How Many Calories Will You Drink Over The Holidays?


A glass or two of celebratory cheer – a toast to the New Year …

Just a heads up: all of those drinks can really pack a caloric punch. So, just like drinking wisely (and of course, not driving), don’t forget to factor in all those calories.

A Drink Is …

A standard alcoholic drink (in the US) is a drink that contains the equivalent of 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol.

That’s the amount of pure alcohol usually found in:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey, etc.)

Will A Cocktail Affect You More Than Beer Or Wine?

A 12-ounce bottle of beer has about the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Since it is the amount – not the type — of alcohol in your drink that affects you the most, it is not safer to drink beer or wine rather than liquor if you are consuming the same amount of alcohol.

In other words, whether you have two 5 ounce glasses of wine, two 12 ounce bottles of beer, or two 1.5 ounces of liquor either straight or in a mixed drink — you are drinking the same amount of alcohol.

How Many Calories Are In Alcohol?

Alcohol doesn’t fill you up the way food does because it doesn’t register as “food” in your GI tract or brain.  Even though it doesn’t fill you up, alcohol does have calories — 7 calories a gram – more than carbs and protein, which clock in at 4 calories a gram and a little less than fat which has 9.  It may not feel as though you’re putting calories into your body, but the fact is you can drink a lot of calories and still not feel stuffed (perhaps drunk, but not stuffed).

In General:

  • 12 ounces of beer has 153 calories and 13.9 grams of alcohol
  • 12 ounces of lite beer has 103 calories and 11 grams of alcohol
  • 5 ounces red wine has 125 calories and 15.6 grams of alcohol
  • 5 ounces of white wine has 121 calories and 15.1 grams of alcohol
  • 1 1/2 ounces (a jigger) of 80 proof (40% alcohol) liquor has 97 calories and 14 grams of alcohol

Alcohol And Mixers

The higher the alcoholic content (proof), the greater the number of calories:

  • 80-proof vodka (40% alcohol, the most common type) has 64 calories/1oz
  • 86-proof vodka (43% alcohol) has 70 calories/1 ounce
  • 90-proof vodka (45% alcohol) has 73 calories/1 ounce
  • 100-proof vodka (50% alcohol) has 82 calories/1 ounce

When you start adding mixers, the calories in a drink can more than double.

  • club soda has no calories
  • 8 ounces of orange juice has 112 calories
  • 8 ounces of tonic has 83 calories
  • 8 ounces of ginger ale has 83 calories
  • 8 ounces of tomato juice has 41 calories
  • 8 ounces of classic coke has 96 calories
  • 8 ounces of cranberry juice has 128 calories

Mixed drinks and fancy drinks can significantly increase the calorie count.    The following calories are approximate – bartenders, recipes, and the hand that pours all vary.  Use these figures as a guideline.

  • Plain martini (2.5 ounces): 160 calories
  • Mimosa (4 ounces):  75 calories
  • Gin and Tonic (7 ounces):  200 calories
  • Mojito:  (8 ounces):  214 calories
  • Cosmopolitan (4 ounces): 200 calories
  • Skinnygirl margarita (4 ounces): 100 calories
  • Green apple martini (1 ounce each vodka, sour apple, apple juice): 148 calories
  • Bloody Mary (5 ounces): 118 calories
  • Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348 calories
  • Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 ounces): 310 calories
  • Vodka and tonic (8 ounces): 200 calories
  • Screwdriver (8 ounces): 190 calories
  • White Russian (2 ounces of vodka, 1.5 ounces of coffee liqueur, 1.5 ounces of cream): 425 calories
  • Rum and Coke (8 ounces): 185 calories
  • Chocolate martini: (2 ounces each of vodka, chocolate liqueur, cream, 1/2 ounce of creme de cacao, chocolate syrup): 438 calories
  • Jumbo and super-sized drinks with double shots and extra mixers could add up to 1,000 calories or more (a single giant glass of TGI Friday’s frozen mudslide has around 1,100 calories)
  • An 8 ounce white Russian made with light cream has 715 calories
  • An 8 ounce cup of eggnog has about 343 calories and 19 grams of fat thanks to alcohol, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar
  • Mulled wine, a combination of red wine, sugar/honey, spices, orange and lemon peel, has about 210 to 300 calories in 5 ounces, depending on how much sweetener is added
  • One cup (8 ounces) of apple cider – without any additives – has 115 calories
  • One hot buttered rum has 218 calories
  • One Irish coffee has 218 calories
  • One cup of coffee with cream and sugar runs at least 50 calories (more if it’s sweet and light)

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