Food - Drink
What A 'Dram' Of Whisky Actually Means
Many may think a dram is the same as a shot of whisky, but that’s not the case, because the dram you order in Scotland can vary from the one you order in America. The word “dram” is derived from the Ancient Greek "drackhme" — which was eventually used by apothecaries to measure medicine in one-eighth-ounce servings.
One may assume, based on the origin of the term, that it’d represent that same measurement in whiskey, but a dram is far from a defined measurement. The amount of whisky in an actual dram varies depending on where you are in the U.K. and who is standing behind the bar — pubs in different regions will measure out drams according to different standards.
There's also a rule that says the further away one travels from London, the more whiskey is contained in a dram. A bar in Scotland will likely serve either an ounce or one and a quarter fluid ounces, while Americans use one-eighth of a fluid ounce like the apothecaries — which amounts to less than a teaspoon.