15 Lowest-Calorie Alcohols: A Guide to Drinking

by Ella

In a world where fitness and health-consciousness have become increasingly prevalent, many individuals are seeking ways to enjoy alcoholic beverages without compromising their calorie intake. While it’s a well-known fact that alcohol can be calorie-dense, not all alcoholic drinks are created equal in this regard. This article will explore the 15 lowest-calorie alcohols, providing you with a comprehensive guide to making more informed choices when it comes to indulging in your favorite libations.

15 Lowest-Calorie Alcohols

1. Vodka

Vodka is renowned for its versatility in cocktails and its relatively low calorie content. A standard 1.5-ounce (44-milliliter) shot of vodka contains approximately 96 calories. If you’re watching your calorie intake, consider mixing it with low-calorie mixers like soda water or adding a splash of fresh lime juice for flavor.


2. Gin

Gin is another clear spirit that is a great choice for those looking to cut down on calories. A 1.5-ounce (44-milliliter) shot of gin typically contains around 110 calories. Pair it with a diet tonic or soda for a refreshing, low-calorie cocktail.


3. Rum (White)

White rum, often used in tropical cocktails like the Mojito, offers a relatively lower calorie content compared to darker variants. A 1.5-ounce (44-milliliter) serving of white rum contains approximately 96 calories. Mix it with fresh muddled mint and lime for a refreshing and calorie-conscious cocktail.


4. Tequila

Tequila, especially the pure agave variety, is known for being lower in calories compared to other spirits. A 1.5-ounce (44-milliliter) shot of tequila typically contains around 96 calories. Enjoy it in a classic Margarita with fresh lime juice and a splash of triple sec.


5. Champagne

If you’re looking for a sparkling option, champagne is one of the lowest-calorie choices among alcoholic beverages. A standard glass (about 4 ounces or 120 milliliters) of champagne contains around 84 calories. Sip it on its own or in a light cocktail for a touch of elegance.

6. Prosecco

Similar to champagne, Prosecco is a sparkling wine that is lower in calories. A 4-ounce (120-milliliter) serving of Prosecco typically contains about 91 calories. It’s a great option for toasting special occasions without the guilt.

7. Light Beer

For beer enthusiasts, light beer is the go-to choice for fewer calories. A 12-ounce (355-milliliter) serving of light beer contains approximately 90-110 calories, depending on the brand. Be sure to check the label for precise calorie information.

8. Hard Seltzer

Hard seltzers have gained immense popularity in recent years, partly due to their lower calorie content. A 12-ounce (355-milliliter) can of hard seltzer typically contains around 100 calories, making it a refreshing choice for calorie-conscious drinkers.

9. Wine (White)

White wine is often lower in calories compared to red wine, making it a great choice for those seeking a lighter option. A 5-ounce (150-milliliter) glass of white wine typically contains around 120-130 calories. Opt for dry white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for even fewer calories.

10. Wine (Red)

While red wine tends to have slightly more calories than white wine, it still falls within the lower calorie range for alcoholic beverages. A 5-ounce (150-milliliter) glass of red wine generally contains around 125-135 calories. Consider lighter red varieties like Pinot Noir or Gamay.

11. Whiskey

Whiskey, whether enjoyed neat or on the rocks, is a calorie-friendly choice among dark spirits. A 1.5-ounce (44-milliliter) shot of whiskey typically contains approximately 96-105 calories, depending on the specific type and brand.

12. Cognac

Cognac, a type of brandy, is known for its rich and complex flavors. A 1.5-ounce (44-milliliter) serving of cognac generally contains around 104-110 calories. Savor it slowly to appreciate its taste while keeping an eye on your calorie intake.

13. Sherry

Sherry is a fortified wine that offers a unique taste profile. A 2-ounce (60-milliliter) serving of dry sherry typically contains around 70-80 calories. It’s an excellent choice for an aperitif or a lighter dessert wine.

14. Vermouth

Vermouth, commonly used in classic cocktails like the Martini and Manhattan, is relatively low in calories. A 2-ounce (60-milliliter) serving of dry vermouth contains approximately 64-80 calories, depending on the brand.

15. Brandy

Brandy, often associated with after-dinner sipping, is another option that falls within the lower calorie range for spirits. A 1.5-ounce (44-milliliter) serving of brandy typically contains around 98-104 calories. Enjoy it in moderation as a digestif.

Benefits of Low-calorie Alcohol

Low-calorie alcohol offers several benefits for individuals who are conscious of their calorie intake and overall health. Here are some of the key advantages of choosing low-calorie alcoholic beverages:

Weight Management: One of the most significant benefits of low-calorie alcohol is its potential to support weight management or weight loss efforts. Alcoholic drinks can be calorie-dense, and choosing low-calorie options can help individuals reduce their overall calorie consumption while still enjoying a drink.

Reduced Sugar Intake: Low-calorie alcoholic beverages often contain less sugar than their higher-calorie counterparts. Lower sugar content can be advantageous for individuals looking to minimize their sugar intake, which can have various health benefits, including better blood sugar control and reduced risk of dental issues.

Improved Hydration: Some low-calorie alcoholic options, such as hard seltzers, contain a significant amount of water. Choosing these drinks can help with hydration, especially when individuals alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Lower Risk of Hangovers: Alcoholic drinks with lower calorie content often contain fewer congeners, which are substances that contribute to the severity of hangovers. Choosing low-calorie options may lead to a milder hangover if consumed in moderation.

Versatility in Mixers: Low-calorie alcohols can be easily mixed with low-calorie or calorie-free mixers like soda water, diet tonic, or fresh citrus juices. This versatility allows for a wide range of flavorful and refreshing cocktails without the extra calories.

Reduced Risk of Metabolic Conditions: Excessive calorie consumption from alcoholic beverages can contribute to metabolic conditions such as obesity and fatty liver disease. Choosing low-calorie options may help reduce this risk when combined with responsible drinking habits.

Less Impact on Blood Sugar: Alcoholic drinks with lower calorie and sugar content are less likely to cause rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those concerned about maintaining stable blood sugar.

Mindful Drinking Strategies

While choosing lower-calorie alcoholic beverages is a great start, mindful drinking involves more than just the choice of drink. Here are some strategies to help you enjoy alcohol without overindulging in calories:

1. Portion Control

Stick to standard serving sizes, whether it’s a 1.5-ounce shot of spirits, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 12-ounce beer. Avoid larger glasses or oversized cocktails that can lead to overconsumption.

2. Hydration

Alternate alcoholic drinks with water to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of overindulging. Drinking water can also help you feel fuller, preventing excessive snacking.

3. Choose Light Mixers

Opt for low-calorie mixers like soda water, diet tonic, or fresh citrus juices instead of sugary syrups and sodas. These can significantly reduce the calorie content of your cocktails.

4. Avoid Sugary Cocktails

Steer clear of cocktails with high sugar content. Drinks like Piña Coladas and Mai Tais can pack a substantial caloric punch due to added syrups and fruit juices.

5. Read Labels

Check the labels on alcoholic beverages to understand their calorie content. Some brands provide nutritional information, which can help you make informed choices.

6. Plan Ahead

Decide how many drinks you’ll have before you start drinking and stick to your plan. Setting limits in advance can prevent overconsumption.

7. Eat Before Drinking

Having a meal before drinking can help slow the absorption of alcohol, reducing its impact on your blood sugar levels and curbing cravings for high-calorie snacks.

8. Mindful Sipping

Savor your drink slowly, appreciating its flavor and aroma. This can help you consume less and enjoy the experience more.

What are some tips for making low-calorie cocktails?

Here are some tips for making low-calorie cocktails:

Use Fresh Ingredients: Opt for fresh fruits, herbs, and spices to add flavor and aroma without adding extra calories. Muddled berries, citrus slices, and fresh mint can elevate the taste of your cocktails.

Choose Low-Calorie Mixers: Swap high-calorie mixers like regular tonic water, sugary syrups, or soda for low-calorie alternatives. Consider soda water, diet tonic, or natural fruit-infused water for fizz and flavor without the calories.

Limit Sugary Additions: Minimize or eliminate sugary syrups, liqueurs, and sweetened mixers in your cocktails. If sweetness is essential, opt for sugar-free or naturally sweetened alternatives.

Experiment with Lighter Spirits: Choose lower-calorie spirits like vodka, gin, rum, tequila, or light whiskey as your base. These options typically have fewer calories per serving compared to cream liqueurs or dark spirits.

Reduce Serving Sizes: Consider serving your cocktails in smaller glasses. Smaller portions mean fewer calories, and you can savor the flavor without overindulging.

Use Ice Wisely: Ice not only chills your drink but also dilutes it as it melts. This can be a benefit if you’re looking to reduce the alcohol content without adding extra calories. However, avoid over-ice-ing, which can lead to excessive dilution.

Choose Lighter Beer and Wine: If you’re making beer or wine-based cocktails, opt for lighter beer or dry wine. These choices are often lower in calories and sugar than their counterparts.

Limit High-Calorie Extras: Be cautious of high-calorie extras like whipped cream, chocolate drizzles, or sugared rims when garnishing your cocktails. These can add a significant number of calories.


Enjoying a drink doesn’t have to derail your diet or fitness goals. By choosing lower-calorie alcoholic beverages and practicing mindful drinking, you can strike a balance between indulgence and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Remember that moderation is key, and always prioritize your well-being when it comes to alcohol consumption. Cheers to making informed choices and savoring the moments responsibly!



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