Alcohol 101: How Many Shots of Vodka to Get Drunk?

how many shots of vodka to get drunk

The saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, grab the vodka!” But unlike soft drinks and other types of soft liquor, vodka is a strong drink that will get you totally drunk if you consume a certain amount of it.

So, if you don’t want to drink yourself silly, you need to take vodka in moderation. If you’re not sure how much alcohol will get you drunk, this article lets you know how many shots of vodka to get drunk.

What’s Vodka?


Vodka is distilled liquor that comes in different varieties depending on its origin. The most popular varieties of vodka currently include Polish, Russian, and Swedish. Vodka mainly consists of ethanol and water, but sometimes it can have flavorings and other impurities.

Generally, this alcoholic beverage is made through the distillation of liquid obtained from fermented cereals and potatoes. This type of liquor was discovered in the 1700s, but more varieties of vodka have emerged over time, including the ones made from honey, maple sap, and fruits.

From 1890 onwards, vodka manufacturers in the United States have been producing vodka brands with 40 percent alcohol by volume, while those in the European Union have kept their ABV at 37.5 percent.

Traditionally, vodka is consumed “neat”. This means that it’s not mixed with anything else like water, soda, ice, or any other mixer. In places like Belarus, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway Sweden, Ukraine, Russia, and other countries with the vodka belt, vodka is normally served while freezer chilled.

You can also use vodka to make cocktails and mixed beverages like a vodka martini, vodka tonic, greyhound, bloody Mary, Caesar, Cosmopolitan, Moscow mule, screwdriver, etc. Vodka is the short form of the Slavic term “Voda”, which means water. It can also be interpreted as little water.

The word vodka was added to the English literature in 1780. There’s still no conclusive reference to the true beginning of vodka. Since its discovery, vodka beverages varied significantly with each brand having its unique color, flavor, and smell. But modern vodka has been standardized to offer the same experience. Traditional vodka contains less percentage of ABV than modern vodka and was mainly used for medicinal purposes.

How Much Alcohol Is In Vodka?


As noted above, governments around the world have created laws that regulate the amount of alcohol to be included in different types of alcoholic drinks. In the U.S., every bottle of vodka should have a minimum of 40 percent ABV (80 proof). In the EU, bottles of vodka should have at least 37.5 percent ABV.

The ABV limit in the U.S. is higher than in the EU because the sizes of servings in the U.S. are fairly larger. This ABV limit is important to help you calculate the amount of alcohol you’re consuming. Without it, you might end up consuming too much alcohol which might harm you in many ways.

The center for disease control (CDC) recommends that men have a maximum of two standard drinks a day, and women have not more than one standard drink per day. This guide is designed to help you avoid alcohol-related complications. Normally, a standard alcoholic drink contains 0.6 ounces of alcohol. Since vodka has 40 percent ABV, a shot of it is estimated to contain 1.5 ounces of pure alcohol.

How Many Shots of Vodka to Get Drunk?


If you talk to any liquor enthusiast, they’ll tell you that vodka is one of the alcoholic drinks that will get you drunk quickly. A few shots of crystal clear vodka will get you tipsy immediately. But how much vodka should you have before you become completely drunk? Here’s an expert opinion on this matter.

For Men

It’s important to note that alcohol tolerance differs from one person to another. Generally, alcohol tolerance in men is higher than in women. Also, people with bigger physiques or higher body mass index (BMI) can drink more alcohol than people with lower BMI.

If you’re used to drinking vodka regularly, your tolerance level will be greater than that of someone tasting alcohol for the first time. You’ll get drunk when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) goes beyond .08 percent, which is the legal alcohol limit for drivers. This means that an average man will get drunk after taking about six shots of vodka.

Nevertheless, you’re likely to feel the effects of alcohol before you get to your sixth shot of vodka, depending on your level of alcohol tolerance. Furthermore, how you take your vodka will determine how quickly you begin to feel the effects of alcohol. For instance, if you take it as a shot without mixing it with anything else, it will cause the level of alcohol in your blood a spike, leading to a temporary euphoria and improved social drive.

For most men, two or three shots of vodka are enough to get them tipsy. Others will start to feel drunk after taking their fourth or fifth shot. So, taking more than six shots will leave you extremely drunk.

For Women

Since the level of alcohol tolerance in women is lower than in men, the number of shots of vodka to get a woman drunk is lower than for men. A woman will start to feel tipsy after taking one or two shots of vodka. Therefore, four or five shots will get her drunk.

Anything above four shots of vodka will get a woman drunk completely, depending on her BMI and drinking habit. If she drinks vodka more regularly, her level of tolerance will improve, allowing her to take more shots before she becomes completely drunk. However, you shouldn’t consume too much vodka because it’s unhealthy. The more shots of vodka you take the higher the risk of getting a hangover.

How Long Does It Take for Vodka Shots to Kick In?

How Long

How fast an alcoholic drink takes effect on you depends on several factors, including the amount of alcohol in it and your level of alcohol tolerance. Since the standard ABV in vodka is 40 percent, two or three shots of vodka should make you feel tipsy. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reveals that alcohol is immediately absorbed by your body when you take your first shot.

So, if the shots of vodka you take aren’t mixed with anything else, you’re likely to start feeling their effects in less than five minutes. However, the effects of vodka and how noticeable they’re vary from one person to another. Nonetheless, the initial effects of vodka shots kick in pretty fast, even if they don’t become apparent immediately.

Factors Affecting Your Intake of Vodka


As mentioned above, many factors determine the effects of vodka on you. Understanding these factors will help you to figure out the amount of vodka you can safely take without getting completely drunk. Here are the main factors that affect vodka intake.

1. Body Mass Index (BMI)

Your BMI plays a huge role in determining your alcohol tolerance. The higher your BMI is, the more vodka you can consume without getting overly drunk. Since men generally have a higher BMI than women, their level of alcohol tolerance tends to be higher than women.

2. Gender

As discussed above, men have a higher level of alcohol tolerance than women, mainly due to their higher BMIs. Therefore, vodka’s effects quickly become more apparent in women than in men.

3. General Mood

There are many reasons why people take vodka, including celebrations, stress, grief, etc. When you’re in a celebratory mood, you’re likely to take more alcohol without getting extremely drunk. But if you are grieving or dealing with a stressful situation, your alcohol tolerance drops, leaving you susceptible to getting overly drunk after a few shots of vodka.

4. How You Take Vodka

If you take your vodka as shots, you’re likely to feel its effects much faster than when you mix it with other drinks like olives, fruit juice, lemon juice, water, soda, etc. These other drinks help to slow down the speed with which your body absorbs alcohol thus prolonging the time it takes to get drunk.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.