Which Alcohol Has the Least Calories?

Nutrition // Georgina Moore // 3 July 2015

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two – just be mindful of the calories in alcohol, as well as the amount you’re consuming. Here’s a breakdown of calories in classic bar favourites, including how much running you’d need to do in order to burn it off!

Alcohol_and_calories_infographic (1)
We have a winner! Vodka and soda water comes out as the lowest calorie option. Add fresh lime or lemon juice for a low-calorie flavour hit.

Surprised at the gin and tonic? It’s a common misconception that tonic is another kind of soda water. It’s actually a soft drink and full of sugar.

Also read: How Many Calories in a Gin and Tonic PLUS a Free Cocktail Recipe

Which is the best drink to prevent hangovers?

If you are going to have drinks, keep an eye on exactly what you’re drinking and standard drink versus standard serve. Most alcoholic beverages at a pub or restaurant are more than one standard drink.

Also read: How Many Standard Drinks are in Alcohol?


Should I eat less to compensate for the alcohol?

No! No! No! Bad idea.

Instead, make sure you head into the party or event with a game plan for how much food and alcohol you want to consume. Then stick to it.

Eating before will also help prevent the calorie explosion that happens from a late night stop at the kebab shop on the way home!

Apart from eating before you go out, my top tip is to sip your drink and alternate every alcoholic beverage with something non-alcoholic. It’ll help you stay hydrated and will go a long way towards helping you avoid waking up with a nasty hangover.

Also read: How To Conquer Red Flag Days


Meet the Author, Georgina Moore

Dietitian with over ten years of experience in hospitals and private practice, Georgie is a self-confessed fruit and vegie queen with a soft spot for pumpkin. Swapping doughnuts for apples as a child, she is your ultimate shopping list and nutrition planner, keeping your meals in check and your pantry clean. Running marathons in her spare time, she winds down drinking plenty of tea. Read author's full story here


  1. Carolyn Gorey Reply

    How many calories if I drink Gin with diet tonic water?

    1. Aimee Metcalfe Reply

      Not sure Carolyn, but there are low calorie alternatives to all of the drinks mentioned above.

  2. Eirinn Reply

    There’s an error in this article: you said that vodka is the lowest-calorie option because it has only 64 calories. But it’s also the smallest drink at 1 unit. If you scale it up to 1.5 units, it has 96 calories, comparable with white wine at 70-120 calories.

    1. Ed Seld Reply

      You are focusing on the wrong number. Alcohol-wise, vodka and soda equals one portion of alcohol, but in total the amount of beverage consumed equals 180ml (150ml soda + 30 ml vodka.) So in fact, the vodka soda is, if anything, an equivalent portion to the wines, but with fewer calories. What the article focused was not on the amount of alcohol consumed, but on the portion of drinks, many of which are above a standard drink, And even if you increased the portion of vodka soda to match the alcohol level of wines, you’d still end up with a drink with similar calories to the wines. Also, it’s vodka with soda, and a lemon twist, it’s a better drink imo.

  3. Confused Reply

    What are the percentages indicative of in this article under the alcohol? Like Vodka has 40%.. Forty percent what?

    1. Danielle Warby Reply

      Sorry to confuse you confused! It’s the % of alcohol content – that is, how strong the drink is.

      1. I do maths. Reply

        % of alcohol in the vodka is 40%. In the drink (40% of 30mL in 150mL) is only 8%.

  4. Jennie Reply

    Diet tonic is 21kj for 300ml bottle – so definitely a calorie saver. 30ml nip of gin is 67cal – so in total similar to glass of white or sparkling.

  5. Trudie Hull Reply

    I manage a bottleshop and can tell u there are some low calorie beers out there too
    Big Head 88cals per 330ml stubb
    pure blonde ultra 93 cals per stubbie
    xxxx summer comes in at 98cals per stubbie

  6. lyn Moon Reply

    Since I have been on the 12wbt , I have completly given up the alchohol all together, don/t have to worry about counting , don/t miss it and feel so kuch better
    The less calories I take in the more weight I lose
    Water is the way to go

  7. Donna Reply

    Just gave up drinking 7 days now finding it so hard

  8. Rick Reply

    Georgina, you forgot about Scotch ;-/

  9. SG Reply

    I agree that this is misleading. To put it in perspective: 1 nip of vodka (the tiny bottles) is 50 ml and comes in at just under 100 calories. To make a drink with only 30 ml would be such a small amount you’d mostly be drinking soda water, in which case of course it’s less caloric. As a bartender (& frequent imbiber), I can assure you that most bartenders are not putting only 30 ml in your drink. If they are you are either being ripped off or are a bad tipper ;) Most bars don’t regulate their “pours” so it completely depends on the bartender. Get one w/ a heavy hand and you may be consuming triple the amount you suggested. Yes, if you are drinking solely according to quantity/volume (like really only having 1 drink & stopping) then you will save calories because you’re basically drinking a glass of soda water with a splash of vodka. Unfortunately most people have a few drinks in order to catch a little buzz so they’d wind up having several until they felt the effects, due to the small amount of alcohol in the drink. If you are drinking at home you obviously can control quantity but unless you have a very low tolerance & an iron will, you will likely consume enough to feel it. Otherwise, why are you drinking in the 1st place?

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