Calorie Counts for Popular Alcoholic Drinks

Red Wine

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Calories in alcoholic drinks can turn a diet-friendly day into a weight loss disaster if you're not careful. Not only do boozy beverages contain hundreds of calories, but you're likely to eat poorly while drinking —and while nursing a hangover if you overindulge.

So, how do you stay healthy and still enjoy a night on the town? First, check the numbers. Beer, wine, cocktail, and even 4 Loko calories may be much higher than you think. Then take careful steps to prevent a hangover so your healthy eating and exercise don't get derailed with a post-drinking day on the couch.

Calories in Alcoholic Drinks

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one jigger or 1 1/2 fluid ounces (42g) of vodka.

  • Calories: 97
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Alcohol provides no nutritional value. Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, as compared to four calories per gram for protein or carbohydrates, and nine calories per gram for fat. 

There is no fat, sugar, or carbohydrates in alcohol.

However, that doesn't mean that you won't consume sugar or carbohydrates while enjoying your favorite alcoholic beverage. Most alcoholic drinks contain more than just alcohol. 

Check the list of popular drinks below. These are calorie counts for alcoholic beverages that you might find in a typical bar. You'll see a wide variety of calorie counts listed. Most of the time, alcohol is paired with a mixer, or other ingredients to add flavor. It is the flavoring (often sugar and other ingredients) that provide calories. 

Note: the list includes information for a single serving of that beverage. Keep in mind that when you order a drink in a restaurant, the drink that you are served is often larger than a single serving. 

Drinks With 200 Calories or Less

  • Beer (12 oz.) A single serving of most beers is under 200 calories, but some beers are better than others. 
  • Rum (2 oz.) and Coke (5 oz.) Make this drink lower in calories by ordering a diet cola.
  • Tom Collins (1.5 oz. gin, mix, and 2 oz. club soda)
  • Hot Buttered Rum (6 oz.) The number of calories in your drink may vary depending on the recipe used to create your drink. This drink can contain near 250 calories
  • Margarita (3 oz.) Low calorie or "skinny" margaritas often contain the lowest number of calories. 
  • Whiskey sour (2 oz. mix and 1.5 oz. whiskey) 

Drinks With 150 Calories or Less

  • Classic Martini (2 oz. gin and .5 oz. vermouth) Calorie counts for flavored recipes may contain more calories. 
  • Bloody Mary (6 oz.) This classic cocktail is often served with a variety of garnishes that will add more calories. But ingredients like tomato juice will provide electrolytes and celery provides fiber.
  • Brandy (2 oz.) A single shot of brandy only contains 65 calories, so a double will contain 130 calories.
  • Most light beers (12 oz.) There are many light beers on the market with less alcohol and fewer calories.
  • Daiquiri cocktail (2 oz.) This cocktail can make or break your diet. A single serving is only 112 calories, but when is the last time you were served 2 ounces of daiquiri in a bar?

Drinks With 100 Calories or Less

  • Red or rose wine (4 oz.)
  • White wine (4 oz.)
  • Sangria (4 oz.)
  • Champagne (5 oz.)
  • Gin (1.5 oz.)
  • Rum, including Malibu Coconut Run (1.5 oz.)
  • Vodka (1.5 oz.)
  • Whiskey (1.5 oz.)

There are some bottled alcoholic drinks that can be harder to count when you are watching your calories. For instance, alcoholic cider nutrition varies based on the brand. These beverages are not regulated by the FDA, but rather by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and are not required to provide nutrition facts on the label so it can be difficult to determine how many calories you consume with each beverage.

Lowest Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

If keeping your calories or carbs in check is important, your best option is to choose a low-calorie spirit and mix it with soda or water. Many savvy dieters choose to drink vodka with soda and either a slice of lemon or lime.

If you drink just one shot of vodka with sparkling water, you'll consume about 90 to 100 calories, zero grams of sugar, and zero grams of carbohydrate. 

If you like wine, another low-calorie option is a wine spritzer. Simply choose your favorite half glass of wine and add sparkling water. Since a full glass of white wine provides about 100 calories, you should be able to make a satisfying beverage for 75 calories or less and zero grams of carbohydrate.

Highest Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

If you decide to celebrate a special occasion or relax with a cocktail, it's always good to check the calorie count of your cocktail before you belly up to the bar. Many mixed drinks and especially blender drinks have calorie counts that are sky-high. And many provide excessive sugar as well.

Lava Flow Calories and Carbs

This creamy treat—usually a combination of a pina colada and blended strawberries with rum—is exceptionally high in calories. According to nutritional information for some restaurants, the drink provides about 460 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, 76 grams of sugar, and a whopping 88 grams of carbohydrate.

Pina Colada Calories and Carbs

Even though the lava flow is higher in calories and carbs, you won't save yourself by ordering the more simple pina colada. This drink is likely to deliver 430 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, 72 grams of sugar, and 76 grams of carbohydrate.

Frozen Margarita Calories and Carbs

The ingredients and recipe will determine the nutritional breakdown of this popular beverage but if you get a frozen drink and many fast-casual restaurants, you may consume up to 240 calories, 34 grams of carbohydrate, and 30 grams of sugar.

4 Loko Calories and Carbs

The calories in 4 Loko beverages are exceptionally high not only because of the ingredients but also because of the size of the can. A 23.5 ounce can reportedly provide 660 calories.

Of course, any drink that contains cream or ice cream will be very high in fat and calories. So if you are watching your waistline, avoid drinks like a Grasshopper, Mudslide, White Russian, or any cream liquor (like Bailey's).


Calories consumed during a night of drinking add up, not only because of the calories in your alcoholic drinks but also because of the food choices you make during and after the festivities. If you are a typical drinker, you grab salty, starchy bar snacks while imbibing.

If you end up with a hangover, many drinkers report that high starch, high calorie, high-fat foods make them feel better. 

A smarter option is to choose your drink wisely—to keep your drinking plan, and your food plan in place.

Drink Color and Calories

There is a common misconception that lighter drinks are lighter in calories. For example, many beer drinkers choose light-colored beers assuming that they are also low-cal. And some alcohol drinkers assume that liquors like rum or brandy have more calories than clear liquors. 

But the color of your beer, wine, or liquor doesn't determine its caloric content. Stouts, for example, which is very dark in color tend to be low in calories and lower in alcohol than many of their lighter counterparts. The color of the beer is determined by the grain used to brew it and other ingredients that may be added for flavor.

The calories in beer are determined by the ingredients added for flavor and the amount of alcohol it provides.

When choosing a lower calorie liquor, check the alcohol volume. For example, most 80 proof liquors (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila) provide about 97 calories per 1.5-ounce serving. But if you choose a 100 proof version of those same liquors, the calorie count jumps to about 139.

Hangover Risk

This popular myth has not been confirmed by scientific evidence—and it may never be. For ethical reasons, it is hard to study the effects of overdrinking on humans. But researchers have suggested that congeners in alcohol cause the symptoms of a hangover. Congeners are a byproduct of the fermentation process. Drinks that are dark, like red wine, bourbon, and brandy have more congeners.

One study compared the effects of overdrinking vodka with the effects of overdrinking bourbon and found people reported feeling worse after overdrinking bourbon, but both spirits produced hangover effects.

Impact of Eating

According to research, drinking while eating doesn't do much to help prevent a hangover. And if you're hoping that pairing a caffeinated beverage with alcohol might help, think again. In fact, even drinking water may not help you to avoid a hangover.

According to studies, none of these methods have been shown to be effective. The best way to avoid a hangover is to drink in moderation. For men and women that means no more than one drink per night.

A Word From Verywell

Drinking alcohol can have a big impact on your diet. It's not just the cocktail calories that add up when you imbibe. When we drink, we often eat more as well. And a hangover is likely to derail your workout routine. For this reason, many people who are trying to lose or maintain their weight cut back on booze or eliminate alcohol altogether.

In fact, several weight loss programs recommend that you don't drink at all while dieting. If you choose to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, keep calorie counts in mind and remember to drink in moderation to keep your body and mind healthy and well.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Vodka FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  2. How many calories are in one gram of fat, carbohydrate, or protein?. US Department of Agriculture.

  3. Beer. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  4. Tom Collins. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  5. Brandy. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  6. Wine, table, red. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  7. Gin. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  8. Whiskey. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  9. Alcohol Beverage Labeling: Statements Related to Calorie and Nutrient Content, Serving Facts, Alcohol Facts, and Sugar Content. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Updated September 26, 2019

  10. Wine Spritzer. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  11. TGIFridays. Nutritional Information. 2020

  12. Alcohol and Nutrition. Ohio State University.

  13. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture.

  14. Hangovers. National Institutes of Health. March 2019.

  15. Rohsenow DJ, Howland J, Arnedt JT, et al. Intoxication with bourbon versus vodka: effects on hangover, sleep, and next-day neurocognitive performance in young adults. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2010;34(3):509-18.  doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.01116.x

  16. Verster JC. The alcohol hangover--a puzzling phenomenon. Alcohol Alcohol. 2008;43(2):124-6.  doi:10.1093/alcalc/agm163

  17. Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. USDA.  July 2020

Additional Reading
  • Howland J, Rohsenow DJ, Arnedt JT, et al. The Acute Effects of Caffeinated Versus Non-Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverage on Driving Performance and Attention/Reaction Time. Addiction. 2011;106(2):335-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03219.x

  • Mckinney A, Coyle K, Verster J. Direct Comparison of the Cognitive Effects of Acute Alcohol With the Morning After a Normal Night's Drinking. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012;27(3):295-304. doi:10.1002/hup.2225

  • Rohsenow DJ, Howland J, Arnedt JT, et al. Intoxication With Bourbon Versus Vodka: Effects on Hangover, Sleep, and Next-Day Neurocognitive Performance in Young Adults. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2010;34(3):509-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.01116.x

  • Roth, Klaus. Chemistry of a Hangover — Alcohol and Its Consequences. Chemie in Unserer Zeit/Wiley-VCH doi: 10.1002/chemv.201000074

  • Verster JC. The Aalcohol Hangover: A Puzzling Phenomenon. Alcohol. 2008;43(2):124-6. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agm163