How to determine the alcohol content of a mixed-drink?

by Sven   Last Updated June 07, 2016 08:07 AM

Title says it all: How do I determine the alcohol content of a mixed-drink (Cocktail, Longdrink)?

Note - I know the alcohol content of all ingredients.

Answers 2

To a first approximation, you can just calculate the volume of pure ethanol in each of the alcoholic ingredients (total volume * %ABV = volume of pure ethanol), add those up, and divide by the total volume of all ingredients.

For example, a margarita with 35mL 40% ABV tequila, 20mL 40% ABV Cointreau, and 15mL lime juice would have alcohol content of (35mL*40% + 20mL*40% + 15mL*0%)/(35mL+20mL+15mL) = 31% ABV.

That's an approximation because the volumes are not strictly additive: mixing 50 ml pure ethanol with 50 ml water will actually give you something like 95 ml of the mixture. To get a truly accurate answer, you'll need to measure the volume of the final drink, and divide your total alcohol content by that.

Wayfaring Stranger
Wayfaring Stranger
November 11, 2012 15:25 PM

If there are no significant other (non water, non alcohol) liquids involved (especially not heavy amounts of sugar), an areometer/spiritometer (available as a brewer's tool,$10-$20) should be able to tell you.

June 07, 2016 17:32 PM

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