Lowest Calorie Alcoholic Beverages

I had a weekend full of socializing, eating and drinking.  So I’m going to take a break from posting about exercise and super food and look at how we can have our drinks and diet too!

All alcohol has calories — 7 calories per gram of alcohol.  (Compare this to 4  calories per gram of carbohydrates or protein and 9 calories per gram of fats).  A standard glass of wine, bottle of beer or shot of liquor has about 100 calories.  But “standard” and what we actually drink may vary!  And the real trouble comes in when we order cocktails with high calorie mixers.

One 4 oz. glass of wine has 100 calories, but who drinks only 4 oz of wine?  Most wine glasses aren’t even half full unless we have 6 or more oz. — bringing the calories to 125.  A bottle of beer can have from 80-125 calories. A standard shot of   80 proof liquor ( 1 1/2 oz. ) has about 96 calories.  This appears to be a low calorie choice, but the problem comes in when we add the high calorie mixers.

Check out this post from Check out this great post from PositiveHealthWellness.com for 8 delicious, low calorie summer cocktail recipes to enjoy like this Pinot Grigio Melon Ball Spritzer:

Just in case you aren’t convinced, here is a list of calories in some popular cocktails:

  • Pina Colada (6 oz): 378 calories
  • Mojito (8 oz): 214 calories
  • Cosmopolitan (4 oz): 200 calories
  • Chocolate martini: (2 oz each vodka, chocolate liqueur, cream, 1/2 oz creme de cacao, chocolate syrup): 438
  • Margarita (8 oz): 280
  • Skinny Girl margarita (4 oz): 100
  • Martini (2.5 oz): 160
  • Port wine (3 oz):128
  • TGI Friday’s Giant Sized frozen mudslide 1,100
  • Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
  • Red wine (5 oz):120
  • White wine (5 oz): 120
  • Beer (12 oz): 150-198
  • Champagne (5oz): 106-120
  • Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348
  • Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 oz): 310
  • Eggnog with rum (8 ounces): 370
  • Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (8 oz): 380
  • Vodka and tonic (8 oz): 200
  • Screwdriver (8 oz): 190
  • Mimosa (4 oz): 75
  • Gin and tonic (7 oz): 200
  • Long Island iced tea (8 oz): 780
  • White Russian (2 oz vodka, 1.5 oz coffee liqueur, 1.5 oz cream): 425
  • Mai Tai (6 oz) (1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz cream de along, 1/2 oz triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice): 350
  • Rum and Coke (8 oz): 185
  • Rum and Diet Coke (8 oz): 100
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade (11 oz): 98


What? “Fruit of the Vine” isn’t Vegan??

321px-Red_Wine_GlasDid you know that a lot of wine ISN’T Vegan Friendly?

This is very bad news for me as I try to eat a vegan diet while enjoying a glass of red wine or two!!

Even though wine is made from fermented grapes, wine often undergoes a clarifying process called fining to remove any loose particles such as grape skins and stems, and sediments.  Fining is often done with sturgeon (fish bladder), egg white, gelatin or casein (milk protein).

While fining is used to clarify and smooth out a wine; some wine makers believe that fining can remove too much sediment and with it some of the wine’s key flavors and complexities.  Additionally, given time, wines will self-clarify and self-smooth, and an ever growing number of wine producers are choosing not to fine or filter their wine.  These wines will be labeled “not fines and/or not filtered”.

It is possible to find vegan-friendly wines that use non-animal fining agents such as bentonite and/or activated charcoal.  unfortunately there is not labeling requirement so it isn’t always easy to determine if a wine is vegan or not.

I found a website Barnivore that offers a comprehensive list of wines (as well as beers and liquors), and labels them as vegan friendly or not.  They also offer a variety of apps for looking up wines on the go.  I downloaded vgan on my phone and will be referring to it before I buy a bottle of wine at the store, or order a glass of wine in a restaurant!

After a comprehensive web search I did find a few vegan wineries.  Some of these wines can be found in liquor stores, or they are available online.   Frey Organic Winery,  Hunt County Wines,  The Vegan Vine,  Girasole Vineyards,   And while most of their wines do indeed use animal products, Sterling’s Vintner Collection does not

Another good site is The Vegan Sommelier, The Vegan Sommeliers taste wines from small family owned vineyards, confirm that they are vegan, and offer those that they consider the best on their website.