Alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume (ABV) is an indication of how much alcohol (expressed as a percentage) is included in an alcoholic beverage. This measurement is assumed as the world standard, although in the United States the predominant measurement is Alcohol by weight (also known as ABW). Another, outdated way of specifying the amount of alcohol is alcoholic proof.

Conversion quotients

Given a value in ABW you can convert it easily to ABV using the following formula:

ABV = 1.25 × ABW

or, inversely:

ABW = 0.8 × ABV

These quotients are a fair approximation to the real values; since the ingredients change from beverage to beverage, it is impossible to have a universal formula, as the density of the beverage minus alcohol varies. The above explained value works best for beers, for example.

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