Champagne comes from the Champagne region of France. Thanks to its festive bubbles, it’s been the go-to celebratory beverage. But is champagne considered hard alcohol?
Champagne is not hard alcohol or liquor. Hard alcohol is alcoholic beverages that undergo distillation like gin, brandy, whiskey, and rum. Alcoholic drinks like champagne, beer, and wine do not undergo the same process and would typically have less than 15% ABV, far less than those of hard liquor.
While not hard alcohol, a champagne average of 12.2% ABV can still get you drunk, and even faster than most flat drinks due the carbonation.
What Is Champagne?
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. It has been the perfect celebratory beverage for years due to its bubbly and fizzy effect.
Champagne typically uses a combination of pinot meunier, pinot noir, and chardonnay grapes.
Winemakers produce the bubbles and fizz in champagne thanks to a second fermentation process that happens inside the bottle.
Technically, a sparkling wine may only be considered champagne if it is produced in the Champagne region in France. All other bubbly beverage is just sparkling wine. Remember, all champagne is a sparkling wine but not all sparkling wine is champagne.
Still, it’s not uncommon to see champagne on labels and bottles that are not from France. But if you want the authentic champagne taste, look for something that originates from France.
Alcohol Percentage of Champagne
The ABV (alcohol by volume) will tell you how much alcohol content there is in any alcoholic beverage. This value is displayed in percentage.
The higher the ABV of an alcoholic drink, the more alcohol it contains. The lower the ABV, the less alcohol there is.
Champagne has a typical alcohol content of about 12% to 12.2% ABV.
For comparison, most wines and other sparkling wines have a typical alcohol content of about 11.5% ABV while most beers have about 5% ABV.
A traditional dessert wine will typically have more than 15% ABV. And fortified wines have about 17% to 20% ABV, much higher than other wine varieties.
Champagne undergoes two fermentation processes.
During the first fermentation process, the champagne ends up with about 9% ABV without bubbles yet. The second round of fermentation spikes up the alcohol content to about 12% and produces the bubbles.
Is Champagne Considered Hard Alcohol?
Champagne is not considered hard alcohol.
Champagne usually has 12% to 12.2% ABV. While this alcohol content is higher than most beers, it’s still significantly lower than hard liquors and alcohols.
Hard alcohol or liquor is any alcoholic beverage that undergoes the process of distillation.
Distillation refers to the process of purifying the liquid and removing water. This increases the amount of alcohol content of the beverage.
Alcoholic beverages like wine, champagne, and beer do not go through the process of distillation. Due to this, these beverages would typically have less than 15% ABV.
Drinks like gin, brandy, whiskey, and rum have all undergone the process of distillation. These are alcoholic beverages under the hard alcohol or liquor category.
Can Champagne Get You Drunk?
Yes, drinking champagne can most definitely get you drunk.
Champagne has about 12% ABV, which is enough to get you drunk, and if you’re not careful you might suffer from a hangover the next day.
Aside from the alcohol content, you would also have to consider that champagne is a carbonated drink. Because it is a carbonated drink, champagne can make you drunk faster than non-carbonated alcoholic beverages.
This is because the body absorbs carbonated drinks faster. This means your blood will absorb the alcohol faster in bubbly drinks than in fat beverages.
Despite this, champagne will not make you drunker than other alcoholic beverages with the same alcohol content in comparable amounts. While the effect will come faster, it will not be stronger.
Alcohol in Champagne vs. Other Alcoholic Beverages
Here is a quick run-through of how champagne compares to other alcoholic drinks, including distilled spirits, when it comes to alcohol content:
Champagne has a typical alcohol content of 12% to 12.2% ABV.
Standard white and red wine has about 11.5% to 14% ABV.
Beers have a very wide range of alcohol content. Depending on what you’re going for, you can find beers with as low as 4% ABV to as high as 60% ABV.
Vodka is a distilled alcoholic beverage and is considered hard liquor. It has a standard alcohol content of about 40%.
Also distilled alcohol, tequila has a typical alcohol content of about 40% as well.
If you like champagne but would like to cut down on your intake, there are various non-alcoholic champagne choices as well.
If you decide to give this a try though, you have to remember that there would still be traces amount of alcohol left in the bottle, typically less than 0.05% ABV.
Most non-alcoholic beverages will have this small trace of alcohol, but it’s not nearly enough to make you drunk.
Champagne is an all-time favorite celebratory drink. It’s fun to drink thanks to its fizz and bubbles. But is champagne considered hard alcohol?
Champagne is not considered hard alcohol. Hard alcohols are beverages that undergo the process of distillation and have high amounts of alcohol. Beverages like champagne, wine, and beer do not undergo this process and would typically have less than 15% ABV, significantly lower than hard liquor.
While champagne alcohol content could still vary, most have a 12% to 12.2.% ABV. But because it’s a bubbly drink, you might experience the intoxicating effects faster than flat drinks.