Know the Facts

Helping you make informed decisions about your drinking

Standard Drinks

To know how much you are really drinking, you need to know about standard drinks. One drink is not always just one drink. Alcohol is served in lots of different ways, and all these different drinks will have different amounts of alcohol.

What is a standard drink?

In Australia, one standard drink is equal to 10g of alcohol. This is always the same, no matter what type of alcohol it is or how it is served. Some drinks are stronger than others because of the amount of pure alcohol they have in them. The higher the alcohol concentration of a drink, the more standard drinks it will have in it. For example, mid-strength beer is 3.5% alcohol, while spirits are typically 40%. This is why a 375ml can of mid-strength beer is equal to one standard drink, but 375ml of pure spirits is equal to 12.5 standard drinks.

Most drink containers will tell you how many standard drinks they have in them, so if you want to know how much you’re drinking, check the label!

How many standard drinks are in different types of alcohol?

Type of alcoholic drinkStandard drinks
Low-strength beer (2.7%)
1 can or stubbie0.8
1 pot (285ml)0.6
1 pint (570ml)1.2
Mid-strength beer (3.5%)
1 can or stubbie1.0
1 pot (285ml)0.8
1 pint (570ml)1.6
Full-strength beer (4.9%)
1 can or stubbie1.4
1 pot (285ml)1.1
1 pint (570ml)2.2
Wine (9.5%-13%)
100ml glass1.0
Average restaurant serving (150ml)1.4 to 1.6
750ml bottle7 to 8
Spirits (37%-40%)
1 nip (30ml)1.0
700ml bottle22.0
Pre-mixed spirits (5%-7%)
1 can (375ml)1.5 to 2.1
1 bottle (275ml)1.1 to 1.5

Adapted from National Health and Medical Research Council (2009).

Sources

  • Department of Health and Ageing. (2009). The Australian standard drink. Australian Government. Accessed online on 22/02/2012 at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/standard
  • National Health and Medical Research Council. (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. Commonwealth of Australia: Australian Capital Territory.