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How Much Bourbon To Get Drunk?

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Whether you’re an experienced drinker or just getting into bourbon, the amount of alcohol that will get you drunk can vary depending on your weight, gender, and metabolism. If you want to figure out how much bourbon to get drunk, keep reading!

On average, a 160-pound adult male needs four shots of straight bourbon to feel the effects of alcohol. The typical 1.5 fl oz. shot of bourbon has 40% alcohol by volume. Over the course of 1-2 hours, sip the four rums.

To become drunk on bourbon, you’ll need fewer shots if you’re a woman or a lighter person and more than five if you’re on the heavier side.

Factors Affecting Your Bourbon Intake

Here are three important factors that affect alcohol intake and can help you understand why you don’t have to drink as much as you thought!

Body Weight

Body weight and composition can affect alcohol intake in several ways. First, people of different body weights absorb alcohol at different rates. A heavier person will generally absorb alcohol more slowly than a lighter person.

People with a smaller stature are more prone to getting impaired by bourbon as compared to larger individuals. Those with more body fat tend to absorb alcohol more quickly, while those with less body fat absorb it at a much slower rate.


Men and women metabolize alcohol differently. Women tend to absorb more alcohol into their bloodstream, which can lead to higher blood alcohol levels and more intoxication.

There is a multitude of reasons ranging from body composition to metabolism that result in this gap in alcohol consumption between both genders.

Stomach Content

The amount of food we eat has a direct impact on how much alcohol we drink. Eating before consuming alcohol is very important. If we eat a large meal, our body will absorb the alcohol more slowly and we’ll feel less intoxicated.

On the other hand, if we drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol will be absorbed into our bloodstream more quickly and we’ll feel drunker faster.

Foods high in protein and fat slow down absorption while foods high in carbohydrates speed it up.

Can You Drink Bourbon Straight?

can you drink bourbon straight

The most popular way of drinking bourbon is neat and straight, without any additives to preserve the strong flavors of the spirit and get the classic ‘burn’ that most people look for.

Other pairings with bourbon are ice and water, both help to dilute the drink and make it more enjoyable.

Bourbon is a great addition to several classic mixed drinks like The Classic Sour, Sidecar, and Bourbon Old Fashioned.

Beginners are advised to pour the bourbon into a glass, take a small sip and then add some water to enjoy the drink without being repelled by the strength of the spirit.

Is Bourbon the same as Whiskey?

bourbon the same as whiskey

The most common type of question that is often raised by an average alcohol drinker is whether the two spirits are the same or not. Granted, both liquors look the same, but the main differences arise between their manufacturing and aging processes.

To convert a whiskey into bourbon, it needs to have a grain mash made of at least 51 % corn and should be aged in new charred oak barrels to give bourbon its iconic caramel and earthy flavor. In short, all bourbons are whiskey, but not vice versa.

Is Bourbon Stronger than Whiskey?

Since bourbon is made with a higher concentration of corn as compared to whiskey, it has a significantly sweeter and mellower taste, with hints of caramel, oak, and vanilla.

The taste of whiskey will differ based on the grains that it originates from. Whiskey has a smooth and complex taste with hints of spice and sweetness.

For an amateur drinker, whiskey might seem too complex and straightforward, so it is preferred to start with bourbon instead.

How Much Bourbon is Too Much?

how much bourbon is too much

If you’re an everyday consumer, then 2 shots of bourbon are more than enough to leave an effect. It is commonly advised to consume bourbon once or twice a week in moderate quantities to keep it consistent without damaging your body.

About 15oz of bourbon would be way over the limit for a person, with an average drink having 1.5 oz. of bourbon.

Binge drinking is a very bad habit that should be avoided because it adversely affects the liver and has far-reaching consequences. Women should drink half the quantity of men because bourbon affects women differently.

How Much Bourbon To Get Drunk – Conclusion

Bourbon is an addictive liqueur, its subtle sweet flavors and complex nose make it a favorite of many aficionados.

But this incredible spirit is more than just a good drink, it’s a healing potion that helps us fight an array of health problems, from preventing cardiovascular diseases to reducing risks of cancer.

But these amazing properties come under the requirement that bourbon should only be consumed in a moderate amount, keeping in mind all the factors that can affect how your body might react to it.

So just when you’re starting to feel tipsy on a night out with friends, you should know that it’s time to go home! Drink Responsibly!

About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a blogger for over 5 years, before that enjoying a number of jobs to fund her passion for travel. She's taught English as a foreign language, a part-time Barista, a waitress, and a tour guide.

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