Drink Size

Not all drinks are created equal. Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a standard drink of alcohol.

In Canada, a ‘standard’ drink is any drink that contains 13.45 grams or 17.05 mL of “pure” alcohol.1 Once you know what a standard drink is you will know how much alcohol you are actually drinking.

One Standard Drink Equals:

  • 341 ml (12 oz) of 5% alcohol - beer, cider, cooler, or ready-to-drink
  • 142 ml (5 oz) glass of 12% alcohol – wine
  • 43 ml (1.5 oz) shot of 40% alcohol - spirits (vodka, rum, whisky, gin, etc.)1

Beer, Cider, Cooler, ready-to-drink >

341 ml (12 oz) of drinks, 5% alcohol content

Wine >

142 ml (5oz) of wine, 12% alcohol content

Spirits (vodka, rum,  whisky, gin etc.) >

43 ml (1.5 oz) of spirits, 40% alcohol content

Calculate what’s in your glass2

Convert your drinks into Canadian standard drink sizes

For an amount of alcohol, find out how many Canadian standard drinks it represents.

Size: ml
Strength (% alcohol):

1 Ounces (oz) are Imperial fluid ounces (rather than US fluid ounces).

Convert your Canadian standard drinks into volume

For a number of Canadian standard drinks and % alcohol, find the volume (in ml) it represents.

Number of std. drinks: Strength (% alcohol):

This tool only provides information on Canadian standard drinks.

Note: The mathematical formula for calculating a Canadian standard drink using millilitres (mL) is: ((container volume in mL x % alcohol by volume)/(17.05mL of ethanol))/100

What is a standard drink?

Watch this video from KFL&A Public Health.

Rethink Your Drinking Size Matters

(1) Paradis, C., Butt, P., Shield, K., Poole, N., Wells, S., Naimi, T., Sherk, A., & the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines Scientific Expert Panels. (2023, January). Canada’s guidance on alcohol and health: Final report. Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. https://www.ccsa.ca/canadas-guidance-alcohol-and-health#canada-s-guidance-on-alcohol-and-health
(2) University of Victoria Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research. (n.d.) Standard Drink Calculator. www.drinkcalculator.cisur.ca

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