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Is all alcohol the same?

The alcohol found in all alcohol beverages – whether beer, wine or distilled spirits – is always ethanol or ethyl alcohol. It is the other ingredients of each beverage that affect the taste.

Standard Drinks
Alcohol beverages come in a variety of sizes of glasses, bottles and other drink containers. Many different drinks contain different amounts of alcohol. Because of this variation, and as a way to educate the public about responsible drinking, many governments have developed the concept of a standard drink .

A standard drink is a measure of the amount of pure alcohol within a drink (14 grams). This can then be used to compare alcohol content across all different types and sizes of alcohol beverage containers.
In the United States a standard drink is defined as 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol. This means that a 
  • 5-ounce glass of wine (12% alcohol by volume) 
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (40% alcohol by volume) 
  • 12-ounce can of beer (5% alcohol by volume) 
all contain the same amount of alcohol.

Alcohol is alcohol regardless of the form it takes. There is no more potent form of alcohol just as there is no safer form of alcohol, which means it is not what type of beverage you drink, but how much pure alcohol you consume that is important. And that’s what you need to track.


 
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