Know your drink

What Is Alcohol?
Definition: The alcohol found in beer, wine and distilled spirits is known as ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. It is a molecule made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
Is all alcohol the same?
The alcohol found in all alcohol beverages – whether beer, wine or distilled spirits – is always ethanol or ethyl alcohol. It is the other ingredients of each beverage that affect the taste.
However, where alcohol can differ is in its quality. Non-commercially produced alcohol – sometimes called moonshine – and illicit, counterfeit or smuggled beverages, can be lower in quality, contaminated or even toxic. The World Health Organisation estimates that about 50 percent of the alcohol consumed worldwide is non-commercially produced. As alcohol beverages in this category are not regulated and held to the same health and safety standards as commercial alcohol, some beverages in this category can represent a serious public health concern.
What is important to remember is that alcohol is alcohol.  There are no 'safer' forms of alcohol, regardless of whether you drink beer wine or spirits.  What ultimately matters is how much you drink, not what you drink.
Standard units
Alcohol beverages come in a variety of sizes of glasses, bottles and other drink containers. Many different drinks contain different amounts of alcohol. Because of this variation, and as a way to educate the public about responsible drinking, many governments have developed the concept of a standard unit (which is sometimes called a standard drink).
A standard unit is a measure of the amount of pure alcohol within a drink, usually expressed as grams of alcohol, which can then be used to compare alcohol content across all different types and sizes of alcohol beverages. In the UK, a standard alcohol unit is 8g which is the amount of alcohol the average person can process in one hour.
A standard unit should not be confused with standard measures that are used in most pubs and bars. Based on the standard unit of 8 grams of alcohol, each of the drinks below contain quite a different number of alcohol units:
a 35ml measure of spirits (40% ABV) 1.4 units
a standard 175ml glass of wine (13% ABV) 2.3 units
an average pint of lager (5% ABV) 2.8 units
Alcohol is alcohol regardless of the form it takes. There is no more potent form of alcohol just as there is no safer form of commercial alcohol. It is not what type of beverage you drink, but the amount of alcohol that you consume that is important. And that’s what you need to track.
You can get more information by visiting