We're all for happy hour cocktails, but the phrase "too much of a good thing" exists for a reason. Or, in this case, two reasons.
First, it's important to know how much alcohol is too much. Adults of legal drinking age can choose to either not drink at all or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to one drink per day for adults assigned female at birth and two drinks per day for adults assigned male at birth, per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Next, consider how many calories are in liquors. If you exceed these recommendations, the extra liquor calories could lead to weight gain, according to the Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine.
Also keep in mind that drinking straight liquor may cause your blood sugar to drop. Your liver makes new glucose (sugar) in between meals and while you sleep, then sends it into your bloodstream where it can prevent or slow down a low blood sugar reaction, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.
But drinking alcohol disrupts this process. When alcohol breaks down in the liver, substances form and block the liver from making new glucose — which can cause your blood sugar to become too low if you have diabetes.
Alcohol doesn't vary much by type in terms of calories, though liqueurs (which are sweetened) tend to be higher in calories than liquors, as you can see from the calories in liquor list below.
Calories in Liquor and Liqueur List
Calories in 1 ounce
Calories in 1 shot (1.5 ounces)
Rum (80 proof)
Whiskey (80 proof)
Vodka (80 proof)
Gin (80 proof)
Tequila (80 proof)
Brandy (80 proof)
For context, a standard drink is 14 grams of pure alcohol, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is generally the amount found in:
- 1.5 ounces (equal to a shot) of 80-proof (40 percent alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor like whiskey, gin, rum or vodka
- 12 ounces of beer (5 percent alcohol content)
- 8 ounces of malt liquor (7 percent alcohol content)
- 5 ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol content)
Here are more liquor nutrition facts and everything you need to know about the calories in spirits.
Originally from the West Indies, rums are first mentioned in Barbados records from about 1650, per the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Most rums are made from molasses and can contain as much as 5 percent sugar. Light-bodied rums are typically from Cuba and Puerto Rico, while rums from Jamaica tend to be fuller-flavored.
Rum easily mixes with other flavors, which makes it a popular type of alcohol year-round. In winter, the rich flavor of rum complements coffee and other hot drinks. In the summer months, some like adding it to fruit juices and sodas. However, like other liquors, rum has calories.
Consider these rum nutrition facts: The standard bar shot is 1.5 ounces and is called a jigger. The calories in rum vary depending on the percentage of alcohol, also known as its proof.
When you compare rum versus vodka calories, you'll see that these two liquors have the same amount of calories. This is also true of white rum versus vodka.
Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is a blend of Caribbean rums with hints of vanilla and caramel. Smooth and medium-bodied, it gives classic rum cocktails a distinctive flavor — ideal for rum and pineapple drinks, rum and cola drinks, rum and iced tea drinks or even spiked eggnog.
As for how many calories are in a shot of Captain Morgan: One 1.5-ounce shot of 70-proof Captain Morgan contains about 86 calories, which is less than standard 80-proof and 94-proof rums.
Many brands of spiced rum, including Captain Morgan, are 70 proof — meaning they are 35 percent alcohol by volume. Regular rum often is 80 proof, or 40 percent alcohol by volume. That's why Captain Morgan rum calories are slightly lower than the amount in regular rum.
The number of rum calories will also vary depending on what you add to it. For example, consider the calories in each of the following drinks, which are typically mixed with rum:
And while a jigger of rum is around 97 calories, common cocktails made with rum may be much more. For instance:
One way to cut calories and still enjoy your cocktail is by using low-calorie mixers. Add just a splash of juice for flavor, use diet sodas or club soda and add a little garnish to spice up your cocktail without adding extra calories. You can also try these lower-calorie drink orders.
The calories in whiskey really depend on the concentration of alcohol. All alcohol has 7 calories per gram, per the University of California Los Angeles. So the more grams of alcohol that are in your liquor, the higher the alcohol percentage. That also equates to a higher proof and more calories.
When you compare whiskey versus vodka calories, for instance, you won't see much of a difference if you're looking at the same proof — as is the case with other types of liquor.
Whiskey that is 40 percent alcohol, or labeled as 80 proof, is the most common type you'll find at a store.
- One 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof whiskey has 97 calories, per the NLM.
- One 1.5-ounce shot of 94-proof whiskey contains 116 calories.
Crown Royal Whiskey
Crown Royal whiskey was the first alcoholic beverage shipped in the U.S. to feature nutritional information on the brand's packaging, per Fortune. A 1.5-ounce shot of Crown Royal whiskey (80 proof) contains 96 calories and no carbohydrates or fat.
If you're on the ketogenic (keto) diet, you may wonder if Crown Royal whiskey is on the plan's permitted food list. The short answer is "maybe," according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Some keto diets allow small portions of hard liquor, while other keto programs do not.
Also, be aware that mixed drinks that contain syrups, juices or flavored alcohols may be off-limits. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for more information on what you should include or limit in your diet.
Scotch is a type of whiskey made in Scotland. It is generally somewhat light in body and has a distinctive smoky malt flavor, per the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Scotch whiskeys are made primarily from malted barley heated over a peat fire, and the smoke flavors the malt.
Like standard whiskey, a 1.5-ounce jigger of scotch contains 97 calories, per the USDA.
In the United States, straight whiskeys are named after the predominant grains used to make them. If at least 51 percent rye malt is used, it's called rye whiskey, per the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Rye whiskey calories are very similar to calories of other distilled beverages, including vodka, tequila and gin. On average, a 1.5-ounce shot of rye whiskey (90 proof) contains about 109 calories.
You don't need to worry about how many carbs are in rye whiskey. Like other liquors, rye whiskey nutrition facts show there are no carbohydrates, sugar or fat.
If you sip your rye neat or on the rocks, one drink can fit into a well-balanced diet. If you take your rye mixed in a cocktail, however, the calories can accumulate quickly. For example, a rye mule recipe using ginger beer can contain up to 226 calories.
Whiskey is called bourbon if its mashes (the mixtures of grain, yeast and water fermented to make alcohol) contain at least 51 percent corn. It was first produced in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and bourbon eventually became the name for similar corn-mash whiskeys, per the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Like rye whiskey, bourbon contains about 109 calories per 1.5-ounce shot.
Southern Comfort is a sweet whiskey that originated in New Orleans. As with other types of alcohol, how many calories are in Southern Comfort will depend on its proof. Consider the stark difference in how many calories are in a 1.5-ounce shot of Southern Comfort with the two different proofs below:
The calorie count of drinks that use Southern Comfort can also vary widely: If you mix Southern Comfort with the juice of one lime (a drink known as a snake bite), you'll add 11 calories. Mix it into eggnog, and you'll add an extra 190 calories.
Meanwhile, a 7.5-ounce can of Coca-Cola will add 90 calories to your Southern Comfort.
Something you won't see in Southern Comfort nutrition facts: Like other dark-hued alcohols, Southern Comfort may have a higher congener content than clear alcohol, so it is more likely to cause a hangover, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Congeners are chemicals produced during fermentation. One type of congener called methanol can worsen a hangover by breaking down into the toxins formaldehyde and formic acid, per the Mayo Clinic.
That said, drinking lighter-colored drinks isn't necessarily considered a good way to prevent a hangover, but it might help a little bit. The best way to prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation (or not at all).
Some claim vodka originated as early as the 8th century in either Russia or Poland, per the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Soon after World War II, vodka started to take off in the United States and throughout Europe. Potatoes were traditionally used in Russia and Poland to make vodka, but cereal grains have mostly replaced them there and in other countries that produce vodka.
Although the serving size of vodka is significantly smaller than wine or beer, don't take the alcohol content or calories of vodka lightly.
As with other types of alcohol, the alcohol proof will also determine the number of calories in a serving of vodka, according to the NLM.
- One 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof vodka has 97 calories.
- One 1.5-ounce shot of 94-proof vodka has 116 calories.
Everclear is a brand of vodka known for its high alcohol content. Most vodka brands are 40 to 60 percent alcohol, which is 80 to 120 proof. However, Everclear ranges from 60 to 95 percent alcohol, or 120 to 190 proof.
Consider these Everclear nutrition facts: There are 183 calories in a shot of Everclear (151 proof), with no fat, carbohydrates, protein or sugars. Mixing Everclear with juice or other caloric beverages increases the calorie content of the drink.
Hpnotiq, pronounced "hypnotic," is a brand of alcohol that's a blend of French vodka, cognac and tropical fruit juices. This aqua-blue liqueur provides the base for plenty of cocktails but contains many calories.
Each 1-ounce shot of Hpnotiq contains 103 calories. The amount of Hpnotiq in a cocktail ranges from 1 to 3 ounces, or 103 to 309 calories. Most of the Hpnotiq calories come from carbohydrates and none of the calories come from fat. Each ounce contains about 11 grams of carbs, with 10.9 grams from sugar.
Hpnotiq is 34 proof, which means that Hpnotiq alcohol percent (or the Hypnotic alcohol content) is 17 percent.
When it comes to flavored vodka, the calories you take in may be fewer than those in a standard drink. Smirnoff, for instance, has a line of sorbet vodkas that are considered light.
Smirnoff Sorbet Light Lemon is a vodka infused with a sweet lemon flavor. A 1.5-ounce shot contains only 78 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrates. These liquor nutrition facts apply to all flavors in the Sorbet Light product line. This vodka is only 60 proof or 30 percent alcohol by volume.
Gin is made by distilling spirits with juniper berries and other extracts or aromatics related to the berries. When it comes to gin versus vodka calories, the amount is identical, according to the NLM. As either alcohol's proof increases, so does its caloric content.
- A 1.5-ounce serving of gin (80 proof) contains 97 calories.
- A 1.5-ounce serving of gin (94 proof) has 116 calories.
If you choose to enjoy your vodka or gin as part of a mixed drink, the drink's other elements add to the calories in gin. Many gin cocktails — including a classic gin gimlet, a Tom Collins cocktail and a gin fizz — are typically made with simple syrup.
Tequila is a spirit distilled in Mexico in compliance with Mexican government regulations and laws. It is made from a fermented mash of the agave plant and bottled at no less than 40 percent alcohol by volume (80 proof).
When you're enjoying a night out on the town, it's important to know how many calories are in the tequila shots you order.
- One 1.5-ounce shot of tequila contains 97 calories, with no carbohydrates, fat or protein, per the USDA.
Of course, the drinks you may make with that tequila bottle can also spike the calorie count quickly: A tequila sunrise contains 232 calories per 6.8-ounce serving and a margarita contains 168 calories per 4-ounce serving, according to the NLM.
Jose Cuervo makes several varieties of tequila. It can be served as a shot or mixed into a drink such as a margarita.
The calories in Jose Cuervo, Jose Cuervo Gold and other varieties, including 1800, White, Reserva and Citrico, will be consistent across the board. You'll get about 104 calories in a 1.5-ounce shot of Jose Cuervo tequila.
Of course, cocktails will add to brandy calories. A Brandy Alexander cocktail recipe made with brandy, crème de cacao, cream and nutmeg contains 238 calories, 11 grams of fat and 11 grams of carbohydrates. Meanwhile, a brandy old-fashioned sweet recipe with ingredients like cherry juice, orange juice, lemon-lime soda and brandy can rack up 277 calories.
A flavored and sweetened distilled liquor is known as a liqueur — or a cordial — and typically has an alcohol content ranging from 48 to 120 proof, per the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Liqueurs are made by combining a base spirit, which is usually brandy, with herbs or fruits, and they're sweetened with sugar syrup.
Because they're sweetened, liqueurs tend to be higher in calories than straight liquors like gin, rum, vodka and whiskey, per the NLM.
Coffee liqueurs taste sweet and can add up in calories quickly — even when you drink them on the rocks or in coffee. You up your calorie count even more when you mix this liqueur into cocktails.
A 1.5-ounce shot of coffee liqueur has 160 calories, per the NLM. Coffee liqueur with cream contains 154 calories for the same amount. Depending on the liqueur brand and flavor, the flavored version may have more or less sugar than the regular variety, which will change the calorie count slightly.
For instance, Bailey's Original Irish Cream with 17 percent alcohol has 147 calories, 11.3 carbohydrates, 5.9 grams of fat and 1.4 grams of protein per 1.5-ounce shot.
Like other liqueurs, coffee liqueur calories are higher than that of distilled alcohol shot for shot. Making a cocktail with a coffee liqueur like Cafe Patrón, which has 107 calories per ounce, can increase your calorie count considerably. A White Russian, for instance, racks up 568 calories per 8-ounce drink, per the NLM.
The popular coffee liqueur Kahlúa originated in Veracruz, Mexico in 1936. This flavored coffee drink contains 20 percent alcohol per volume and is often used to make drinks like the white Russian, espresso martini and mind eraser. However, you may take in quite a few Kahlúa calories in your favorite drink.
Kahlúa comes in several different varieties, from the original rum and coffee liqueur to flavors like Salted Caramel and Mint Mocha. Each of these contains its own ingredients that may influence the overall calorie content and Kahlúa nutrition. The Original Kahlúa contains 200 calories per 2.5-ounce serving, while Mint Mocha contains 225 per 2.5-ounce serving.
There are about 120 calories in a 1.5-ounce shot of Kahlúa Original.
Also, keep in mind how much sugar is in Kahlúa: Most of the calories come from the carbs in Kahlúa. For instance, the Mint Mocha flavor contains nearly 36 grams of carbohydrates (all of which are sugar) per 2.5-ounce serving. None of the calories in Kahlua come from fat.
Kahlúa and Cream
Kahlúa and cream consists of equal portions of Kahlúa and cream mixed together — and can be high in calories and fat. And when it comes to Kahlúa and cream calories, you'll get 290 calories for a drink made with 1.5 ounces of Kahlúa and 1.5 ounces of heavy cream.
The heavy cream in a Kahlúa and cream contains 152 calories (more than half the calories in the drink) and 16 grams of fat. Most of the fat in heavy cream is saturated fat, with 10.3 grams of saturated fat per 1.5 ounces. A 1.5-ounce shot of Kahlúa (Original) contributes 120 calories, but 0 grams of fat.
Orange liqueur generally contains 131 calories per 1.5-ounce shot. Popular drinks made with orange liqueur include the sidecar, the classic, the embassy cocktail and the Deauville cocktail.
Triple sec is considered a drier style of orange liqueur (even though it's often used as a generic term for any type of orange liqueur), per VinePair. These liqueurs are mixed in a number of drinks, including margaritas, cosmopolitans, Long Island iced teas and various shooters.
Triple sec is made by several companies. A 1.5-ounce shot of triple sec contains 102 calories and 10.9 grams of sugar.
Cointreau and triple sec are often used interchangeably, but Cointreau is a premium brand of triple sec. It was created in France in 1885 from a blend of dried and fresh sweet and bitter orange peels, and it's produced at the Carré Cointreau in Angers, France — which is the brand's only distillery.
Cointreau alcohol by volume is 40 percent. You also need to watch out for Cointreau sugar: A 1.5-ounce shot of Cointreau contains 142 calories and 11 grams of carbs (all of which are sugar).
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and Online Materials"
- Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine: "FAQs about Alcohol Consumption and Weight Gain"
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Rum"
- SeriousEats: "Cocktail 101: Measuring Utensils"
- United States Department of Agriculture: "Rum"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Calorie count - Alcoholic beverages"
- MyFoodData: "Pina Colada"
- MyFoodData: "Rum And Cola"
- Captain Morgan: "Original Spiced Rum"
- CalorieKing: "Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum (35% alc.)"
- MyFoodData: "Club Soda"
- MyFoodData: "Coconut Water"
- Coca-Cola: "Coca-Cola"
- MyFoodData: "Pineapple Juice Canned Or Bottled Unsweetened With Added Ascorbic Acid"
- University of California Los Angeles: "Calories Count"
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Alcohol and Public Health"
- Fortune: "Now you can know for sure if your booze is fat free"
- CalorieKing: "Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey (40% alc.)"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss"
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Whiskey"
- United States Department of Agriculture: "Scotch"
- Thrillist: "Here's How Many Calories Your Favorite Whiskey Shot Has"
- Woodford Reserve: "Woodford Reserve Bourbon"
- The Kitchen Magpie: "How to Make a Rye Mule (Rye & Ginger Beer)"
- Southern Comfort: "The Spirit of New Orleans"
- CalorieKing: "Southern Comfort Original, 70 Proof"
- CalorieKing: "Southern Comfort 100 Proof"
- MyFoodData: "Lime Juice"
- MyFoodData: "Georgia Peach Products Inc. - Gourmet Egg Nog"
- Mayo Clinic: "Hangovers"
- Encyclopedia Britannica: "Gin"
- MyFitnessPal: "Everclear - 151 Proof"
- Fatsecret: "Hpnotiq"
- Fatsecret: "Jose Cuervo"
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Mixing Alcohol with Your Diabetes"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Brandy"
- Nutritionix: "Apricot Brandy"
- The Spruce Eats: "Brandy Alexander Cocktail"
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Liqueur"
- Kahlúa: "Original Coffee Liqueur"
- Kahlúa: "Mint Mocha"
- Nutritionix: "Orange Liqueur - 1 shot (1.5 fl oz)"
- Cointreau: "Cointreau History"
- CalorieKing: "Cointreau (40% alc.)"
- Nutritionix: "Triple Sec - 1 fl oz"
- Taste of Home: "Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet"
- CalorieKing: "Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur (17% alc.)"
- MyFitnessPal: "Smirnoff - Vodka - Sorbet Light Lemon"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Tequila"
- FatSecret: "Patron XO Cafe"
- Cointreau: "Cointreau Distillery"
- VinePair: "What’s the Difference Between Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and Triple Sec?"