How Many Tequila Shots Does it Take to Get Drunk?

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Tequila is one of the most popular alcohol choices for Americans. Whether it is due to its unique and wonderful flavor, alcohol content, or the stories that always follow, the alcohol our neighbors below us make is a staple in every bar. 

Many people enjoy tequila in margaritas, but even more like to take them as shots. Served with a salted rim and a lime wedge, a shot of tequila is one of the quickest ways to have a good time. But how many tequila shots does it take to get drunk?

For the average person, 1-2 shots would make them mildly drunk, 3-4 would make them moderately drunk, and five or more shots drastically increase the chance of a massive hangover in the morning. 

However, the number of shots a person needs to get drunk depends on age, gender, tolerance, mood, and how quickly they take them. 

Can You Get Drunk From Tequila?

Tequila is a distilled alcoholic beverage made exclusively in Mexico. All tequila comes from the Mexican state of Jalisco, mainly from the area around the town of Tequila. It is made from the blue agave plant native to this area, which means that every bottle of tequila comes from Jalisco!

Since tequila is alcoholic, you can (and will) get drunk from it. Therefore, it is best to enjoy tequila in moderation, know your limits, and never drink and drive. Tequila-shots

How Quickly Does Tequila Make You Drunk?

There are a few factors that will increase or decrease how quickly you get drunk off of tequila. Age, tolerance, gender, mood, and the last time you consumed food affect how your body will react to the tequila shot you are about to take. 

Generally, the average person will become mildly intoxicated after two shots, moderately intoxicated after four shots, and highly intoxicated after more than 5, especially if they are taken close to one another. 

It usually takes about 1 hour for your body to process alcohol, so taking one shot per hour would allow you to enjoy the relaxing effects of tequila without having to worry about any drunken mishaps. 

Also check: How Many Shots To Get Drunk: 16 Types of Alcohol

What Can 1 Shot of Tequila Do?

While it depends on the person, one shot of tequila will most likely not do too much to you in terms of getting drunk. However, there may be some health benefits to enjoying a shot of tequila a day.

Let’s not pretend that tequila is a healthy drink, but like red wine, it may have some perks! Tequila is full of agavins, a type of sugar your body does not break down for energy. This allows you to consume the alcohol without worrying about spiking your blood sugar levels.

In addition to keeping your blood sugar levels happy, a study suggests that drinking a shot of tequila can even help keep your heart healthy by lowering bad cholesterol.

In many parts of the world, tequila is used as an after-dinner drink to help digestion. Similar to how limoncello is used in parts of Italy, finishing a good meal with a shot of tequila is a festive way to calm your tummy. 

Also check: 15 Best Tequila for Shots

How Many Tequila Shots is Too Much?

Even with all tequila’s health benefits, we must remember that it is alcohol. Alcohol is best consumed in moderation, but how many shots of tequila is too much?

The answer is relative and varies from person to person. If you are wondering how many tequila shots are too much for you, take one and wait at least 30-45 minutes before having another one. This allows your body to begin to metabolize the alcohol and feel the effects. 

If you are hoping for a more scientific approach to determine the number of shots it will take for you to get drunk, check out the chart.

100-150 pounds (45-86 kg) 2-3 shots
150-200 pounds (68-91 kg) 4-5 shots
200-250 (90-113 kg) 6-7 shots 

Of course, this all depends on other factors, including age, gender, alcohol tolerance, mood, and the last time you ate. It also makes a difference if you consume these shots closely together or spread out over many hours. 

These amounts are for how many shots it would take for the average person to become moderately drunk. However, taking 21 shots of tequila in a day would put a person at risk of dying. 

Why is Tequila So Strong?

Tequila has a strong and unique flavor, making it a classic for drinks like margaritas or Palomas. But why is the taste so strong?

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant grown only in specific places in Mexico. When tequila is made, the agave is steamed. Mezcal, another alcohol made with agave, uses an agave that has been cooked inside earthen pots. Preparation is the main difference between these two. Tequila is mezcal, but mezcal is not tequila. 

The flavor of tequila ranges based on a few things. The first is where the agave was grown. Highland agaves tend to offer a sweeter taste than others. The other factor is how long the tequila has been aged.

The longer the tequila is aged, the bolder the flavor gets. While Blanco tequila (the least aged) tastes stronger of alcohol, extra Anejo tequila (aged five years) will have a more earthy taste. 

Also check: Different Types of Tequila Explained

Is Tequila Stronger Than Vodka?

When choosing which alcohol to enjoy, two of the most popular picks are vodka and tequila. 

Vodka originated from Sweden, Russia, and Poland. It gets its name from a play on the Slavic word “voda,” which means water, thanks to vodka’s crystal clear appearance. However, while it may get its namesake from it, vodka is definitely not water. It ranges anywhere from 16.5% – 97% ABV (alcohol by volume), depending on the bottle you buy. 

Tequila is made in Mexico. Tequila is so exclusive to Mexico that only five places in the entire country make it. This is due mainly to the most important ingredient in tequila— the blue agave. Tequila can be found with varying ABV, but they tend to cap out around 60%. 

Also check: 

When it comes to which alcohol is stronger, you have to clarify what you mean.

If you are thinking of the strong taste of vodka or tequila, it comes down to personal preference as well as the quality of the alcohol. Cheap vodka tastes, well cheap, and similar to gasoline. However, an expensive bottle will be much smoother, and an experienced vodka drinker will appreciate the flavor. 

Tequila has a similar approach. Cheaper bottles of tequila and tequila that have not been aged will taste more like “alcohol” than aged tequilas. The longer the tequila ages, the more earthy flavor notes will be detected. 

If you are looking for which has the higher ABV, it will depend on which bottle you buy. Both vodka and tequila tend to hang out around 40% ABV, but you can find tequila with an ABV of up to 60% and vodka at 96%. 

More: 27 Best Chasers for Tequila

How Many Beers is Equivalent to One Shot of Tequila?

Still not sure how many tequila shots you can handle? Perhaps comparing a shot of tequila to beer will help.

One shot of tequila is comparable to one 12-ounce serving of (average) beer. There are many types of beers in the market, and some have a higher alcohol content than others. However, the average shot of tequila will be metabolized at a similar rate to a 12-ounce serving of beer. 

If you are a beer drinker, the tequila may hit you differently. This is especially true if it has been mixed with any juice or sour. When you add sugar to your tequila, your body also gets a bit of a sugar high, and this changes the way your brain reacts to the alcohol. 


Common Tequila Brands

Now that you understand how tequila is made and how your body processes it, you can decide which type to enjoy. Below are 4 of the most commonly consumed tequila brands and styles in America. 

Brand  ABV Proof
Jose Cuervo Especial Silver  40% 80
Patron 40% 80
Hornitos Reposado 40% 80
Don Julio Blanco  40% 80 


Tequila is a popular alcoholic beverage made exclusively in Mexico with their native blue agave plant. The single state of Jalisco is responsible for supplying the entire world with one of its favorite liquors. 

Tequila has a strong taste and comes in at about 40% ABV and 80 proof. While it does not have the highest ABV out there, many people claim to get drunk quicker off of tequila than other alcohols like vodka. 

How many shots it takes to get drunk depends on the person’s age, weight, mood, and gender, but usually, it takes between 3-6 shots. Your body will metabolize one shot of tequila per hour.

Tequila connoisseurs often say that tequila treats you how you treat it. Meaning that if you pound tequila shot after tequila shot, it will pound you back, but if you slowly sip and savor it, tequila will be good to you— and no one like a hangover! 

Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

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