Understanding the alcohol content in spirits and other alcoholic beverages have always been important. Back in the 16th century, the Royal Navy rationed a pretty staggering half a pint of spirits per day for sailors. They used gunpowder to measure the strength of spirits. Mixing gunpowder with rum with less than 57.17% ABV would not burn and was deemed' overproof'. Gunpowder mixed with rum with an ABV of 57.17% or higher, would burn and be deemed 'proof'.

We first covered what Alcohol by Volume (ABV) means when comparing different ABV's in the low and no alcohol market. ABV is a measure of the % alcohol in a liquid. Mixing 1 litre of pure ethanol in 200 litres of water would give an ABV of 0.5%, which can be considered alcohol-free or decolonised.

Proof is another measure of alcohol and is widely used in the United States. Similarly to ABV, proof measure the amount of ethanol is a drink and is actually calculated as double the ABV. So a 40% ABV spirit would be an 80 proof spirit.