When you’re stocking up on whiskey for shots, you’re looking for a whiskey that won’t burn your esophagus and won’t break the bank (or really even test its structural integrity). These whiskeys all fit that bill perfectly. They taste great, won’t leave a hole in your chest and only end up costing you $1 a shot.
Also known as Jim Beam White Label, this old-school bourbon is hot and spicy, and finishes with some bright cereal notes. It’s not trying anything fancy with ancient grains or experimental aging, but that’s not what you’re looking for when you put down $20 for this bottle of Beam. You’re looking for a reliable bottle of whiskey and that’s exactly what you’ll get.
This uber-affordable bottling actually works out to costing you around 70 cents a shot—that’s quite a deal. With slightly more heat than Beam’s budget offering (Evan Williams Black is 86 proof, while Jim Beam is 80), this caramelly bourbon packs a punch for very little cash.
A workhorse rye that’s perfect for cocktails, Old Overholt’s light spice and chest-warming heat make for a delightful shot—especially when chased with a swig of lightly malty beer. This is the go-to for many bars’ Boilermaker deals for good reason: It’s affordable, it’s (relatively) easy drinking and it also happens to look authentically vintage.
You can often find a full liter of this entry-level bourbon for even less—but it’s still a bargain at $20. Made by Heaven HIll (the distillery responsible for whiskeys like Elijah Craig and Evan Williams), this bourbon was named after one of the founding fathers of bourbon. It’s strong, with lots of baking spices, and it will get the night going immediately.
If you’re looking to satiate a crowd on the cheap, a full handle of whiskey is the way to go. You’ll get 40 shots for $40 out of this big boy. Highly rated (Wine Enthusiast gave it 92 points), this full-bodied whiskey is filled with notes of honey and molasses.
A slightly more restrained than usual offering from Wild Turkey (a distillery known for its 101-proof bottlings), this is a perfect shooter for those looking to knock a few back without cauterizing their taste buds. With flavors like orange zest and caramel backed up by sweet, charred oak, this is a perfect, night-around-the-fire whiskey.