How does alcohol content work? (NSFW?)

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Let’s say you got a 0.5L bottle of alcohol with 40% alcohol in it. If you pour 100ML from that bottle in to a glass does that also contain 40% alcohol?

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The way alcohol percentage works is, if it’s 40% that means within the container it is 40% Ethanol (pure alcohol) the other 60% is water and whatever other things make up the drink.

A 100ml glass of 40% alcohol will be 40ml of ethanol and 60ml of the rest.

…yes. No matter the quantity of liquid you have from that bottle, 40% of it will be alcohol. In your example, there would be 40 ml of pure alcohol within those 100 ml.

That’s correct – the molecules of alcohol, water, and tiny amounts of other chemicals (flavor compounds, etc) are evenly mixed up. That means that if you pour it out, the ratio inside your glass will be almost exactly the same as what’s in the rest of the bottle.

I say “almost” because things aren’t always perfectly distributed, but you’re not likely to be off enough to notice it. Maybe what’s in your glass is actually more like 39.99999% alcohol, but you certainly wouldn’t get a very different result like 45%. Distill it out and it will be 40mL out of your 100mL sample, for all intents and purposes.