Loso, What is a standard drink?

Different countries measure  your standard drink differently based on the level of pure alcohol in the drink. They sure don’t make it easy!

The World Health Organisation use 10 grams per standard drink. This is used in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand so we’ve used this measure.


What  is the standard drink in your tipple of choice?

We’ve made it easy for you with our picture below. This is an approximate guide as  it will vary depending on the amount of pure alcohol in your drink. For example, wine can range from  9% to 16%.

Standard drink

Your tipple of choice not in the image above?

While we’ve shown how you can calculate your standard drinks below, the nice Australians have made life really easy by producing this simple to use guide covering an even wider range of drinks. All you have to do is look at the alcohol volume on your favourite tipple  and pick the relevant picture in the guide. You can see the guide here.


Not sure of your  glass size ?

Not sure what size the glasses you are using are?  You can use a measuring jug or  an empty drink container like a milk carton which has the measurement written on  it to figure out your glass size.


How are standard drinks calculated ?

All alcohol must have the alcohol volume listed on the label. Usually the  alcohol volume is shown  as a percentage.  The higher the alcohol volume %  the higher the number of  standard drinks. So a litre of vodka which is usually 40% volume has a lot more  standard drinks than a litre of beer which may only have 3% volume.  So to calculate your standard drinks there are two steps.

Step One

Multiply your quantity of drink by the alcohol volume and then by 0.79.  So

1 glass of  140 ml of wine at 12% multiplied by 0.79 is 13.3 grams of alcohol.

Step 2

Divide the 13.3 by 10 and this gives you 1.3 standard drinks.


Just pick one measure of standard drinks

Don’t get too hung up on the differences in standard drinks between countries. Just pick one measure, you feel most comfortable with  and stick with this. We’ve shown what’s used in other countries in the useful information section.


Key Take Away

Knowing the standard drink in your tipple of choice is essential to managing your drinking and drinking wisely.



PS Do the quiz it really does help

The short quiz is totally private and confidential. You’re doing it to help you really understand the  drinking limits.  Unlike school  there is no pass or fail mark reported. Answering the easy multiple choice questions  help you  to understand low risk drinking and research shows it really does help

Lesson tags: standard drink
Back to: Know your safe drinking limits (LoSo) > Low risk drinking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *