Alcohol-containing beverages can be flavorful complements to meals or social gatherings, but they also contain calories without the benefit of nutrients. To avoid gaining weight or consuming insufficient nutrients -- and to avoid the other dangers and health detriments of drinking too much alcohol -- only drink alcohol-containing beverages in moderation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends no more than two drinks in a day for men, and no more than one drink per day for women.
The so-called hard liquors rum, brandy and vodka all have the same amount of calories because of their similar basic contents. One once of rum, brandy, or vodka – or almost any other unsweetened, distilled alcohol -- has 65 calories, according to College Drinking: Changing the Culture, a program run by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Although some authorities measure alcohol's calories per ounce, most bartenders measure alcohol per shot. "One drink" usually contains one shot, which equals 1.5 oz. The average shot glass holds 1.5 oz of liquid. So remember that when you have one shot of rum, brandy or vodka, you have actually consumed about 100 calories.
If you drink anything other than a shot of pure vodka, brandy or rum, you might consume extra calories. For example, if you have a screwdriver -- vodka in orange juice -- you could consume more than 100 extra calories, because orange juice contains a lot of sugar. For the lowest-calorie choice, drink the liquor straight. If you want a mixed drink, the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois recommends adding low-calorie options such as water or club soda to your alcoholic beverage.