Do you know how much a standard drink is? What does ‘one alcoholic drink’ look like exactly? It’s surprising to some when they realize how much alcohol they are really consuming in one setting, but it is important to have an idea for your safety. Let’s go over what a standard drink is in the U.S. (yes, the definition of a ‘standard drink’ does vary by country!)
The Definition of a Standard Drink
In the U.S., a standard drink contains 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is about 1.2 tablespoons or 0.6 fluid ounces. Each type of alcoholic beverage below falls under the definition of one standard drink. Although they are different sizes, the amount of alcohol in them is the same.
12 fl. oz. of regular beer (one can) = 5 percent of alcohol
* Craft beers could have higher alcohol content
5 fl. oz. of wine = About 12 percent of alcohol
- Malt Liquor (beer with high alcohol content)
8 to 9 fl. oz. of malt liquor = About 7 percent of alcohol
- Liquor or Spirits (rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey, etc.)
1.5 fl. oz of liquor = about 40% of alcohol
* Mixed drinks can contain more alcohol content in them.
Having a basic idea of how much alcohol you are consuming in one setting is good to know. A good start is knowing how much is in a standard drink. Check the labels of your beverages, which will tell you how much alcohol content is within it.
Tip: Alcohol proof is the government documentation of a distilled beverage’s alcohol content. In the U.S., if you cut the number in half, you get the actual amount of alcohol in the bottle. For example, 80 proof means 40 percent of the liquid in the bottle is alcohol.
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