How Many Shots Of Alcohol Free Gin To Get Drunk? Impossible?

The rise of alcohol free gin is simply huge. All the top names are producing low alcohol versions and many brilliant craft distillers are creating their own non alcoholic or alcohol free gins. Despite the new popularity, one of the main questions someone new to the space is asking is “how many shots of alcohol free gin to get drunk?”

Some people might think this is a very silly question, but it really isn’t. Alcohol free gins look, taste and have big PR campaigns just like alcoholic gins, so unless you take some time and work out all the numbers, it might not be as intuitive as you think to know how many it take to get you drunk?

How many shots of alcohol free gin to get drunk?

The CDC tells us the average 160lb adult male (is that average?!) needs to drink x4 1.5fl oz shots of 40% ABV gin or distilled spirit to get drunk.

x800 0.05% ABV measures of non alcoholic gin equals one standard 40% gin measure so you would need to drink x3200 shots of non alcoholic gin to get drunk. These would have to be drank over a 1-2 hr period as your body starts to metabolise the alcohol when it reaches you liver.

How much alcohol is in an alcohol free gin?

“Non alcoholic” can be used interchangeably with all gins or spirits with an ABV below 0.5%. Although, by law, in the UK and USA, a non alcoholic gin will have an alcohol by volume of between 0.05% and 0.5% with the large majority having 0.5% ABV. 

“Alcohol free” gins therefore, are gins with an ABV of below 0.05%. They are stated to 1 decimal place meaning they usually have 0.0% ABV on the bottle for marketing.

Unfortunately the labels on the bottles can be hard to follow or just plain confusing. In the EU, they are allowed to label 0.5% gins and spirits as “alcohol free” and not “non alcoholic”. You might not encounter many of these in the US but you certainly will in the UK, more so with beers.

I have written a full article on labelling of non alcoholic gin, which you can read here

What a standard gin?

For all the conversation between alcoholic and non alcoholic gins, we need to know what a standard alcoholic gin is and what ABV it has. Luckily the USDA have helped. They have defined a standard gin, or any distilled spirit, as having 40% alcohol by volume and a fluid volume of 1.5fl oz.

The calculations that follow aren’t too taxing as you can divide 40 by 0.05 to get 800. It takes 800 measures or shots of non alcoholic gin to equal one gin.

A standard gin is called “standard” because 1.5fl oz of 40% alcohol will give you 14g of alcohol (0.6 ounces). The read across to wine and beer is in the table below. That is what defines a standard beer and wine.

Drink and volumeAlcohol content
12fl oz Beer5%
5fl oz Wine12%
1.5fl oz Spirit40%
Standard Drinks

How many shots of alcohol free gin equals one gin?

My full article to this ponderable is here, but the summary is…

An alcohol free gin has 0.05% alcohol by volume and an alcoholic gin (according to the USDA) has 40% alcohol by volume. Therefore, you would need to drink 800 non alcoholic gins of the same volume to equal one alcoholic gin of the same volume (in terms of alcohol).

The same applies to all non alcoholic spirits.

What is the legal definition of “drunk”?

So what is being drunk? Is it not remembering the night before? Not walking in a straight line?

A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% is classed as legally intoxicated in the US. 

So where does a BAC of 0.08% fit in and what are the effects you will be feeling just before and after this level?

What is blood alcohol concentration and what happens as it rises?

As you drink more alcohol than your liver can metabolise, your BAC rises. The effects of a rising blood alcohol concentration has been tracked by many studies

Lots of informational websites include this data now.

  • 0.02% – Probably the lowest measurable BAC where you can track any brain issues. You may feel more relaxed and potentially make poorer decisions.
  • 0.05%: When you hit this BAC, your behaviour will may become over exaggerated. Speak louder and gesturing more are common. You may also begin to lose control of small muscles like the ones that control your eyes leading to blurry vision.
  • 0.08%: This is the current legal driving limit in the U.S and many areas around the world. It is also the legal definition of intoxicated in the US. You will likely lose some coordination, so your reaction times, speech, balance, and even hearing will deteriorate.
  • 0.10%: As we reach this BAC, reaction times and control will be reduced further. Your speech will be slurred, you think slower, and your coordination becomes poor.
  • 0.15%: Getting up to twice the legal driving limit now. You will have much less control over your balance and voluntary muscles. We have all seen someone who finds walking and talking difficult after a lot of alcohol. Falling and injuring yourself is a real possibility now.

How many alcoholic gins to get drunk?

How many shots of alcoholic gin ( 40% ABV) does the average adult need to drink to get to a BAC of 0.08% and be called drunk?

The CDC tells us that the average 160lb adult male will need to drink 4 standard drinks, in the case gin, to get to a BAC of 0.08%.

Lots and lot of things affect how quickly your BAC will rise or fall. Age, sex, weight, overall health and your past drinking experience or tolerance to alcohol all play huge parts. 

Im a 220lb+ adult male with a decent alcohol history/tolerance im pretty sure i can drink my wife under the table.

We will continue to work with the CDC 160lb average adult male and his 4 standard drinks to get drunk.

How many shots of alcohol free gin to get drunk?

If you need to drink 4 standard gins to get drunk and 800 non alcoholic gins equals one standard beer, therefore you need to drink 3200 measures of non alcoholic gin to get drunk.

Over how long would you need to drink them?

The caveat is, you need to drink 3200 alcohol free gins to get drunk over a short time period. As soon as you drink any alcohol, it gets absorbed via the intestines and makes its way to your liver where is starts to get broken down, lowering your BAC.

You therefore have a limited amount of time to drink the 3200 alcohol free gins. Anything after 2 hours and your liver will be breaking down the alcohol and you will need to drink even more to get your BAC concentration to 0.08%.

This leads us nicely to the last question…

Can you get drunk drinking alcohol free gin?

Can you get drunk drinking alcohol free gin?

To get drunk, you need to drink x3200 1.5fl oz shots of alcohol free in less than 2 hrs.

This equals 4800fl oz of alcohol free, 35 gallons of alcohol free or 142 litres of alcohol free in 2hours. 

Anther way to look at it is you will have to drink x80 1.5fl oz shots of alcohol free, every 3mins, for 2 hours, to get drunk.

It is not possible to drink 4800fl oz of alcohol free gin in 2 hours, so it is not possible to get drunk on alcohol free gin .

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