I noticed a line in an episode of the American drama Manifest:

"If you needed a double to get over it, I'm guessing the hearing didn't go that well."

said by a man's colleague, while he was sitting beside the bar table, drinking one glass of wine.

So what does "a double" mean here? Since what he held was just one glass of wine.

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    Said by a man's "colleague". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 23 '18 at 9:04
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    I see you got this from Manifest; I'm watching it now, and it was whiskey, not wine. – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 23 '18 at 20:22
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit I've just paused the show on the exact scene because I remembered having read this question and was going to comment. You are absolutely right—he's drinking whisky, not wine. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 23 '18 at 23:35
  • Thanks! That's pretty helpful for me to enjoy this show better :) – scarlett Oct 24 '18 at 3:34

In bars, alcohol is served by a specific measure. Sometimes bars have bottles mounted on the wall in a measure bracket so they can put the exact measure straight into the glass. If they are pouring from the bottle they may use a measuring cup. A "single" refers to one measure, and a "double" means two measures in the same glass.

In the UK, measures of spirits such as whiskey or vodka are normally served as 25ml measures, so a double would be 50ml. This may vary in other countries. You can't always visibly recognise a double measure if someone orders a spirit with a mixer or as part of a cocktail - the glass content looks the same but there is twice as much alcohol in the mix.

Wine by the glass (as opposed to when you order the whole bottle) is also measured out. In the UK a standard measure of wine is 125ml (if you ask for a small) or 175ml (large). A "double" would have to be two of these measures. Again, these volumes may vary in other countries. Because wine is not usually mixed, it could be visibly recognised that someone has a double measure in their glass, as appears to be the case in your example.

It is also noteworthy that wine is normally served in a large glass with room to spare to allow the aromas and flavours to emerge. Again, this would make it evident if someone had a larger than usual measure.

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  • All true - though I've never heard anyone refer to a wine measure as a "double" and this would not be well-understood, so the phrasing in the question is still a bit suspect to me. #UK – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 23 '18 at 11:21
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit I've never heard it for wine measures either, but if the OP's quote is from a piece of literature then it must be normal somewhere in the world. – Astralbee Oct 23 '18 at 12:14
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    Indeed (well, "must be" is a little strong, but..); I'd like to find out where the OP saw this – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 23 '18 at 12:29
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    Turns out it was this week's episode of Manifest, which I just so happen to be watching, and the beverage was indeed a whiskey of some kind, not wine. – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 23 '18 at 20:22

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