What is a drink?

In the United States, one standard drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. In alcoholic drinks this is represented by the % alcohol content of the beverage. Each beverage contains a different amount of alcohol, usually represented somewhere on the label of the bottle/can/box.

Standard drink sizes according to the National Institute of Health
Standard drink sizes according to the National Institute of Health


If you’re at a party and want to measure your drinks, you can use the lines on a Solo cup as guidelines.

Solo Cup


Serving Sizes versus Standard Drink Sizes

When ordering alcohol at a bar or restaurant, it is important to note that the purchased beverage can contain more than one standard drink. For example, many mixed drinks have 3 oz or more of liquor (a standard martini has 0.5 oz vermouth and 3 oz gin).

Where to find alcohol content on a bottle/can

The Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act requires wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages to label their alcohol content. Most labels display the % alcohol on the bottom of the front label, although some may have it listed on the back.


Allergy Information

Current interim regulations allow the voluntary display of allergen information on labels, including the “presence of milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans, as well as ingredients that contain protein derived from these foods.”

More standard drink sizes

(NOTE: These diagrams are from the Know Your Standards program in Australia which counts a standard drink as 10 grams instead of 14. The number of drinks is therefore not entirely accurate for the United States, but the % alcohol is still the same.)

Standard drinks sizes for liquor

Standard drink sizes for wine

Standard drink sizes for beer