A shot glass is a small receptacle generally used to measure alcohol. Sometimes known as a jigger, each glass is usually about one ounce (29.57 ml), while a jigger is actually one and a half ounces (44.36 ml). The glasses are available in basic shapes and sizes and can also be decorative or unique in nature. While glass is the most common form, they can also be made of plastic or metal.
One of the most common uses for a shot glass is in a bar. Alcohol is measured into the glass to help determine the quantity for a mixed drink. Most bartenders will pour more than one shot glass's worth of the desired alcohol. The alcohol goes from the shot glass into the drink mixer along with soda, juice, and other types of alcohol.
Shot glasses are more than just functional. For many, they are collectors' items or souvenirs. They are a popular marketing tool for hotels, resorts, and casinos. As they're small, shot glasses are a convenient and easy memento to transport from a vacation or other special occasion.
In the world of espresso drinks, shot glasses have taken on a role other than measuring alcohol. They are used to measure coffee. The number of shots ordered at an espresso bar will determine the amount of espresso in a coffee drink. A double latte, for example, has two shots of espresso. Ordering by shot is a popular way to get a drink in a coffee shop.
Completing a drinkware set for a home will usually include a set of shot glasses. They can be used for the occasional shot of alcohol or for drinking small portions of a mixed drink. In a typical glass collection, the shot glass may not look as industrial or functional as those seen in a bar or coffee shop. These more decorative shot glasses may have rounded bottoms or come in different colors. Many times, they are taller than the typical one-ounce (29.57-ml) version, allowing them to hold more alcohol.
When shopping for decorative shot glasses, the possibilities are wide. The glasses can be purchased in sets or individually. Many stores sell shot glasses based on the type of alcohol for which they are designed to be used. For instance, it's not uncommon to find tequila glasses in the shapes of small cacti. Shot glasses can be a fun and relaxed way to serve a drink.