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What is a standard "drink"?

As you might expect, the definition of a “standard drink” varies from country to country.  The table below sets out what is generally considered to be a “standard drink” in the United States.  Remember what is important is the quantity of ethanol in a given alcoholic beverage, so as the alcohol content of the beverage goes up, the size of the beverage goes down, so that each “standard drink” in the Unites States will yield approximately the same amount (12-14 g) of ethanol.

Type of
Alcoholic Drink
Size of Drink % Alcohol Content Ounces of
100% Ethanol
Beer 12 Ounces 5% 0.6 ounces
Wine 5 ounces 12% 0.6 ounces
Sherry / Port 3 ounces 20% 0.6 ounces
Whiskeys 1.5 ounces 40% 0.6 ounces

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