Alcohol Proof / ABV Guide

Alcoholic drinks or spirits  are product of sugar fermentation. Any fruit commodity containing sugar can be fermented by yeast to produce alcohol. Even grains can be processed to alcohol my means of two stage fermentation process. Conversion of starch to sugar followed by conversion of sugar to ethanol.

Alcohol process yields ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Ethanol is the only edible alcohol. Other alcohol such as methanol causes health hazards. Adulteration of spirit with methanol causes blindness and death. Ten fisherman died in Philippine Quezon Province after drinking improperly processed lambanog. A ten ml ingestion of pure methanol is fatal.

Moderate alcohol drinking is beneficial . Moderation may depend on alcohol content of your chosen drink.  A glass of wine a day is enough, a glass of whiskey can be over drinking and a glass of neutral grain spirit is too excessive.

Alcoholic beverages are classified according to their alcohol content by volume or ABV. Proof is double of ABV. In UK proof is ABV multiplied by 1.75.  ABV is the standard used in declaring alcohol strength of spirits.

These are the alcohol contents of common spirits according to Wikipedia. Values are expressed in ABV. Some of these alcohols are illegal in many countries.

* Fruit juice (naturally occurring): less than 0.1%
* Low-alcohol beer: 0.0%–1.2%
* Kombucha: 0.5%
* Kvass: 0.05%–1.5%
* Cider: 2%–8.5%
* Beer: 2%–12% (most often 4%–6%)
* Alcopops: 4%–17.5%
* Makgeolli: 6.5%–7%
* Mead: 8%–16%
* Barley wine (strong ale): 8%–15%
* Wine: 9%–18% (most often 12.5%–14.5%)[7]
* Dessert wine: 14%–25%
* Sake (rice wine): 15% (or 18%–20% if not diluted prior to bottling)
* Liqueurs: 15%–55%
* Fortified wine: 15.5%–20%[8] (in the European Union, 18%–22%)
* Soju: 17%–45% (usually 19%)
* Shochu: 25%–45% (usually 25%)
* Bitters: 28-45%
* Mezcal, Tequila: 32%–60% (usually 40%)
* Vodka: 35%–50% (usually 40%)
* Pure vanilla extract: 35%+
* Brandy: 36%–60%
* Rum: 37.5%–80%
* Sotol: 38%–60%
* Nalewka: 40%–45%
* Gin: 40%–50%
* Whisky: 40%–55% (usually 40% or 43%)
* Baijiu: 40%–60%
* Palinka: 42%–86%
* Rakia and Raki: 42%–86%
* Bitters 45%
* Absinthe: 45%–89.9%
* Poteen: 60%–95%
* Neutral grain spirit: 85%–95%
* Rectified spirit: 96.5%
* Absolute alcohol: >99%


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