The % alc./vol.

Distilleries Canada/ May 15, 2021/ Tips and tricks, Trucs et astuces

Spirits each have certain rules to follow in order to display the type of alcohol on their bottles, one of which is a minimum percentage of alcohol by volume.

What you need to know is that during the distillation process, the alcohol comes out at much higher levels than what is bottled, (there are exceptions “brut de fût” which can be seen mainly in the whisky world, but this remains very marginal). In fact, the rate is reduced by the addition of water, and in the vast majority of cases, if you look at the brands that are produced globally in large volume, they seem to have aligned themselves with 40%.

Mind you, the percentage of alcohol by volume is no guarantee of the quality of the spirit!

Here is the minimum that the most common spirits should contain :

  • Armagnac: 37.5%
  • Calvados: 37.5%
  • Cognac: 37.5%
  • Cointreau: 40%
  • Gin: 37.5%
  • Pastis: 40%
  • Rum: 37.5%
  • Tequila: 35%
  • Vodka: 37.5%
  • Whisky: 40%

This is also what determines the size of the glasses in which a standard dose is served for each type of product, which corresponds to 10 grams of alcohol: 2.5 cl for aniseed-flavoured drinks, 2.5 cl for whiskies, 2.5 cl for digestifs, 7 cl for aperitifs, 10 cl for wines or champagne, and 25 cl for beer.

Quantité d'alc./vol. par verre
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