Standard Drink Size

What is a standard drink? 

A standard drink is a measure of the pure alcohol you are drinking; it is not the total amount of liquid in your glass. Beer, coolers, ciders and wine contain different alcohol percentages or strength and are served in different sizes. The bigger the size and the higher the alcohol percentage, the increase in the total alcohol content in the container.

Convert your drinks into standard drink sizes

For an amount of alcohol, find out how many Canadian standard drinks it represents.

Size: ml
oz
Strength (% alcohol):

 

Convert your standard drinks into volume

For a number of Canadian standard drinks and % alcohol, find the volume it represents.

Number of std. drinks: Strength (% alcohol):

 

Developed by: University of Victoria logo

How do I calculate one standard drink to pour in my glass? 

Remember the type of alcohol doesn’t matter, it is about the alcohol % or strength. It is sometimes shown as percentage alcohol by volume (%ABV). 

  1. Read the label to see the alcohol % for the type of alcohol you are drinking (e.g. 5%, 7%, 12% etc.).

Magic Formula is 17 divided by alcohol % = # of (ml) for 1 standard drink

Example: How many milliliters do I pour for 1 standard drink of 12% beverage?

Answer: 17 / 0.12= 142 ml is 1 standard drink for a 12% alcohol beverage.

How many standard drinks are in the whole container?

Remember the type of alcohol does not matter, it is about the alcohol % or strength. It is sometimes shown as percentage alcohol by volume (%ABV).

  1. Read the label to see the alcohol % for the type of alcohol you are drinking (e.g. 5%, 7%, 12% etc.).
  2. Look for the container volume (e.g. 750 ml; 340 ml etc).

Magic Formula is # ml x alcohol % divided by 17 = Total # standard drinks 

Example: How many standard drinks are in a 750 milliliter bottle of a 12% beverage?

Answer: 750 ml x 0.12 % / 17 = 5.3 standard drinks in the bottle. 

Learn more about the Standard Drink and Low Risk Drinking Guidelines

Contact Us