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What Does Proof Mean In Alcoholic Beverages?

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Proof alcohol is the alcohol percentage measurement used for spirits. It is calculated by doubling the alcohol content percentage by volume found in the spirit.

For instance, if any spirit has 40% alcohol by volume it is classified as being 80% proof. So, the higher the proof, the higher the alcohol content will be.

Reasons Alcohol Is Measured in Proof

Alcohol has been measured in proof since time immemorial. It goes back to the 1500s. England taxed spirits, such as rum on the basis of the alcohol content. Nevertheless, there are no simple procedures for measuring the amount.

The gun power test is a crude development method to find out how much ethyl alcohol was present in different rum batches. Government officials used to soak gunpower with the spirits being measured and then try igniting it afterward. In case it caught fire, it was an indication that the spirit’s proof contained over 57% alcohol. It is the minimum amount that’s flammable.

The term proof then stuck around from this method. But the modern standard isn’t based on gun power in any way.

Alcohol ...
... Proof by Kind of Liquor

Every kind of spirit might vary in proof alcohol value due to various factors. But different types of hard liquor or spirits have typical or average proof measurements.

Here are the highest proof alcohol ranges for common forms of hard alcohol.
1. Rum
It is a beverage that has inspired the initial proof measurement system. In previous times, you could commonly find runs that had 57% ABV.

Usually, typical modern rum beverages range between 70-100 proofs, with the common ones being 80% proof.
2. Cachaca
Another highest proof alcohol is cachaca. It is a variant of rum that’s popular in Brazil. It is primarily the component of the drink caipirinha. Typically, it is between 70-100 proofs, even though it is primarily on the lower end of the range.

3. Tequila

A very popular spirit that originated from Mexico is Tequila. It is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages that you will come across. Usually, a tequila bottle has 80-100 proof on its label with only a few exceptions to the range.

4. Gin

Gin has taken the place of alcohol for the British as they enlarged their empire. It is easy to make rum that is based on sugarcane. Generally, it is made with a similar 70-100 proof.

5. Vodka

Vodka is quite popular in Eastern Europe and is also famous in Canada, France, and Guyana. Every vodka bottle also varies in proof. So, it can be anywhere from 80 to 190.

6. Whisky

Whiskey is the most popular drink across the world and there are various forms of it, including bourbon, scotch, and rye. Their manufacturing process is different. But, each of these subtypes is between 70-100 proof.

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