You may think it"s a straightforward question with a simple answer – one drink amounts to one traditional amount the alcohol, yet that"s not constantly the case. 


The quantity of alcohol in her drink varies based upon the serving size, type of drink, and also mixers you use. If you’ve ever stood increase after drink a Hurricane in new Orleans, you understand that one drink can pack a much much more powerful punch 보다 you expect. 

What is a traditional drink size?

In 1985, the U.S. Department of Health and Human solutions (HHS) and the U.S. Department of farming (USDA) detailed a traditional drink for the an initial time in the diet Guidelines because that Americans. The designation the a standard drink enabled people to to compare alcoholic beverages the various varieties and sizes. Gift able to totally comprehend that each drink has the same amount that ethanol, or pure alcohol, helps civilization keep track of just how much alcohol they have actually consumed.

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But you need to be careful because the meaning of a traditional drink different from nation to country! In the united States, the nationwide Institutes of Health applied the following quantities for a traditional drink in order come ensure uniformity. The traditional drink includes 14 grams the pure alcohol. There space 14 grams the pure alcohol in:

12 ounces the beer (5% alcohol content)8 ounces the malt liquor (7% alcohol content)5 ounces of alcohol (12% alcohol content)1.5 ounces or a “shot” the 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled soul or liquor



Factors that skew a traditional drink size:


Serving Size

If you open up a have the right to or bottle of beer, you understand it is a traditional serving size and the percent of alcohol by volume is published right top top the label. The lot of alcohol is easy to calculate. The exact same goes for wine, if you measure her 5-ounce serving climate you recognize the percent of alcohol by volume because it is published on the label. And also a shoot glass holds 1.5 ounces that liquor. If this works good in a perfect world, I rarely see civilization measure their wine prior to they pour at a party or examine the dimension of the glass when drawing a beer native a keg.

Five ounces of wine can look deceptively tiny in a bigger glass. The form of the glassware has a huge impact top top the quantity of alcohol consumed. To illustrate, take it a look in ~ the photo of the 3 wine glasses presented here - all have different quantities of wine. Also, consider that not all shoot glasses host 1.5 ounces. Shot glasses differ in dimension from 1 to 1.5 come 2 ounces and also often no labeled. This makes a huge difference in your blood alcohol content if you believed you had actually 2 shots in your blended drink, however really it to be closer come 3. 

And the iconic red solo cup is not one drink! A single red solo cup have the right to hold 18 ounces, which means you are drinking one and a fifty percent drinks per cup if you space filling it v beer. Once you use it for blended drinks, the variety of standard drinks increases rather quickly.

The person pouring likewise impacts the serving size and the kind of alcohol is likewise related to the amount of alcohol in a drink. Everyone has actually a favourite bartender who provides them the perfect drink or seems to have a hefty hand as soon as making drinks, and while this deserve to be a most fun, it is for sure to assume that there might be an ext than a typical drink in former of you. However how lot the quasi-bartender in ~ the house party different from the standard drink is really hard to determine.


Type that Drink

The form of drink additionally affects the amount of alcohol in a drink. Percentage that alcohol through volume different widely also in beer. Assuming your beer is automatically 5% alcohol is not constantly a safe bet, especially when it involves craft beers. And a blended drink might be comprised of an ext than a solitary shot. In fact, numerous mixed drinks contain numerous different varieties of liquor hence increasing the alcohol contents well over a traditional drink. Take into consideration a lengthy Island ice cream Tea, i beg your pardon is make with fifty percent an oz of 5 different types of liquor, or a coco martini that includes nearly 4 ounces that liquor every drink. A single serving of either of these drinks could easily put you over the legal border to drive or a fifty percent a serving if that a mrs consuming the drink on an north stomach. 

Just remember the the lot of liquid in your glass or party does not equal the lot of actual alcohol in the drink. Relying on the recipe, you might have one, two, or more standard sized drinks in a solitary cocktail. Girlfriend can examine the alcohol content of various mixed drinks utilizing this handy calculator indigenous the NIAAA, calculator, however you"ll still get a turbulent estimate only since it cannot take all components into account.

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Mixers in her Drink

Mixers deserve to also influence the amount of alcohol in a drink. Once alcohol is combined with a stimulant such as caffeine or guarana, it can mask the impacts of intoxication which frequently leads human being to consume more alcohol under the presumption they space not impaired. It is assumed the a mixer will mitigate the lot of alcohol in a drink, but in fact, mixing alcohol v diet soda deserve to actually rise the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. This is because sugar reduce the quantity of time it takes because that the little intestine come absorb alcohol. So, if diet drinks may reduce your overall calorie intake, they rise your blood alcohol content.



The traditional drink size was produced to help administer a uniform measure for the equivalency of alcoholic drinks. It permits a human being to around guess your blood alcohol content based on the lot of alcohol they have actually consumed, yet there are plenty of factors the influence just how much alcohol is in a drink. Drink serving size, the percent of alcohol through volume, and also who is pouring all adjust the total amount of alcohol in a “single” drink. The only accurate method to recognize your blood alcohol content is to use a A is the only way to make notified decisions about driving once you aren’t sure just how much alcohol may have been in your drinks.