Know your units

UK government guidelines state that men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. How much you drink may surprise you, and remember that even a small % alcohol difference on a bottle of wine can add up. Take a look at our quick guide to help you calculate, and find some alcohol-free drinks recipes on this page.

Know your units

As a rule of thumb, 14 units is equivalent to 6 pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of lower-strength wine. Craft beers and ciders can have very different amounts of alcohol, so it does pay to peer closely at the label.

Here’s some other approximate examples to help you gauge:


0.5 UNIT

  • 25ml Schnapps, Malibu


  • 25ml single measure of spirits (e.g. whisky, gin, vodka, rum, brandy, tequila, Pernod, Cognac, Drambuie, Grand Marnier)
  • 50ml sweet, medium, or dry sherry (e.g. Croft, Harveys Bristol Cream)
  • 50ml Port
  • 50ml Cinzano, Dubonnet, advocaat, Martini
  • 50ml Baileys, Kahlua
  • 50ml Tia Maria, amaretto


  • 35ml large single measure of spirits
  • 50ml Pimm’s
  • 125ml champagne
  • 125ml small glass of wine (12% ABV)
  • 275ml bottle of alcopop  (e.g. Smirnoff Ice, Wkd, Barcardi Breezer, Reef)


  • 175ml standard glass of wine (12% ABV)
  • 1 pint (568ml) ordinary strength lager, beer, bitter, ale, or cider (e.g. Boddingtons, Tetley’s, Carling, Carlsberg, Foster’s Woodpecker)


  • 1 pint (568ml) Guinness, Caffreys, Magners


  • 250ml large glass of wine (12% ABV)
  • 1 pint (568ml) strong lager or cider, for example Stella Artois, Budweiser, Heineken, Grolsch, Dry Blackthorn, Strongbow


  • 1 pint (568ml) Scrumpy Jack

Want to calculate your alcohol intake?

You can do this in lots of ways, from good old pen and paper, but it might be more accurate to use an app like drinkaware where you can log drink-free days, enter how much alcohol you’ve consumed by drink type and set weekly goals.

N.B. This should not be used as a guide to calculate alcohol units for driving. If you’re planning to drive, remain teetotal.

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