How Much Alcohol is in Your Favorite Drink?

There are any number of resources regarding blood alcohol content after you’ve been drinking. In fact, you can find our own here. However, many of these require you to know how much alcohol you’ve had, and what the alcohol percentage is. For many drinkers, that kind of alcohol simply seems unavailable, especially after you’ve knocked a few back.

However, this is vital information. Driving with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent in Pennsylvania can lead to big trouble. Not only are you a danger to yourself and other drivers on the road, you could be looking at hefty fines and even jail time. Here are some of the most popular drinks in Pennsylvania, and their alcohol by volume content (ABV). Please note that these are not exact numbers; you should never drive if you’ve been drinking.

Pennsylvania Beers 

Our state is full of quality craft breweries that make some of the best beer in the nation. The post popular, Yuengling, is the oldest brewery in the country. Its beers, including the Black & Tan and IPL, all fall between 4% and 5% ABV. However, there are many others that are consumed throughout the state. Some of the most well-known include:shutterstock_145416532

In general, American style beers have a lower ABV. European beers, especially those from Germany and Belgium, with have more alcohol in them. While there is a lot of science behind making beer, the alcohol content comes from the kinds of grain and malt used, plus different processes during the fermentation process.

Popular Shots

Of course, one of the most popular drinks in Pennsylvania are straight shots. The average shot is 1.5 ounces. Here’s how different liquors measure up:

  • Grey Goose vodka: 40% ABV
  • Fireball whiskey: 46% ABV
  • Captain Morgan spiced rum: 50% ABV
  • Patron tequila: 40% ABV
  • Jägermeister digestif liqueur: 35% ABV

shutterstock_208539610Also popular are “sipping drinks” — that is, bourbon, whiskey and other dark liquors. The most popular bourbon, Evan Williams, is between 50% and 60% ABV. Jack Daniel’s, America’s most popular whiskey, has a slightly lower ABV at 40%. Finally, Hennessy brandy, one of the nation’s most popular after-dinner drinks, comes in at around 40% ABV.

If your bottle of liquor doesn’t show the ABV, it will show the alcohol proof number. If you’re drinking in America, calculating ABV from that is easy: divide the proof in half. So, a 90 proof whiskey will be 45% ABV.

Mixed Drinks

Note that these measurements are approximations. Stronger or weaker drinks may have different ABVs.

Margaritas

Whether it’s Cinco de Mayo or Taco Tuesday, margaritas are one of the most popular drinks in America. They are sweet but strong, meeting the requirements of many drinkers. On average, a margarita is about 3 ounces of liquid. Of that, 2 to 2.5 ounces is alcohol, with a bit of lime juice/mixer and some water from melted ice. With 80 proof tequila, that comes out to about 33% ABV.

Pina Coladas

The more tropical cousin of margaritas, pina coladas are a beach favorite — or at least the top choice to feel like you’re on vacation. In most pina coladas, the only alcoholic ingredient is 3 ounces of light rum, which is 80 proof. The other two ingredients are coconut cream and pineapple juice, totalling 9 ounces. The rum gives pina coladas a 13% ABV.

Mojitos  shutterstock_302190533

There are few things more refreshing on a hot summer day than a mojito. With the mint and lime juice, it is a naturally cooling beverage. However, one of the main components in a mojito is white rum, usually 80 proof. A mojito is generally 6 ounces: 2 ounces of rum, 2 ounces of club soda and 2 ounces lime juice. This means they is about 13% ABV.

Gin and Tonic

Gins and tonics are old-style drinks that are coming back into fashion with the hipster movement. It’s one of the simplest drinks to make: Mix 2 ounces of 95 proof gin with 4 ounces of tonic water. Add lime, mint or other flavorings, and voila! Luckily, with so much tonic water in relation to the gin, this cocktail has is about 13% ABV.

Cosmopolitans

Cosmopolitans are often scoffed at by “tough guys” because they are fruity drinks. However, the ABV in cosmopolitans is nothing to laugh at. Let’s look at the ingredients: a half ounce of 60 proof fruit liqueur, 2.5 ounces 80 proof vodka and splashes of cranberry and lime juice, totalling 2.75 ounces. With so little liquid, cosmos are 27% ABV.

Drinking Safely in Pennsylvania

Whatever kind of alcohol you choose, know your limit. Alcohol poisoning is an all-too-common occurrence. And if you have been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel. Even if you think you are okay to drive, your senses become slowed the moment you take your first sip.