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How much Chandy would you have needed to drink to get drunk?

Mid-1960s Chandy bottle labels described Chandy as being non-alcoholic. Later labels carried the more precise description “not more than 2% proof”. This description uses the pre-1st January 1980 UK standard for measuring alcoholic content, which works in terms of degrees “proof spirit”, with proof spirit being spirit equivalent to 57.15% alcohol by volume. To convert degrees proof to the modern measure of percentage alcohol by volume it is necessary to multiply by 4/7. Thus not more than 2% proof is the equivalent of not more than 1.14% alcohol by volume (ABV).    


Modern non-alcoholic shandies, such as the currently available Shandy Bass, are required to be not more than 0.5% ABV, meaning that 1960s/70s recipe Chandy in today's world would be judged too alcoholic to be classed a soft drink. (Beer is typically 4-6% ABV.)

It is estimated that it would take about 20 cans of today's Shandy Bass to put you over today's drink-drive limit (according to a story about police drinking Shandy Bass that appeared in the Daily Mail), and therefore, by the same token, we reckon it would take  around ten cans of 1960s/70s recipe Chandy to put you over today's drink-drive limit. (Let's hope those drivers weren't that thirsty after all!)


© 2014-2024 Lewis Williams

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