What's in your booze?

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Thanks to misterbisson for the pic!
  • Thanks to misterbisson for the pic!

As you've probably noticed, there are no nutritional labels on bottles of alcohol. No ingredient lists. No nothing. But, that may change.

From the Associated Press and MSNBC.com:

Pick up just about any beverage on store shelves and on the back of the packaging you'll find a numerical rundown of calories, carbs, etc.

Unless, that is, the beverage is alcohol.

Some folks want to change that.

"In the year 2011, it's sort of bizarre that alcohol's the only consumable product sold in the United States that you can't tell what's inside the bottle," says Guy L. Smith, executive vice president in North America for Diageo, the world's leading distilled spirits, beer and wine company.

Diageo is supporting a proposal presently before the federal Tax and Trade Bureau — the agency with authority over alcohol labels — to list nutrition information such as calories, carbohydrates, serving size and alcohol per serving.

But not everyone in the industry is as enthusiastic.

At the Beer Institute, a trade association based in Washington, D.C., officials support listing calories, carbs, protein and fat content, as well as alcohol by volume. But they oppose the idea of defining serving size by fluid ounces of pure alcohol, or as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, on the grounds that you may get more than 1.5 ounces of liquor in a cocktail depending on what else is in the drink and the accuracy of the bartender.

But Smith says consumers know when they're getting a large martini. The point is, he says, to give them a point of reference so they can generally know what to expect.

Read the rest of this article, by Michelle Locke, here.

Wait. What? The booze industry isn't a fan of labels because bartenders may be heavy pourers? Uh ... bullshit alert.

Personally, I would like to see the labels so we can read ingredient lists and know how many calories are in a serving ... and, what constitutes a serving for that matter. We can always ask a bartender to pour carefully.

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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