Understanding the ‘standard drink’

While most people enjoy a drink, not many really know what legally constitutes one standard drink.

While hotels and clubs have measures to ensure they serve standard-sized drinks, when you have a couple of glasses at home, how do you know if you have consumed more?

Here’s an easy guide from the Australian Government Department of Health – the standard size may surprise you. After all, one wine or beer glass can hold way more than a standard drink. Consume too many, and you may be over the limit to drive.

For example a standard 750ml bottle of red wine has almost eight standard drinks, while the same size bottle of white wine has almost seven standard drinks. Wine can also vary in alcohol content, which will cause variations in measurement.

Number of standard drinks – beer

Full strength 4.8% alcohol volume

  • 285ml glass – 1.1 standard drinks
  • 375ml bottle or can – 1.4 standard drinks
  • 425ml glass – 1.6 standard drinks
  • 24 x 375ml case – 34 standard drinks

Mid strength 3.5% alcohol volume

  • 285ml glass – 0.8 standard drink
  • 375ml bottle or can – 1 standard drink
  • 425 mlglass – 1.2 standard drinks
  • 24 x 375ml case – 24 standard drinks

Low strength 2.7% alcohol volume

  • 285ml glass – 0.6 standard drink
  • 375ml bottle or can – 0.8 standard drink
  • 425ml glass – 0.9 standard drinks
  • 24 x 375ml case – 19 standard drinks

Number of standard drinks – wine

Red wine 13% alcohol volume

  • 100ml standard serve – 1 standard drink
  • 150ml average restaurant serving – 1.5 standard drinks
  • 750ml bottle – 7.7 standard drinks
  • 2 litre cask – 21 standard drinks
  • 4 litre cask – 41 standard drinks

White wine 11.5% alcohol volume

  • 100ml standard serve – 0.9 standard drink
  • 150ml average restaurant serving – 1.4 standard drinks
  • 750ml bottle – 6.8 standard drinks
  • 2 litre cask – 18 standard drinks
  • 4 litre cask – 36 standard drinks

Champagne 12% alcohol volume

  • 150ml average restaurant serving – 1.4 standard drinks
  • 750ml bottle – 7.1 standard drinks

Port 17.5% alcohol volume

  • 60ml standard serve – 0.8 standard drink
  • 2 litre cask – 28 standard drinks

Number of standard drinks – spirits

High strength 40% alcohol volume

  • 30ml nip – 1 standard drink
  • 700ml bottle – 22 standard drinks

Full strength ready-to-drink 5% alcohol volume

  • 275ml bottle = 1.1 standard drinks
  • 330ml bottle – 1.2 standard drinks
  • 660ml bottle – 2.6 standard drinks

High strength ready-to-drink 7% alcohol volume

  • 275ml bottle – 1.5 standard drinks
  • 330ml bottle – 1.8 standard drinks
  • 660ml bottle – 3.6 standard drinks

Full strength pre-mix spirits 5% alcohol volume

  • 250ml can – 1 standard drink
  • 300ml can – 1.2 standard drinks
  • 375ml can – 1.5 standard drinks
  • 440ml can – 1.7 standard drinks

High strength pre-mix spirits 7%-10% alcohol volume

  • 250ml can – 1.4-1.9 standard drinks

High strength pre-mix spirits 7% alcohol volume

  • 300ml can – 1.6 standard drinks
  • 375ml can – 2.1 standard drinks
  • 440ml can – 2.4 standard drinks.

You can download a PDF chart with more information here.