Weights and measures: the law

2. Specified quantities

Some goods must be sold in fixed sizes known as ‘specified quantities’.

Alcohol

There are different rules depending on whether you’re selling by the glass or bottle.

By the glass

Type Measures
Still wine 125ml, 175ml, multiples of 125ml and 175ml
Port, sherry or other fortified wine 50ml, 70ml, multiples of 50ml or 70ml
Gin, rum, vodka and whisky Either 25ml and multiples of 25ml, or 35ml and multiples of 35ml (not both on the same premises)
Draught beer and cider Third, half, two-thirds of a pint and multiples of half a pint

There are no specified quantities for sparkling wine or yellow wine by the glass or spirits other than gin, rum, vodka and whisky.

Packaged in bottles, boxes or similar

Type Volume by millilitre (ml)
Still wine 100, 187, 250, 375, 500, 750, 1000, 1500
Yellow wine 620
Sparkling wine 125, 200, 375, 750, 1500
Fortified wine 100, 200, 375, 500, 750, 1000, 1500
Spirit drinks 100, 200, 350, 500, 700, 1000, 1500, 1750, 2000

You can sell packaged alcohol in any volume if it’s below the minimum or above the maximum allowed for specified quantities.

Type Minimum (ml) Maximum (ml)
Still wine 100 1500
Yellow wine 100 1500
Sparkling wine 125 1500
Fortified wine 100 1500
Spirit drinks 100 2000

There are no specified quantities for packaged beer or cider.

Solid fuel

You can sell sealed bags of solid fuel in any size you wish but if you’re selling it loose, you can only sell it in quantities of:

  • 25kg
  • 50kg
  • multiples of 50kg