Under the current system Scotch whisky is taxed 250% more than the same amount of alcohol sold as cider, 37% more than beer and 30% more than wine.
The SWA also wants to ban sales below tax to set a legal “floor price” and ensure the duty is paid by consumers.
Chief executive Gavin Hewitt said: “The modern alcoholic drinks market is highly competitive, yet competition is distorted by a tax system based on the market of the 1920s.
“Reform is long overdue and could bring a double benefit to the government – greater revenue and a route to tackle low-priced drinks. Tax based on alcohol content is a fair and socially responsible way forward.”