What size drink?

AbV may be the best guide to the alcohol content in a drink. But unfortunately, we do not usually order our drinks in millilitres (though this is now sometimes printed on menus in restaurants and bars). When ordering a drink we might ask for a pint, a bottle, a can, a gill, a glass, or a shot... Few of those are exact measures. There may an understanding (either nationally or locally) of what is meant, but an English pint is not the same size as a US pint.

To help get around these various difficulties, the idea of a standard drink has been established in many counties. It is based on the standard unit of alcohol used in that country and is generally defined simply using words such as, 'A standard drink is one pint of beer, or a glass of wine.'

Such explanations are only intended to be used within the country in which they are issued, because there are limitations that also need to be understood. Such a simple definition does not allow for variations in the size of the glass of wine or the strength of the wine or the beer! The idea behind the unit is simply to make people aware of how much they are drinking in a week or an evening.

If you can estimate the number of units that you are drinking, then you are less likely to damage your body by excess drinking.

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