Party Cup Ridges are Measurement Markings
By Chad Upton | Editor
Now that college is back in session, it’s time to learn something really useful. Party cups aren’t just for playing beer pong and flippy cups; some people use them exclusively for serving drinks. They’re great for cash bars and beer pong for the same reason: the ridges can be used to measure servings.
Starting at the top, the lines are as follows:
- First Line: 16 oz / Pint (beer)
- Second Line: 14 ounces (mixed drink fill line)
- Third Line: 5 ounces (wine / ice fill line for soda / beer pong fill line)
- Fourth Line: 1 ounce (liquor)
Most of these measurements are pretty common serving sizes for various types of alcohol. For example, 1 oz of 100 proof liquor has about the same alcohol as 5 oz of wine and each are considered “1 drink”. For beer, 10 – 12 ounces is considered 1 drink, but a pint is a typical serving size no less.
There’s another ridge just below the rim of the cup which I didn’t mark in the graphic above. It wouldn’t be practical to fill the cup that high, but if are any lab rats are reading and need a crude measuring device in a jam, that ridge marks 18 oz.
The original party cup is made by Solo. Due to hollywood movies, the iconic design is recognized around the world, even though they’re not available in many other countries, and they’re quite expensive in some foreign countries.
Culturally, Solo cup enthusiasts are fanatical about the red cups since that is the original color. The blue ones are acceptable if you want to differentiate beer pong teams. The clear ones look nice, but some people don’t like how you can see what they’re drinking.
If you think the 5 oz line is too high to be an ice fill line, look at the discrete markings on McDonald’s cups – they also have an ice fill line .
Sources: common drink sizes (PDF)