Standard Drink Calculator & Table – If Cutting Back, Know How Much Alcohol Is in That Drink

Alcohol Is in That Drink

If you’ve come here after searching on this issue, it’s likely that you’re wondering about your drinking

and whether or not you should cut back to reduce alcohol-related problems or risks for problems. If you’ve not read the previous post I recommend doing so as they build on each other.

The first post covered definitions of moderate drinking based on solid empirical research over the years. It also addressed instances where moderate drinking or a goal of pursuing moderate drinking could be hazardous to your health and well-being. If you haven’t yet read it, we recommend that you do so first.

This second post focused on what’s really the first step or question to answer about your drinking? Would it be a good thing for me to change it?

This third post (below) gives you a way to compare different kinds of alcohol and encourages you to use a standard drink (Standard Ethanol Content or SEC to use research terms) and gives you a calculator for it.

The fourth post addresses your chances of success in cutting back.

The fifth post cover concrete steps to take in cutting back on your drinking.

The sixth post discusses how to deal when your efforts to moderate your drinking aren’t working.

What is a Standard Drink?

A “standard drink” is a term used to describe the approximate amount of pure alcohol in different alcoholic beverages. It offers a way to compare alcohol content across diverse drink types and sizes. The actual volume of a standard drink can vary based on the country. The table below provides info on how much of a beverage or substance translates into 1 or 2 standard drinks:

Drink/BrandVolume for 1 Standard Drink (ml/oz/cups)Volume for 2 Standard Drinks (ml/oz/cups)
Vodka (40% ABV)35 ml / 1.18 oz / 0.15 cups70 ml / 2.37 oz / 0.30 cups
Beer (5% ABV)280 ml / 9.46 oz / 1.18 cups560 ml / 18.93 oz / 2.37 cups
Champagne (13.5% ABV)104 ml / 3.52 oz / 0.44 cups208 ml / 7.04 oz / 0.88 cups
Wine (13% ABV)108 ml / 3.65 oz / 0.46 cups216 ml / 7.30 oz / 0.91 cups
Tequila (40% ABV)35 ml / 1.18 oz / 0.15 cups70 ml / 2.37 oz / 0.30 cups
Sake (15% ABV)93 ml / 3.14 oz / 0.39 cups186 ml / 6.28 oz / 0.79 cups
Absinthe (68% ABV)21 ml / 0.71 oz / 0.09 cups41 ml / 1.39 oz / 0.17 cups
Amaretto (28% ABV)50 ml / 1.69 oz / 0.21 cups100 ml / 3.38 oz / 0.42 cups
Fernet (40% ABV)35 ml / 1.18 oz / 0.15 cups70 ml / 2.37 oz / 0.30 cups
Aperol (11% ABV)127 ml / 4.30 oz / 0.54 cups254 ml / 8.60 oz / 1.07 cups
Cachaça (38% ABV)37 ml / 1.25 oz / 0.16 cups73 ml / 2.47 oz / 0.31 cups
Bourbon (45% ABV)31 ml / 1.05 oz / 0.13 cups62 ml / 2.09 oz / 0.26 cups
Nyquil (10% ABV)140 ml / 4.73 oz / 0.59 cups280 ml / 9.46 oz / 1.18 cups
Cheracol Plus (12% ABV)117 ml / 3.96 oz / 0.49 cups234 ml / 7.91 oz / 0.99 cups
Dimetane (1.4% ABV)1000 ml / 33.81 oz / 4.23 cups2000 ml / 67.63 oz / 8.45 cups
Donnatal (13.3% ABV)105 ml / 3.55 oz / 0.44 cups210 ml / 7.10 oz / 0.89 cups
Geritol (12% ABV)117 ml / 3.96 oz / 0.49 cups234 ml / 7.91 oz / 0.99 cups
Novahistine (5% ABV)280 ml / 9.46 oz / 1.18 cups560 ml / 18.93 oz / 2.37 cups
Robitussin (3.5% ABV)400 ml / 13.53 oz / 1.69 cups800 ml / 27.05 oz / 3.38 cups
Triaminic (5.5% ABV)255 ml / 8.62 oz / 1.08 cups510 ml / 17.24 oz / 2.16 cups

How Much is in that Drink?

One of the first steps in learning how to moderate or stop drinking so much is to determine how much alcohol is in your favorite drink.
Now more than ever, in the age of supersize drink pours and growing wine glasses, it’s important to understand the alcohol content %, in order to determine how many “standard drinks” are in your glass.
For example, your nightly glass of wine wine could actually be equivalent to 2 or even 3 standard drinks ( as opposed to 1) based on the size of the glass and wine’s alcohol content. To help you figure out how many standard drinks are in your favorite drink at CheckUp & Choices we’ve put together a calculator, and an A-Z list of common beer and drink brands with their corresponding alcohol %, so you can be able to compare apples (wine) to oranges (liquor). However, to start, it’s important to understand the definition of a standard drink.

A standard drink is…

Next, it’s essential to figure out how many “standard drinks” are actually in your favorite drink.

If you usually drink a glass with 3 oz. of vodka every night, or a pint of beer which is equal to 16 oz., the number of standard drinks will change depending on the % of alcohol and quantity.

To determine the % of alcohol, look at the bottle to find the alcohol % noted.  How big is the bottle? Consider the size. Beer bottles, for example, come in a variety of sizes ranging from 8 to 40 oz. If the alcohol content is unclear click here for the full list of beers, wines, wine coolers, liquors and liqueurs. Scroll down the page until you locate your favorite drink. The alcohol content will be listed in the column to the right. Note that .05 = 5%, and .40 = 40%. If you drink outside the home, and you’re unclear exactly how much alcohol the bartender pours in your favorite drink, the only way to find out is to ask.

Once you’ve determined the size (oz., mls.) and alcohol %, enter the information below to figure out just how many standard drinks are in your favorite drink.


Here’s the number of standard drinks in that drink:

How Being Aware of Standard Drinks Can Help You Cut Back

  1. Setting Limits: By understanding what constitutes a standard drink, you can set a daily or weekly limit for yourself. This gives you a tangible goal to strive for, making it easier to monitor and control your intake.
  2. Accountability: Keeping track of the number of standard drinks you consume can serve as a reality check. You might think you’ve only had two glasses of wine, but if each glass was larger than the standard size, you might have consumed three or more standard drinks.
  3. Enhanced Decision Making: Being cognizant of your alcohol consumption aids in making informed decisions, like whether it’s safe to drive or if you should have another drink.
  4. Health Insights: Monitoring your intake can provide insights into how alcohol affects your body, mood, and sleep patterns. Over time, this information can motivate you to cut back if you notice any negative impacts.

Some Limitations of Using Standard Drinks

  1. Not One-size-fits-all: Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently based on factors like weight, age, sex, and tolerance. What might be moderate for one person can be excessive for another, even if they’re consuming the same number of standard drinks.
  2. Variation in Alcohol Content: Not all drinks fit neatly into the “standard drink” definition. Craft beers, cocktails with multiple alcohols, or wines with high alcohol content can contain more alcohol than one might assume.
  3. False Sense of Security: Just because someone sticks to a specific number of standard drinks doesn’t mean they’re safe to drive or won’t experience negative health effects. It’s crucial to listen to one’s body and understand its limits.
  4. Focus on Quantity Over Quality: Standard drinks emphasize the quantity of alcohol, but not necessarily the quality of the experience. Cutting back on alcohol isn’t just about drinking less; it’s also about enjoying what you drink and recognizing how it makes you feel.

What is Moderate Drinking?

Moderate drinking is defined as no more than 3-4 standard drinks per drinking episode, and no more than 7 drinks per week for women and 12 for men. If your objective is to moderate or cut back on your drinking, consider the following: 1) If you find that you’re drinking more than the moderate drinking guidelines by cutting back on alcohol you’ll reduce your risk for problems; and 2) Even moderate drinking may put you at risk for alcohol-related problems if you’re currently not drinking; or if you’ve had significant alcohol related problems in the past.

Lastly, If the answer above leaves you wondering or concerned about your drinking, click on the Screener button at the top of the page and get some objective feedback. It’s confidential and anonymous.