Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume (often shortened to ABV) tells how much ethanol there is in an alcoholic drink. The quantity is measured at a temperature of 20 °C (68 °F). Common levels of alcohol are 3-5 percent for cider, 4-7 percent for beer, and 12-14 percent for wine. Distilled alcoholic drinks ( called spirits) contain more than twenty percent ethanol.
A directive of the European Union of 1976 says that the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks must be measured using the ABV measurement described above.
Other ways of measuring alcohol contentEdit
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1777-1850) and Johann Georg Tralles (1763-1822) developed other means of measuring alcohol content. These units are usually measured in degrees, noted °GL, or °GT. The scale Gay-Lussac developed is almost equal to the ABV scale described above. There may be slight different, because Gay-Lussac measured the alcohol content at 15° centigrade, and not 20°.