths below.
UV Vodka is on the very inexpensive end of the spectrum and costs only $10.99 for a fifth. UV is made by Absolut and is distilled four times and filtered with activated carbon. It’s an 80 proof vodka.
Three Olives Vodka
Three Olives is also on the inexpensive end of the spectrum and costs $11.09 for a fifth. It’s an English vodka made from wheat and is quadruple distilled and filtered for quality and smoothness. Like UV, it’s an 80 proof vodka.
Svedka is a Swedish vodka that goes for $13.99 a fifth. It’s made from Swedish winter wheat and is distilled five times for a clean, subtle, smooth sip. Svedka comes in various flavors, such as citron, raspberry, peach, cucumber lime, and blue raspberry. Svedka is an 80 proof vodka.
Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
Smirnoff No. 21 is an American vodka that sells for $14.49 a fifth. Smirnoff 21 is the world’s best-selling vodka and has a robust flavor with a dry finish. Smirnoff 21 is an 80 proof vodka, but Smirnoff makes various other vodkas with other ABVs, like Smirnoff 100, which is 100 proof, as the name suggests. The higher the ABV, the higher the price point.
Skyy is another American vodka, and it sells for $14.99 a fifth. Skyy is quadruple distilled and triple filtered and undergoes an elaborate filtration process using California limestone. Skyy is a dry, medium-bodied vodka that is creamy to the taste, with notes of anise and coriander. Skyy Vodka is 80 proof.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Tito’s is an extremely popular vodka made in Texas, and it sells for $21.49 for a fifth. Tito’s is made in batches using old-fashioned pot stills, like scotch or cognac would be made. Tito’s has sweet, spicy, and oily notes of corn and black pepper. Tito’s is an 80 proof vodka.
Grey Goose Vodka
We had Grey Goose vodka on the slightly pricier end of the spectrum, which costs $30.49 for a fifth. Grey Goose is a French vodka that is smooth and luxurious, made from soft winter wheat and Gensac spring water. Grey Goose is definitely considered a luxury vodka and thus costs a bit more than other brands. It is 80 proof.
Stoli Elit Vodka
One of the more expensive vodkas on the market today is Stoli Elit, which sells for $51.99 a fifth. Stoli Elit is produced using a modernized freezing method of distillation, which they claim results in the highest purity level. The palette is smooth, clean, and bittersweet. Stoli Elit is 80 proof.
Now you know everything there is to know about vodka fifths, from their size, their caloric content, and their price. You’re totally prepared to shop for your next party.
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