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Tip 7:          Drinks

What’s stronger beer or booze?

Jennifer S.,   Boston University, Frosh

Why is a Long Island Iced Tea considered so strong?

Allyson V.,   Worcester State, Frosh

I only drink beer, what’s the problem?

Brad M.,   Manhattan College, Junior

Why do all the alcohol people say that a beer, a shot and a glass of wine are the same?

Jesse S.,   Boston College, Frosh


A drink is defined as approximately one half ounce of pure alcohol.  This half-ounce of alcohol comes packaged in many different ways: beer, wine and liquor.  Alcoholic beverages have different strengths known as Alcohol By Volume (ABV) or Proof, therefore different size portions of the following drinks provide one half ounce of pure alcohol or constitute a drink.  The following list should answer your questions Jennifer, Brad and Jesse.


4 Ounces Table Wine X 12% ABV         = .48 Ounces of Pure Alcohol

12 Ounces Average Beer X 4% ABV     = .48 Ounces of Pure Alcohol

1 Ounce Shot of Liquor X 50% (100 Proof)    = .50 Ounces of Pure Alcohol

1.5 Ounce Shot of Liquor X 40% (80 Proof)     = .60 Ounces of Pure Alcohol 


Wine Coolers are often mistakenly identified as one drink.  This may or may not be true depending upon the type of cooler. Wine Coolers have a range of 3% to 8% ABV.  The average Wine Cooler is 6% ABV.  This means the average 12-ounce Wine Cooler has approximately 50% more alcohol than the average Beer.


There are a number of exceptions to the above list.  Ice Beers and Malt Liquors contain a lot more alcohol than regular Beer.  Fortified Wine contains more alcohol than regular Table Wine.  Also, remember there is no way of knowing how much alcohol is in Punch.  


Finally, Allyson, a Long Island Iced Tea contains vodka, gin, rum tequila and triple sec.  Depending upon who is mixing it, an LIT can contain at least two ounces of pure alcohol, which is equal to four drinks!


Here’s a quick word about a new and somewhat popular mixed drink containing a stimulant and a depressant – Red Bull and vodka.  Also, bartenders are now creating a variety of other concoctions containing energy drinks and alcohol.  Actually, now available in stores are pre-mixed energy/alcohol drinks.  These drinks usually contain caffeine and some other stimulant-like herbs.  There are two concerns regarding these drinks.  First, there are the increased dangers of mixing a stimulant with alcohol. (See Tip #9: Drugs)  Second, the stimulation from the drinks can mask the true level of impairment of the drinker.  Because the drinker is not feeling tired it is easy for the drinker to confuse being awake with being sober.



If you consume alcohol, be an informed consumer.  Know how much alcohol is 

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