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Have you ever examined a bottle of an alcoholic beverage and read something that you do not quite understand? Well, some people have and most of the time, the questions that arise are related to the terms proof or alcohol proof. What is 190 Proof Ethyl Alcohol exactly?

Everclear alcohol proof is an indication of the alcohol or ethanol content in alcoholic drinks such as beer, brandy, rum, or whiskey. To regulate the law and avoid alcoholic beverages from having too much alcohol content, many countries have standardized control on the allowed measurement and content in the said beverages.

Alcohol Content Regulation in Major Countries

In the United Kingdom, where the term ‘151 alcohol proof’ was originally used, the standard proof was equal to about 1.75 times the alcohol by volume or ABV. As prescribed by the European Union, they have been using the ABV standard in measuring alcohol content since January 1980.

In the United States, alcohol proof should be twice the percentage of Pure alcohol by volume. Liquor labels must also indicate the percentage of ABV as required by the Code of Federal Regulations. Although not required, there should be a statement of the proof printed close to the ABV number. Canada also follows the US regulations when it comes to labeling using percentage of alcohol by volume.

Origin of the Term ‘Proof’

The use of proof when measuring the alcohol or ethanol content of alcoholic drinks goes back to the 16th century in England. It was established to have a system that they can follow in taxing liquors based on their alcohol content . In England, they had an interesting way of testing the liquors. What they did was they soaked pellet of gunpowder with the liquor. If the gunpowder would still ignite even after getting soaked, they would rate the alcohol as above proof so it will be taxed at a higher rate. On the other hand, if the gunpowder would not ignite, there is a big possibility that the alcohol was watered down.