hist-brewing: Re: Different Alcohols

Jeff Renner JeffRenner at mediaone.net
Mon Jan 7 13:30:53 PST 2002

Some thoughts in addition to those mentioned.

While beer has been measured as abw, it is often now, as mentioned, by volume.

Here are some equivalents (1 US ounce = 29.6 ml, or about 30 ml for 
convenience) for normal serving sizes and strengths:

12 oz. beer at 5% abv = 0.6 oz. alcohol
5 oz. wine at 12% abv = 0.6 oz. alcohol
1.5 oz. (shot or jigger) spirits at 40% abv (80 proof US) = 0.6 oz. alcohol

So notice that all are equivalent in the amounts of alcohol, 18 ml.

Old fashioned martinis back when were made with one jigger (45 ml) of 
80 proof gin and maybe a tablespoon (15 ml) of 18-20% vermouth, so 
they contained perhaps 20-21 ml alcohol, or nearly the same as the 
other drinks.

However, modern martinis often call for 2 ounces gin or even more - 3 
ounces is not uncommon (Williams and Sonoma Bar Guide for one), and 
premium gin is typically 94 proof.  Vermouth is typically at a lower 
proportion - 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml), which adds little alcohol.  You 
can see that a modern martini is much stronger than our typical drink 
above - one with 3 ounces of strong gin is more than twice as strong 
with 1.4 or 1.5 ounces of alcohol.  I for one cannot imagine the 
iconic "three martini lunch!"

It would take 14-15 US ounces (414 - 430 ml) of 10% abv beer to equal 
this.  However, 10% abw = 12.5% abv, and if the strong beer we are 
speaking of in comparison to martinis is this strength, then it would 
take around 12 US ounces 330-350 ml) to be equal.

As Sean mentions, a martini is likely to go to your head more 
quickly.  I know it does for me.

Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at mediaone.net
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

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