What is a Standard Drink?
Because beer, wine and liquor all have different amounts of alcohol, a standard drink of each type of alcohol can look very different. While the sizes vary, each of these drinks has the same amount of alcohol and is a “standard drink”:
- 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol)
- 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol)
- 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol)
- 1.5 ounces or a "shot" of 80-proof (40% alcohol) spirits or liquor
In some places, you may be able to find other spirits, such as moonshine. The alcohol content in these drinks can vary and may be much higher than traditional alcoholic beverages. You should consume these with caution.
The percentage of alcohol in a drink makes a big difference! That drink you order at the bar could be equal to two or three “standard drinks.” It depends on the type and amount of alcohol in the drink. To calculate how many drinks are actually in your drink, use the Rethinking Drinking Drink Size Calculator.