If you’re reading this site, you’re likely not drinking things like skinny margaritas or canned water, I mean, light beer. Ok, I hope you’re not. On a recent trip to Nashville, while I was having some tasty bourbon in a local watering hole, someone said to me, “Sometimes, you just want to crush a six pack of Miller Lite.” I was hoping he meant with his car, but alas, he meant drinking it. I’ll admit, I used to drink Heineken. Then I discovered Stone Brew’s IPA (back when IPAs were a novelty, not a standard) and never looked back. But, an IPA is a bit higher in calories than things ending in Lite. Crush too many beers that have flavor, and you end up with a beer gut. So, if you’ve acquired a taste for whiskey, how many calories are you getting? Will you end up with a “whiskey waist?!?”

Whiskey_glass_2  pintofbeer   redwine


14 ounces of beer (bar pint) = 6 ounces of table wine = 1.5 ounces of spirits


That’s what will get you drunk. What will get you looking at your gym membership to see if it’s paid?


Calories Fat Sugar
Whiskey* 90-100 0g 0g
Flavored whiskey (honey, cinnamon, etc) 104-110 0g 6-11g
Beer† 95-360 0g 10-20g
Wine§ 95-260 0g 1-25g
Ginger beer 14-17/oz > 1g 4-6g
Tonic 10-12/oz 0g 32-34g
Vermouth 35-47/oz 0g 1-5g


*The calories vary slightly by proof, with 100+ proof having the most calories. Whiskey means any unflavored whiskies: rye, bourbon, American, Scotch

†From light beer to higher ABVs like Dogfish Head (sugar is in the form of carbohydrates or actual added sugars like honey)

  • From dry wine to fortified (like port) – late harvest wines have even more sugar

Final disclaimer: I gathered these from reading the Google machine, and doing some math. Your mileage may vary.


To give you an idea what a whiskey cocktail adds up to (since not everyone drinks their whiskey neat or on the rocks) here are a couple standard recipes:


Kentucky Mule2 ounces whiskey = 190 calories6 ounces of ginger beer = 80 calories270 calories  Classic Manhattan2 ounces whiskey = 190 calories1/2 ounce sweet vermouth = 20 caloriesBitters (not enough to count)210 calories 
Whiskey Sour2 ounces whiskey = 190 calories3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice = 12 calories3/4 ounce simple syrup = 60 calories (I checked my bottle)Egg white = 17 calories279 calories


Bourbon Old Fashioned2 ounces of Bourbon = 190 calories1 tsp of sugar = 16 caloriesBitters (not enough to count)Club soda = 0 caloriesOrange slice = 5 calories

211 calories


 The moral of the story: a whiskey cocktail is about the equivalent of a decent pint of beer (decent is defined as having taste) or a glass of a sweeter wine.


Drink your whiskey neat and save calories!


Article By: Jeanne Runkle

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