Know Your Booze! A Guide to Alcohol Content in Drinks

If you’re going to drink, the smart thing to do is to know how big a punch drinks pack.  

Have you ever “studied” the alcohol content of various drinks? Probably not. For most of us, drinking starts fairly early in life and we’re just looking to have a good time, not make a science experiment out of it.

But if you have any interest at all in not needing a DUI attorney in St. Augustine, and you should definitely be interested since a DUI will have numerous devastating impacts on your life, knowing which drinks are likely to get you intoxicated faster can help you make smarter and more strategic drink choices. 

Of course, with the legal BAC limit in Florida at .08%, it doesn’t take much at all to get you to that limit and put you at risk. So the best thing you can do any and every time you go out drinking is to plan in advance to not have to drive home. 

The kind of alcohol you’re drinking is (hopefully) ethanol. It’s made by yeast during a fermentation process. Other alcohols like isopropyl or butyl alcohol might kill you. Also, you should understand the relationship between alcohol percentage and “proof.” An alcohol’s proof is twice its content or percentage. So a drink with 20% alcohol is 40-proof.    

That said, let’s take a look at some popular drinks and the alcohol content they carry. Obviously, if your goal is to limit your intoxication, the size of the drink, how many you have and how fast, your individual body type and tolerance, and whether or not you’ve had something to eat are all additional factors that come into play.  

Alcohol Percentage in Drinks by Volume

Vodka – 40-95% – Spirytus Vodka at 96% is the highest alcohol content drink in the world.  

Gin- 36-50%

Rum – 36-50%

Whiskey – 36-50% – Includes scotch, bourbon, and Irish and Canadian whiskeys.

Tequila – 50-51%

Liqueurs – 15% – Includes triple sec, amaretto, schnapps, and Sambuca.

Fortified Wine – 16-24% What makes it “fortified” is the addition of brandy or fermenting it longer.

Unfortified Wine – 14-16% 

Beer – 4-8%  – Lagers, pilsners, flavored beers, and ale. Some craft beers can be as high as 12%.

Malt Beverage – 15% – These are beers with additional alcohol added. 

Hard Cider – 5%

Mead – 10% to 14%

Saké – 16%

Brandy – 35% to 60% Cognac has 40%.

Absinthe – 40% to 90% 

Everclear- 60% to 95% – Never mind DUI’s, drinking Everclear can quickly cause alcohol poisoning and death. 

Jagermeister – 35% – Like KFC, it’s made with 56 herbs and spices, some of them kept secret for 79 years. 

Armed with these numbers, you’re sure to find a drink that’s to your liking but that won’t quickly put you behind bars. Of course, if you do wind up arrested and charged with a DUI, the other number you’re going to need to know is the one to a great St. Augustine DUI lawyer. Put the name and number of Shoemaker Law, 904-872-SHOE, in your phone right now.