A Brief History of Shot Glasses

A shot glass is used for alcohol intake and also for measuring drinks. The term was coined in 1940s and was penned down by Oxford English Dictionary. The word shot was spelled as ‘Schott’ before being spelled ‘shot’. Shot glasses have also been called with more than one name such as ‘pony’ or ‘jigger’ in the past. If one goes back in the history, one would encounter many different versions of the stories surrounding how shot glasses actually came into being.

Tracing back the history it has been evident that shot glasses were profusely used for drinking grappa. It has been found that the shot glasses have been part of Italian society for more than two centuries. The folks who drank from the shots sipped the liquor slowly savouring the liquor to the fullest.

According to some folklore, these glasses have had their journey of evolution and incarnation. In late nineteenth century, there were small glasses that were used by people for drinking whisky. The majority of distilleries in America came up with the idea of automating these whisky glasses with embedded advertisements, designs and pictures. This is how shots came into existence.

There is another tale. It is believed that it was New York Times publication that first coined the name ‘shot glass’ in 1940s. It was in fact a tricky attempt to put a limitation on the liquor consumption by playing with the psychology of the people. Soon, Americans got used to the term and observing how many shots they consumed in a day. Elite class in New York also developed its etiquette regarding the number of shots that one should drink in social gatherings and that were acceptable.

There are many other legendry stories that surround around the origin of shot glasses. According to some the shot glasses first originated in Old West Saloons. It has been found that some customers used to exchange bullets for shots of liquor. Some other tale encompassing the shot glasses is that these were being embellished on the dinner tables for the purpose of putting lead shot of the meat. There have also been interpretations that the shots were being used for holding quills of the pens.

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