What's in Your Cup?

In the United States, one "standard" drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol.  These drinks are different sizes, but they all count as one standard drink:

  • 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol by volume)
  • 4-5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol by volume)
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor (40% alcohol by volume)

Alcohol content can vary widely, so it's important to check the label when you're drinking something new.  A 151-proof bottle of spirits, for example, is 75% alcohol by volume.  Most alcohol containers list the alcohol content on the package.

Wondering how many drinks are in a 40?  In a fifth of gin? Visit the drink size calculator at http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.

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