The National Institutes of Health is trying to spread the word: Take a look at its online alcohol calculator to see how much you're really drinking with those summer cocktails.
A “standard drink” is the amount of alcohol in a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. It's a useful way to track alcohol consumption. But the multiple ingredients of mixed drinks make for a harder count.
“Most people don't realize how much alcohol is actually in a drink,” said Dr. George Koob, director of the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“Obviously it depends on the bartender and who's mixing the drinks,” Koob adds. Recipes matter: The calculator's pina colada example, for instance, assumes it contains 3 ounces of rum. Plan on using 2 ounces instead? The calculator adjusts to show it's like 1.3 standard drinks.
What about a margarita? The calculator concludes it's the equivalent of 1.7 standard drinks, if made with 1.5 ounces of tequila, an ounce of orange liqueur and half an ounce of lime juice.
A mojito? 1.3 standard drinks. A martini, extra dry? 1.4 standard drinks.
Other favorites? Type them in: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/ToolsResources/CocktailCalculator.asp .
Also remember heat increases thirst but alcohol is a diuretic, Koob notes. So in addition to the usual advice to pace yourself — no more than one standard drink an hour — Koob says to stay hydrated by alternating some water or club soda with the alcohol.
Most recent The Dish posts
- Make this now: Lark’s John Sundstrom enters dish in national breakfast battle Sep. 23
- This cookbook, scientifically speaking, is a great for the home cook Sep. 16
- It’s fun to mix fruit and fire Sep. 15
- Summer’s last hurrah: Take this opportunity to feast on late seasonal produce Sep. 9
- Teach her to make dan dan noodles, feed craving for a lifetime Sep. 2
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.