How to Correctly Take a Shot of Vodka

Updated April 17, 2017

Vodka is a fairly easy to drink straight as a shooter, if done properly. It's the preferred method of the Russians who call vodka a national drink. A good vodka is distilled several times and has a smooth taste, making it drinkable as a shot. Brown University researchers found that vodka is less likely than other liquors to result in the dreaded hangover, as well.

Store vodka in the refrigerator, not the freezer. Extreme temperatures will undo the distillation process.

Pour chilled vodka in a standard shot glass. Do not add ice or any type of mixer.

Smell the vodka by taking a deep breath. The vodka should smell slightly like vanilla or sweet spices, not like alcohol.

Propose a toast or have someone else do it before taking a drink. This is customary, according to Frommers.

Drink down the vodka shot in one big gulp. Do not sip it. If you need a chaser, take a bite of a snack. Russians prefer pickles or bread.


Always drink responsibly.

Things You'll Need

  • Chilled vodka
  • Shot glass
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About the Author

With over 25 years of writing experience, Lisa Huston worked in city government with experience in zoning and urban planning, writing ordinances and policies. She specializes in research and technical writing, and she holds a bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies and minor in Film and Media Studies.