Standard Drinks

It is important to know the definition of one standard drink. This is because many drinks you may have over the course of a night may be stronger than others. This is especially important with mixed drinks, as many mixed drinks (even though you are only holding one cup) contain more than one standard drink.

Pictured below you will find the typical standard drinks of a 12 oz. beer, a 4 oz. glass of wine, and a 1.25 oz. shot of hard liquor. You will also find how drinks measure up in the well-known “keg cup.”

  

One standard drink of beer

  • One 12 oz. bottle of beer (pictured)
  • One 12 oz. can of beer (pictured)
  • One 8oz. glass of malt liquor (i.e. Old English, Mickey’s)
  • One “forty” of malt liquor is about 5 standard drinks
  • One “forty” of regular beer is about 3 ½ standard drinks

 

One standard drink of wine

  • One 4 oz. glass of wine (pictured)
  • One 3 - 3.5 oz. of fortified wine (i.e. port, sherry)
  • One bottle of table wine is about 5 standard drinks 

One standard drink of hard alcohol

  • One 1.25 oz. shot of hard liquor (pictured)
  • One mixed drink containing one 1.25 oz. shot of hard liquor
  • One 750ml bottle of hard liquor ("a fifth") is about 17 standard drinks

Standard drinks in some popular cocktails that contain more than one shot:

  • One Long Island Iced Tea is about 4 standard drinks
  • One “Adios” is about 5 standard drinks
  • One Martini is about 2 standard drinks
  • One Margarita is about 1.5 standard drinks

One standard drink in a 16 oz. “keg cup”

  • Black line shows 12 oz. of beer (one standard drink of beer)
  • 3 full keg cups of beer is about 4 standard drinks
  • 6 full keg cups of beer is about 8 standard drinks
  • 9 full keg cups of beer is about 12 standard drinks
  • Keg cup filled with wine is about 4 standard drinks
  • Keg cup filled with one mixed drink can be more than one or two standard drinks depending on how many shots you put into it. Remember that one 1.25 oz. shot is one standard drinks.
  • When mixing your own drinks at home, be mindful of how many shots (standard drinks) you pour into one cup.