A drink is any liquid intended for consumption. In addition to their basic purpose of quenching thirst, liquids also play significant roles in society. Common examples of beverages include juice, tea, milk and plain water. Historically, warm liquid beverages such as coffee, tea and hot chocolate have always been associated with special occasions for which they were consumed. Nowadays however, plain water has been increasing in popularity as a substitute for more traditional beverages.
There are a number of questions that arise when you evaluate a beverage as a standard drink. For example, is a non-alcoholic wine a standard drink? Are there different classifications for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks? Is a non-alcoholic beer a standard drink?
The definition of a standard drink is any fluid that is generally recognized as being a beverage. Most alcoholic beverages fall into this category, but there are some other examples. Water is a fluid ounces; the only liquid that is consistently sold as a beverage by businesses. Juice is only fluid ounces; it can be mixed with other juices and it is not an alcoholic beverage. Beer is a standard drink, meaning that it can contain any sort of alcoholic content it so chooses, but not all brands are the same.
Alcohol is defined by the Internal Revenue Service as any substance that contains at least one percent of alcohol. There are no exceptions to this rule, and the standards apply to every drink, including beer, wine, spirits, and liquors. Based on this definition, anyone who consumes more than 14 grams of alcohol in a given day is considered an alcoholic. The next question then becomes what constitutes excessive alcohol consumption.
One standard drink contains about one ounce of alcohol, so a person who drinks four standard drinks each day would be considered over the limit. An alcoholic drink may contain more alcohol than a similar drink that doesn’t contain alcohol, however. For example, a martini has two ounces of alcohol, while a beer has only one. Therefore, the amount of alcohol that a person consumes does not have anything to do with whether or not he or she is considered an alcoholic.
Other drinks such as spirits and liqueurs do not have restrictions about their alcohol content. If someone chooses to purchase a whiskey from an off-line bar, there is no reason that he or she can’t consume the same amount of hard liquor that they would get at a hotel’s bar. This is because the amount of alcohol in standard drinks is not regulated. People can purchase whatever they want when it comes to hard liquor.