Standard Size Drink

A standard size drink refers to any drink that holds 14g of pure alcohol. This is equivalent to 1.2 tbsp or 0.6 fl oz. Here are standard drink equivalents and the drinks in various containers.
These figures are only approximates.


A 12 oz cooler or beer is equal to 1 standard drink, while 16 oz is equal to 1.3 standard drinks. A 22 oz beer or cooler is equivalent to two standard drinks. A 40 oz beer or cooler is equal to 3.3 standard drinks.

Malt Liquor and Table Wine

A 12 oz malt liquor is equivalent to 1.5 drinks. If you drink 16 oz that is equal to two standard size drinks. 22 oz is equivalent to 2.5 drinks while 40 oz is equal to 4.5. A 750 ml (25 oz.) bottle is equivalent to five standard drinks.

Hard Liquor

A mixed drink is equal to one or more standard drinks. A pint (16 oz) is equivalent to 11 drinks, while a fifth (25 oz.) is the same as 17 drinks. A 1.75 L (59 oz.) is the same as 39 standard drinks.

Note: a forty of regular beer is the same as 3 1/2 standard drinks. A can of 12 oz of beer is equivalent to a standard drink. If you are going to drink 750ml bottle of hard liquor, that is the same as 17 standard drinks.

Alcohol Level by Percentage

Another way to determine the alcohol amount is by percentage. 12 fl oz of regular beer has 5% alcohol. 8-9 fl oz of malt liquor has 7% alcohol while 5 fl oz of table wine has about 12% alcohol.

3-4 oz of fortified wine (i.e., sherry) has 17% alcohol. 2-3 oz of cordial, aperitif or liqueur has a 25% alcohol level. 1.5 oz of brandy has a 40% amount of alcohol. 1.5 fl oz shot of 80-proof spirits has the same alcohol level as brandy.

Other Information

The figures above can only be used for comparison. However, keep in mind that there are many kinds of malt liquor and beer. This means the alcohol level can vary a great deal. For instance, some light beers have equal amounts of alcohol as the average beer.

If you want to know the standard size drink or the alcohol level, check the label. If the information you are looking for is not there, you can usually find it on the Web.

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