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Ahh, alcohol. One of my favourite subjects. This is an entry to clear something up about alcohol that really twists my dreads: % ABV.

I really get angry when people assume vodka is stronger than beer, just because it’s 40% ABV and beer is 5% (give or take, 5% for ease).

Do people even know what the 5% and 40% means? No they don’t. The percentage of obviously the amount of alcohol in the beverage. When you consume a beverage, it’s not the ABV which gets you drunk, rather it’s amount of individual units you consume. A unit is 10ml (TEN MILILITRES) of pure ethanol.

To work out how many units are in a drink, we would do this:
ML x ABV / 1000

25 x 40 / 1000 = 1 (ONE UNIT OF ALCOHOL)

ONE PINT OF BEER = 568ml at 5%
568 x 5 / 1000 = 2.8 (TWO POINT EIGHT UNITS OF ALCOHOL)

As you can see, a pint of beer is 2.8 times stronger than a single shot of vodka. And you would have to drink 2.8 shots of vodka to have the same alcohol in your system as you would do if you had just drank a pint.

Using the above equations, if a man was to go out and drink 10 pints of beer (been there, done that, got the t-shirt and the sick-stained rug). he would consume 28 units of alcohol. Meaning you would have to consume 28 shots of vodka/whiskey/whatever to have the same alcohol in your blood. THAT IS ONE FULL 700ML/70CL BOTTLE OF VODKA/WHISKY/RUM/GIN/WHATEVER.

So now that is cleared up, would you not make fun of your friend for swaying a bit after he’s had 5 pints, please? Because he’s just consumed 14 shots of vodka.

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