Nicotine Shots and Shortfill E-Liquid Explained!

Nicotine Shots and Shortfill E-Liquid Explained!

Adam Winter DIY E-Liquid Mixing, News 6 Comments


If you’re wondering what on the dark side of the moon it means when you hear ‘Nicotine Shots and Shortfill e-liquid’, you’re in the right place! So what is a Nicotine Shot? How do you mix with Nicotine Shots and Shortfill bottles? Why do you get on a bus but in a car?! Ok, I’m heading off track a bit…

Back to the issue at hand! What is a Nicotine Shot? Before we can answer that, let’s take a look at Shortfill e-liquid… What is Shortfill e-liquid and and how does it work? Essentially, it’s any size bottle of nicotine free e-liquid (of varying flavor strengths!) with the bottle not filled to full capacity. In other words, a ‘short filled’ bottle with room for you to add liquid nicotine.

And you guessed it… this is how to mix with Nicotine Shots and Shortfill bottles!

A Nicotine Shot (often referred to as simply a ‘nic shot’) is a separate bottle of liquid nicotine that you use to fill up your Shortfill bottle.

To give you a basic example; a 60ml Shortfill bottle would contain 50ml of nicotine free e-liquid. You’d top this up with 10ml of whatever strength liquid nicotine you choose and voila!

Do I have to use Nicotine Shots and Shortfill E-bottles?!

Ok, let’s delve into the ‘why’ and ‘when’ before we go any further!

Back in May 2017, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was introduced in the EU. In a nutshell, this restricted both the amount and strength of liquid nicotine you could buy. Specifically, you could no longer purchase liquid nicotine with a strength greater than 20mg per ml or in bottles larger than 10ml. Although the maximum strength set by the TPD is 20mg/ml, the vast majority of suppliers are opting for 18mg/ml as the numbers are easier to calculate when mixing!

Essentially, those 30ml, 50ml and 100ml bottles of e-juice you’re so fond of are a thing of the past!

Unless you’re outside of the EU…

In which case, you’re no doubt spooning a two litre bottle of maximum strength e-juice while reading this!

What if I vape higher than 18mg/ml?!

One of many reasons the TPD wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms by the vaping community. The long and short of it; it’s almost impossible to purchase or mix your own DIY e-liquid with a nicotine strength over 18mg/ml.

For me, this is the worst aspect of the TPD. The large majority of new vapers are those attempting to quit the nasty ‘cancer sticks’. Personally, I started vaping at 24mg/ml after a ’40 a day’ habit. Although I transitioned to a lower strength in a short space of time, I don’t know if I’d have stuck with it had I not been able to get that initial nicotine ‘fix’.

We’ll take a proper look at how to mix with Nicotine Shots and Shortfill bottles a bit further on!

Will using Nicotine Shots and Shortfill bottles be more expensive?

Mixing with Nicotine Shots and Shortfill e-liquid bottles is more expensive than DIY e-juice mixing prior to the TPD. However, it’s still significantly cheaper than buying pre-made e-liquid from your local vape store. Also, let’s be honest… It’s far cheaper (and healthier!) than buying 20 cigarettes a day!

How to mix e-liquid with Nicotine Shots

Ok, so let’s have a look at how to mix with Nicotine Shots.

If you’re mixing you’re own e-liquid using Nicotine Shots and you simply need to know how many bottles of nicotine to add, we’ve got you covered! Let’s assume you’re using 18mg/ml Nicotine Shots, you’ve pre-mixed your PG/VG/flavouring and you need to know how many Nicotine Shots to add… We’ll base the ‘recipe’ on the most popular strengths of e-juice:


25ml of e-liquid = 1/2 a ‘nic shot’
50ml of e-liquid = 1 ‘nic shot’
100ml of e-liquid = 2 ‘nic shots’


25ml of e-liquid = 1.25 ‘nic shots’
50ml of e-liquid = 2.5 ‘nic shots’
100ml of e-liquid = 4 ‘nic shots’


25ml of e-liquid = 2.5 ‘nic shots’
50ml of e-liquid = 5 ‘nic shots’
100ml of e-liquid = 10 ‘nic shots’

Just keep in mind that the amount of e-liquid specified is before you’ve added your Nicotine Shot. Therefore, using x number of Nicotine Shots will increase the final amount of e-juice you make. For example using the above calculations, if you have 100ml of nicotine free e-juice and you want to vape at 9mg; you would add 10 Nicotine Shots. As each Nicotine Shot is exactly 10ml you’d end up with a total of 200ml of 9mg strength e-liquid.

Confused yet?!

Looking for a far simpler way of calculating how many Nicotine Shots to add to your nicotine free e-liquid? Head over to our Nicotine Shot and Shortfill Calculator and we’ll do all the hard work for you!  Just select ‘E-Liquid’ from the drop-down menu, select how much nicotine free e-juice you have and we’ll tell you exactly how many Nicotine Shots you need to add!

How to Mix e-liquid using Shortfill Bottles

Ok, so let’s take a look at how to mix e-liquid with Shortfill bottles… As we know already, a Shortfill bottle is simply a bottle of nicotine free e-liquid (of varying flavour strengths!) with the bottle not filled to full capacity. It’s also worth noting that various PG/VG ratios of Shortfill bottles are available. Especially handy, if like me, you experience symptoms of a PG Intolerance!

So, again let’s assume you’re using 18mg/ml Nicotine Shots. We’ll take a look at a few of the most popular sizes of Shortfill bottles and desired nicotine strengths:


30ml Shortfill bottle = 1/2 a Nicotine shot
60ml Shortfill bottle = 1 Nicotine shot
120ml Shortfill bottle = 2 Nicotine shots


30ml Shortfill bottle = 1 Nicotine shot
60ml Shortfill bottle = 2 Nicotine shots
120ml Shortfill bottle = 4 Nicotine shots


30ml Shortfill bottle = 1 and a 1/2 Nicotine shots
60ml Shortfill bottle = 3 Nicotine shots
120ml Shortfill bottle = 6 Nicotine shots

Just remember that the amount specified is the size of the Shortfill bottle and therefore the final amount of e-liquid you want to make. So using the above as an example; if you buy a 120ml Shortfill bottle with a desired nicotine strength of 9mg, your bottle will have 60ml of nicotine free e-liquid. Add your 6 Nicotine Shots (a total of 60ml of nicotine) and you have 120ml of 9mg strength e-juice.

Again, if you’d rather not have to do these calculations manually, head over to our Nicotine Shot and Shortfill Calculator! Just select ‘Shortfill’ from the drop-down menu, select the size of the Shortfill bottle you have and we’ll tell you exactly how many Nicotine Shots you need to add!

And that’s it for today folks! Hopefully by now you know enough about how to mix with Nicotine Shots and Shortfill bottles to have a crack at it yourself! If you have any questions, or just want to drop us some feedback on this Nicotine Shots and Shortfill e-liquid ‘how to’, please feel free to comment below!

Happy Vaping!


Comments 6

  1. You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I to
    find this topic to be really something which I think I might never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very wide for me.
    I’m taking a look forward for your next submit, I’ll attempt
    to get the hold of it!

  2. Hi guys

    Here’s one for you.

    If I wanted to make a 120ml short fill bottle (filled to 100ml) just 0.2% nicotine, what nic shot would I need (1.5% or 1.8%) and how much would I need to use??

    I am struggling to work this out and it’s driving me nuts!

    1. Hi Dave,

      We’ve all been there… Hopefully the below helps 🙂

      If you have a shortfill bottle (120 ml total capacity) and 100 ml of 0% nicotine strength e-liquid, you can use either the 1.5% (15mg) nicotine shots or the 1.8% (18mg) nicotine shots. We’ve written down the amounts you would need to use below with both options:

      If using 1.5% (15mg) nicotine shots – nicotine to add = 15.38 ml and the total e-liquid you’ll have is 115.38 ml.
      If using 1.8% (18mg) nicotine shots – nicotine to add = 12.50 ml and the total e-liquid you’ll have is 112.50 ml.

      Hope this helps Dave! Let us know if you need any more help 🙂 Don’t forget you can use our ‘Nicotine Shot / Shortfill Calculator’ to help you out with future mixes. Just select the nicotine shot option and fill out the options.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for your comment. The short answer here is that yes, you can mix the flavour directly with the nicshot. Unfortunately, without knowing a bit more about what nicotine strength you’re trying to achieve and what setup you’re using it’s very hard to give you specific advice on how to achieve this. There are lots of variables (do you mean a flavour concentrate? Are you using nicshots in Europe restricted at 18mg nicotine strength? Are you using nicotine salts? etc) making it really hard to give you any specific advice.

      If you are mixing with nicshots from anywhere is Europe then you might find our article on mixing with TPD strength nicotine might help. Alternatively, if you’re trying to achieve the highest nicotine strength available then I’d really recommend having a good look at our post on nicotine salts.

      Hope this helps Daniel and if you’ve got any more questions feel free to get in touch 🙂

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