Abstract The effects of autoshaping procedures (paired vs. random) and sipper fluid (ethanol vs. water) on sipper-directed drinking were evaluated in male Long-Evans rats maintained with free access to food and water. For the paired/ethanol group ( n=16), autoshaping procedures consisted of presenting the ethanol sipper (containing 0% to 28% unsweetened ethanol) conditioned stimulus (CS) followed by the response-independent presentation of food unconditioned stimulus (US). The random/ethanol group ( n=8) received the sipper CS and food US randomly with respect to one another. The paired/water group ( n=8) received only water in the sipper CS. The paired/ethanol group showed higher grams per kilogram ethanol intake than the random/ethanol group did at ethanol concentrations of 8% to 28%. The paired/ethanol group showed higher sipper CS-directed milliliter fluid consumption than the paired/water group did at ethanol concentrations of 1% to 6%, and 15%, 16%, 18%, and 20%. Following a 42-day retention interval, the paired/ethanol group showed superior retention of CS-directed drinking of 18% ethanol, relative to the random/ethanol group, and superior retention of CS-directed milliliter fluid drinking relative to the paired/water group. When tested for home cage ethanol preference using limited access two-bottle (28% ethanol vs. water) procedures, the paired/ethanol and random/ethanol groups did not differ on any drinking measures.