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Alcohol Percentage Content in Drinks: Comparing ABV by Drink Type

Higher levels were found in sound white wines produced in different countries (11–261 mg/l), and similar concentrations were found in red wines (22–232 mg/l; Shinohara & Watanabe, 1976). Late harvest wines, such as ‘Spätlese’, ‘Auslese’ and ‘Beerenauslese’, were found to contain 52–99 mg/l, 92–108 mg/l and 191–285 mg/l ethyl acetate, respectively (Postel et al., 1972b). Carbonyl compounds are among the most volatile substances in alcoholic beverages. The levels of some aldehydes found in pasteurized and unpasteurized beers are given in Table 25. Of the three, beer tends to have the lowest alcohol content by volume. Common beers like Miller have alcohol contents of less than 5% and some beers like Blue Moon or other lagers have higher percentages of around 6-8%.

  • Vermouth is a type of fortified white wine commonly used in cocktails.
  • Beer contains a great number of esters of aliphatic fatty acids.
  • A Tom Collins is essentially a fizzy, spiked lemonade made with sparkling water, lemon juice, simple syrup and a London dry gin, like Bombay Sapphire.
  • Red wine has between 12% and 15% ABV, while white wine has between 5% and 15% ABV.

Alcoholic beverages vary in alcohol content, which makes some drinks more dangerous than others. For example, some people may seek out high alcohol content drinks to induce drunkenness faster. This is referred to as binge drinking and can create alcohol abuse disorder and other complications. The chronic severe subtype makes 5 types of alcoholics up the smallest percentage of alcoholics, with only 9.2%. This group tends to start drinking at a young age (around 15) but typically develops an alcohol dependence at an intermediate age (around 29). Seventy-seven percent of this group have close family members with alcoholism, the highest percentage of any subtype.

(c) Volatile acids

One example is how wine is made through the fermentation of grapes. As grapes break down without exposure to oxygen, alcohol is created as a byproduct of the sugar from grapes. For beer, barley is fermented and for liquor plants like potatoes and beats ferment to produce high alcohol percentages. Alcohol is a broad term that groups a mixture of alcoholic beverages and other types of alcohol. There are three types of alcohol, each with its own unique properties. Alcohol varies because alcohol binds with different atoms to create unique chemical mixtures and literal cocktails.

  • Like other non-alcoholic drinks with milk recipes, they can be very healthy.
  • The chronic severe subtype is the least prevalent, accounting for only about 9 percent of alcoholics.13 However, this group is the most severe, with heavy drinking occurring almost daily.
  • One shot of whiskey typically has 40-50% ABV and contains about 105 calories.
  • Esters have been found in aged Scotch malt whiskies (360 mg/l), in Scotch whiskies (550 mg/l), Irish whiskeys (1010 mg/l), Canadian whiskies (645 mg/l) and American whiskeys (269–785 mg/l).
  • This group also suffers from high rates of cigarette, Marijuana, and Cocaine addiction.

Total aldehydes (mg/l ethanol), determined as acetaldehyde, in some brands of distilled beverages. Acetaldehyde (see IARC, 1985, 1987a) is frequently the major carbonyl component and generally constitutes more than 90% of the total aldehyde content. It is easily distilled together with water and alcohol and is therefore found in all spirits.


Many members of this group smoke cigarettes, but few have other substance use disorders. Examples of hard alcohol are gin, bourbon, brandy, whiskey, vodka, tequila, liqueurs, rum, soju, and absinthe. They often have a high concentration of alcohol, even exceeding 40% by volume. For the purposes of this section of the monograph, the term ‘contaminants’ refers to those minor constituents sometimes present in alcoholic beverages which are not essential to the flavour and properties of the product. Some of these contaminants have known toxicological and, in some cases, carcinogenic effects. Concentrations of trace elements found in wines and some other alcoholic beverages are presented in Table 38.

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