How To Calculate The Alcohol Content In Cocktails

Keeping track of how much alcohol you are drinking can be a bit tricky when you are out and about having a good time. Pubs and clubs have measured serves which makes things a bit easier, but what about home made cocktails like the recipes we regularly supply our readers?

A good rule of thumb is that the body absorbs 7-12 ml of alcohol per hour. A standard drink in Australia is considered to be 10 gms or about 12.5mls of alcohol. So, depending on various factors a standard drink per hour should keep you relatively sober. Please be aware though, that the more alcohol you consume the harder it is for your body to absorb. The first drink you have should be absorbed into your body in about an hour, but the second will take longer. It’s all science related and not an exact science at that!

Now, the type of factors which affect alcohol absorption include the following:

  • How fast you drink
  • The amount of food in your stomach
  • Your weight
  • Amount of fat or muscle your body consists of
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Other medications and drugs in your body
  • Other chemicals in the drink. eg: Jäger Bombs
  • Foods consumed
  • Your drinking history and tolerance
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Current emotional state

With all these variables it’s impossible to know how the alcohol is reacting within your body. Cocktails can be especially tricky, particularly if they are created without a measure. They also consist of a mixture and some have chemical ingredients like caffeine. Since caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, the two can have different side effects. This is what makes them so potent and care should be taken when consuming them. The caffeine itself doesn’t have an alcohol content, but it can affect the alcohol being consumed.

Having gotten through that, I’ll fill you in on an easy way to work out how much alcohol you’re consuming in your cocktails as well as giving you a couple of easy examples to follow.

First look at the percentage of alcohol on the bottle used to make the cocktail. Most have at least 1 regular spirit which is usually 40% alcohol. Next, you need the serving size of the alcohol only, not the serving size of the entire drink. A full nip is usually 30 ml so multiply this with the alcohol percentage. Remember when you multiply a percentage it is not a whole number so you multiply the serving size by the decimal point (0.4). To work out the standard drink size, divide it by the Australian standard of 12.5 ml. Viola!

Here’s a couple of examples:

  • Full nip (30ml) of 40% alcohol bourbon = 30 x 0.40 = 12.00ml alcohol
    12.00ml / 12.50ml = 0.96 standard drinks.
  • 150ml glass of 11.5% alcohol wine = 180 x 0.115 = 17.25ml alcohol
    17.25ml/12.50ml = 1.38 standard drinks

You can use this formula to work out the alcohol content in every drink you consume. The final thing I want to mention which will help you with all this is the oz to ml conversion. You don’t need exact figures so, if you remember 1 oz = 30 ml, you’ll be right!

Now you have all the tools you need to keep track of how much alcohol you are consuming in your cocktails. A final tip is to do calculations before you start drinking for obvious reasons.


Image via mymoonbargumbet.com

Are You Getting Away With Bad Driving Habits?

Each day an average of 4 people lose their lives and another 90 are seriously injured on Australian roads. Despite warnings about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, using mobile phones or speeding, people still think they can get away with it when no-one is watching. Drivers need to be aware that it’s a recipe for disaster.

Take this scenario for example. You’re driving and hear the message tone go off on your mobile. Instead of ignoring it you glance over to it and read the text which says, ”we need milk”. Hey, we all get stuff like this so it’s not that much of stretch of the imagination. Out of nowhere a pedestrian or another car suddenly appears in front of you. Bang! You’ve been distracted by your “urgent” text message and never saw them coming.

Even though you had no time to break and your car collided with them at full speed, the individual or driver of the other car survives. You may have seriously injured yourself in the process. After weeks in hospital the other person is finally released with severe brain damage. They won’t recover and their family will need to provide special care for them for the rest of their lives. Ok, tell me, how do you live with that?

When people reach for their phones that’s exactly the risk they are taking. I know for a fact that I don’t want to live with those types of consequences hanging over me. No call or text is worth putting myself in that position. It’s not an accident either. Drivers intentionally distracted themselves and therefore it should be criminal negligence. Just like if they seriously injure or kill others whilst driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive speed or turn public roads into personal playgrounds.

I’m not sorry if I sound harsh. Thousands of people still think they are perfectly justified doing this on our roads as long as they can get away with it. They need a reality check and walk into a rehabilitation center and see first-hand the impact these types of behaviors have had on other people. Many need to start from scratch learning how to walk and talk again. If people witnessed this reality they’d hopefully rethink just how much they have “gotten away with”!

I live in the country and I see these bad driving behaviors almost everyday. Heck, I even have family members who choose them. Drivers forget that fines, demerit points or loss of license aren’t the actual consequences they need to worry about! That’s insignificant compared with the real consequences of their behavior which might end up costing someone their life.

So next time you’re driving and hear your mobile phone ring, jump into the driver’s seat after too many drinks or just after that smoke you had, stop and think about the real consequences. Watch your speed, take a break when you’re tired and try to make our roads a safer place. By having no Police in sight you run an even greater risk of serious consequences and the chance of getting away with it!

Image via http://kylelawfirm.com/assets/distracted-women-driving.jpg

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