Last week we talked about calories in wine. If you did not read it click here so you can catch up. Take your time. I will have a drink while I wait.
Okay, ready? This week let’s talk about cocktail calories.Calories in dry distilled spirits come from alcohol. Alcohol can be stated as a percentage or as “proof”. Dividing proof in half gives you the alcohol percentage (80 proof is 40% alcohol). According to the USDA Nutrient Database 1.5 oz of 80 proof gin, vodka, rum, or whiskey is 97 calories. The calorie count should be the same for other distilled, unsweetened 80 proof spirits like brandy and tequila.
It is the mixers that can quickly add calories to your cocktail. Obviously, you will have fewer calories if you drink your spirit without add-ins. A scotch on the rocks or a brandy can be lovely. Tonic water (10 calories per ounce) and orange juice (14 calories per ounce) are popular mixers. Pre-fab drink mixers can really kick in some calories. Margarita mixes are around 100 calories for 4 oz and Piña Colada mixes ~160. Please note you still have to add in the tequila or rum.
Liqueurs, enjoyed alone or as cocktail ingredients, are more difficult to calculate. They have alcohol, sugars, and other blended flavorings. Often they are made with a secret formula (Drambuie, Grand Marnier, St-Germain). I did an internet search on the three listed above. I doubt these liqueur makers shared their secret blends, but these calculations are probably pretty good estimates. Calories per ounce. are as follows: Grand Marnier -78, St-Germain 103, Drambuie 105,. Clearly, the more viscous or “syrupy” the liqueur, the more calories it is likely to have.
Tasting Pour’s crack research team has found an easy to search website with lots of info about the calories in cocktails. It offers recipes and calories per ounce or serving.
Next week I will provide you a chart comparing wines,popular cocktails, and other non alcoholic beverages. If you have a favorite cocktail to include in the chart comment below, email me, or send a message on Facebook. And don’t be discouraged. After you see how alcoholic drinks compare to sweet tea, you will feel better.