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Bar & Cellar Management Training.

UNDERSTANDING ABV'S AND UNITS.

These are concerned with how much alcohol is in the drink you are serving.

ABV means percent ‘Alcohol By Volume’ and it shows how strong a drink is. A Unit is a measurement of alcohol intake. 10milliltres is a UNIT, so a drink that contains 10ml of alcohol provides you with one unit.

ABV’s.

Are shown on the label of every bottle of spirit, bottle of beer, lager, alcopop, keg and bottle of wine. It is a requirement of law to show the ABV.

What it shows is that any given quantity of the drink contains ‘x’ amount of pure alcohol.

E.g. a whisky with an ABV of 40%, if you serve a 25ml shot then 40%, or 10ml, is pure alcohol.

E.g. A wine with an ABV of 11%, if you serve a 125ml glass of this wine then 11%, or 13.75ml, is pure alcohol.

What are the ABV’s for the items you stock?

Each type of drink differs in its ABV but generally certain types of drinks fall into a range of ABV, these are generally:

· Spirits (e.g. whisky, vodka, rum) = ABV between 37.5% and 40%
· Lager = ABV between 3% and 5%
· Bitter = ABV between 3% and 5%
· Wine = ABV between 5% and 14%

These are just guides and do not reflect every make of alcoholic drink.

UNITS.

Were introduced to provide us with a guide to how much alcohol we are consuming, they are a measuring value and have proved useful in our health monitoring and helping the police to combat drink driving.

Like we mentioned before a drink that contains 10ml of alcohol provides you with one unit.

How do you work out the number of units for a drink?

We use a formula.

UNITS = AMOUNT OF LIQUID (In ml) x %ABV x 0.001

E.g. 25ml of a whisky with an ABV of 40%

UNITS = (25 x 40) x 0.001

= 1 Unit

E.g. 175ml of a wine with an ABV of 11%

UNITS = (175 x 11) x 0.001

= 1.9 (or 2) Units

E.g. A pint of lager with an ABV of 4%

UNITS = (568ml x 4) x 0.001

= 2.27 Units

You won’t ever have to work out the Units for your customers but it is useful to know roughly what size and types of drinks contain how many units.

You could include it in your bar tariff to show that you are responsible.

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