Shot Glass: A Bullet Through Your Head

Seriously, my friend, it’s not enough to say you’re an experienced drinker without throwing up at a bar or club with a shot. A drinking session may begin with a relatively light-hearted beer or cocktail. But until the shot is on the table, you don’t know that the real battle is still to come.

Shot Glass

It may be so common that we don’t usually pay much attention to shot glasses. However, when you take a deeper thought, shot glass is definitely the most widely known wine glass. You probably don’t know what Rock, Glancaine, and Burgundy are. But a shot glass cheers up almost every alcoholic.

Oddly enough, this small glass seems to have nothing special, but it is given a powerful name, “shot”. And most of the time, it must be simply smother the spirits in the cup to show politeness. Though by no means the most comfortable way to drink, shot has always had a very high status in bars.

Why is it called “Shot”?

In fact, even experts who specialize in wine table culture don’t understand the origin and origin of this small cup. There are many opinions. I searched the data and found only a few reasonable hypotheses:

Old West in America

The “Old West” era, also known as the American frontier, refers to the period of territorial expansion in the United States in the 19th century. In the late 1860s, with the Civil War and the expansion of the cattle industry, former soldiers from the Union and the Confederacy came West in search of a living. A large number of freed slaves joined groups of immigrants from other regions to work together in the West to raise cattle, known as “cowboys.”

Cowboys often had very little money, and they could only live on their own for a lot of the time. But for them, they could not go without food or drink. It was not important to have a full stomach, but to have a sip of whiskey.

Cowboys sometimes ran out of money and had to trade bullets for drinks. One bullet in their “six gun” cost 12 cents, which was the same price as a glass of bourbon. So bullets for drinks were so common here that Bartender became accustomed to calling the small shots as shots.

Famous Glass Manufacturer

This “Old West theory” may sound reasonable, but it is widely regarded as a myth, because historical records show that whiskey was much more expensive than bullets, requiring about 10 bullets to get a shot.

In fact, its first written use as a “measure of wine” appears in the autobiography of Rev. Oliver Heywood, an English minister who lived from 1630 to 1702, about 150 years before the Old West.

So other theories have been put forward, suggesting that the word “Shot” is a play on the name of famed glassmaker Friedrich Otto Schott, whose glass factory was so famous that it became synonymous with the small glass.

However, this argument is even more fragile. Short’s expertise is in optical glass, the material for telescopes and microscopes, not glassware.

Ancient English

This theory is the most boring of all hypotheses, but it is the most plausible.

In a Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1721) by the linguist Nathan Bailey, Bailey said that “shot” meant that “if a guest wanted to drink more than a shilling worth of wine, the host would give him a flask, called a ‘shot'”.

Bailey’s dictionary has a similar reference to an “ale-shot, “referring to the amount of money people pay to split the bill after having a good drink in a beer house.

The shot glass story

This is the story of the shot glass. And in the next blog, we’ll see how people in other nations to drink in shot glass, and introduce some practical ways for you to drink with shots. See you next time!

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