So how much is a fifth of vodka, anyway? A frame of reference for alcohol container sizes

Men put themselves at risk for alcoholic liver disease when they consume the equivalent of greater than 40-80 g of alcohol per day for 10-12 yrs; for women, it’s 20-40 g per day for 10-12 yrs. (Women tend not to drink as much, but have higher relative rates of alcoholic liver disease and death from cirrhosis than men).

So what about those alcohol container sizes? I don’t know what some of the words like “magnum” mean, and I haven’t known how much fluid a “pint” holds since I had to convert units in 4th grade, but I sagely nod my head when patients tell me and guess how much it is based on how embarrassed they seem.

I won’t learn container sizes from personal experience, that’s for sure. My alcohol tolerance is shot (excuse the punning, please). I’m asleep after half a bottle of beer. So how’s a girl to learn what patients mean when they refer to alcohol container sizes?

Bartending Basics has the answer:

  • The fifth contains 25.4 ounces, or 750 milliliters (ml). [oh crap, that is a LOT of vodka for one person to drink by themselves in one sitting]
  • The 1-liter bottle obviously contains 1000 ml=33.0 oz.
  • A half-gallon bottle actually contains 59.2 ounces, or 1.75 liters.
  • The pint-size bottles now hold 16.9 oz=500 ml
  • The half pint (8 ounces) now contains only 6.8 ounces (200 ml)
  • A split of wine or champagne contains 6.8 ounces, or 200 ml.
  • The smallest miniature bottles, often referred to as airplane or hotel bottles, contain 1.7 fluid ounces, or 50 ml.


And here is a Drink Calculator that can convert for you!


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