Alcohol consumption is legal in Spain for adults over 18 years of age. Alcohol is a beverage made from fermented grains or fruits, and has been a part of human civilization for at least 10,000 years. However, not all drinks have the same degrees of alcohol.
There are several subcategories of beer, wine, and spirits, and these subcategories help define and regulate the production of specific alcoholic beverages. Understanding the specifics of alcohol types and content helps manufacturers, sellers, and consumers determine how much alcohol is in a serving and, therefore, how much is being consumed.
Drinking may be legal for many adults. But even legal substances are associated with physical dependence and addiction.
Alcohol percentage in drinks
- Vodka: 40-95%
- Geneva: 36-50%
- Rum: 36-50%
- Whisky: 36-50%
- Tequila: 50-51%
- Spirits: 15%
- Fortified wine: 16-24%
- Unfortified wine: 14-16%
- Beer: 4-8%
- Malt beverage: 15%
How are alcohol degrees measured?
The type of alcohol consumed in alcoholic beverages is ethanol , normally produced by yeast during the fermentation process. Although there are other types of alcohol, such as isopropyl or butyl, these are not safe for human consumption.
The amount of alcohol found in beer, wine, and spirits can vary somewhat depending on the proof, which is measured as percentages of alcohol by volume. The alcohol test is usually double the percentage of alcohol indicated. Serving sizes have been standardized for legal reasons to contain approximately 18ml of alcohol per serving.
Serving measurements include:
- 150 ml of wine by the glass, or 12 percent alcohol
- 354 ml of beer per serving, or 5 percent alcohol
- 443 ml of liquor or spirits per drink, or 40 percent alcohol
Mixed drinks, cocktails, wine coolers, punch and other types of mixed alcoholic beverages are measured in legal terms using the servings above, although baristas may not be as careful about pouring.
For brewing purposes, the average alcohol content of beer is generally between 3 percent and 7 percent; the alcohol content of wine ranges from 9 to 14 percent, unless fortified; and spirits start at around 20 percent, but some countries allow up to 95 percent.
types of alcohol
Although the most widely consumed legal beverages of alcohol are beer, wine and spirits, there are many subcategories and the percentage of alcohol in each can vary.
- Vodka – Made from the same fermentation process as beer or wine, with the added step of distillation to increase the strength of the drink, vodka is typically made from grains such as wheat, sorghum, and corn, although supposedly Russian vodka is made from potatoes. Vodka has a percentage that starts around 40 percent but can go as high as 95 percent.
- Gin : This type of liqueur starts from a neutral distillate, to which juniper berries and other aromatic botanicals are added. It is clear and has a percentage of 36-50 percent.
- Rum : Rum is fermented cane sugar, molasses, beet sugar, or another type of non-fruit sugar. It is then distilled to remove any sediment. It legally has 36-50 percent.
- Whiskey – Subdivided into Scotch, Bourbon, and Irish and Canadian whiskies, these types of whiskey are aged in oak casks which give them a unique caramel colour. Alcohol levels can range from 36 percent to 50 percent, depending on how long it has been aged.
- Tequila : Tequila is a Central and South American drink made from fermented agave, which originally had some hallucinogenic properties in addition to being alcoholic. Tequila is typically 50-51 percent alcohol.
- Liqueurs – These drinks are distilled spirits combined with fruit, cream, sugar, or herbs to create a powerful yet flavorful drink. Liquors include triple sec, amaretto, schnapps, and sambuca. They may not have more than 15 percent alcohol.
- Fortified wine : This is a type of fruit and/or honey alcohol that, either because of the addition of brandy or because it has been sufficiently fermented, has an alcohol content of 16-24 percent.
- Non-fortified wine : This is a standard fruit or honey alcohol, such as mead or ice wine, with 16 percent or less. The average alcohol percentage for wine is around 14 percent, although some, like port, can be a bit stronger.
- Beer : This includes lagers, pilsners, flavored beers, and ales. The alcohol levels of beers vary greatly, depending on the brewing process. Generally, the alcohol content is between 4 and 8 percent, with 5-6 percent being the standard for most beers. Some craft beers today have up to 12 percent.
- Malt beverage : Although we can include some types of beer in this category, the alcohol content can vary up to 15 percent, so it includes beers with additional alcohol added.
How long does alcohol stay in the body?
When a person drinks alcohol, it enters their bloodstream and is carried to the organs. In healthy people, blood circulates through the body in 90 seconds, which means that they can begin to feel the effects of alcohol between 15 and 45 minutes after their first drink.
Also, the liver can metabolize a standard drink per hour. Factors such as age, weight, gender, personal metabolism, and the amount of food eaten also play a role in how quickly the body processes alcohol. A person’s blood alcohol concentration level is reduced by 0.015 per hour or an average rate of 0.015 g/100 ml/hour. This process cannot be speeded up by time, sleep, food, or other methods. In other words, you can’t get alcohol out of your system once it’s inside, no matter how hard you try.
Depending on how it is measured, alcohol can be detected in a person’s system:
- Blood: Up to 6 hours
- Respiration: 12-24 hours
- Saliva: 12-24 hours
- Urine: 12-24 hours
- Hair: 90 days