How Many Calories In A Shot Of Whiskey? Accurate Answer Here

When it comes to enjoying a fine glass of whiskey, many of us relish in the rich flavors, the cultural heritage, and the warmth that a single sip can provide. However, amid the swirls of this amber elixir, there lies a question often overlooked by even the most ardent of enthusiasts: “how many calories in a shot of whiskey?” This seemingly simple inquiry is not only a matter of nutritional accounting but also a key to understanding how whiskey fits into a balanced lifestyle.

As connoisseurs of this storied spirit, we possess a deep understanding of its craft, from the meticulous selection of grains to the art of distillation and aging. Yet, our expertise does not halt at the barrel’s edge. We delve into the caloric composition of whiskey, offering insights that cater not only to the palate but also to health-conscious individuals who wish to indulge without ignorance.

Understanding Calories in Your Whiskey

Understanding Calories in Your Whiskey

Whiskey has risen in popularity in recent years, with more spirit-lovers trying high-end and craft options. However, many whiskey drinkers are becoming more calorie-conscious. This article will explore the nuances of whiskey calories so you can balance enjoyment with nutrition.

A Brief History and Definition of Whiskey

Before diving into calories, let’s review what whiskey is exactly. Whiskey has an extensive history spanning centuries:

  • Whiskey likely originated in Ireland and Scotland in the 15th century. The term “whiskey” comes from the Gaelic word “uisce” meaning “water.”
  • Whiskey is a distilled spirit made from fermented grains like barley, corn, rye or wheat.
  • The grains are distilled to concentrate the alcohol. Whiskey is then aged in wooden barrels for flavor.
  • The main types of whiskey are Scotch (made in Scotland), bourbon (made in the US from at least 51% corn), and Irish whiskey.
  • Whiskey ranges from lighter blended varieties to more robust single malt or single barrel options.

Now that we understand whiskey better, let’s analyze how calories get into your glass.

How Whiskey Production Impacts Calories?

Two aspects of making whiskey significantly influence its calorie content:


  • Distillation raises the alcohol concentration by evaporating and condensing the spirit multiple times.
  • More distillations means higher alcohol by volume (ABV). The ABV directly impacts the calorie count.


  • Whiskey is aged in charred oak barrels for years to absorb flavor and color.
  • The wood interacts with the spirit, adding organic compounds that influence taste and calories.
  • Longer aging (over 10 years) can slightly increase calorie content.

Myth Buster: Whiskey itself does not contain carbs, sugar or gluten unless flavors are added after distillation.

What Factors Determine Calories in Whiskey?

What Factors Determine Calories in Whiskey?

Below are the key factors that affect how many calories are in your whiskey.

Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

  • The ABV indicates the percentage of alcohol vs. non-alcoholic compounds.
  • Higher ABV = more calories. For example, 40% ABV whiskey will be more caloric than 30% ABV.

Whiskey Type

  • Bourbon has the highest calorie count, followed by Scotch, then Irish whiskey.
  • This is due to differences in grains used and distillation processes between types.


  • Flavored whiskeys will have slightly more calories than an unflavored version.
  • But flavorings like honey, cinnamon or chocolate add minimal calories overall.

Calculating Calories in a Shot of Whiskey

Now that we know the factors impacting whiskey calories, how can we estimate the numbers?

  • The density of ethanol (pure alcohol) is roughly 7 calories per gram.
  • An average shot is around 44ml or 1.5oz.
  • Multiply the total volume by the ABV percentage to get the grams of ethanol.
  • Then multiply this number by 7 to get the calories!

Let’s see an example:

  • 1.5 oz shot of 40% ABV whiskey
  • 1.5 oz * 40% ABV = 0.6 oz of ethanol
  • 0.6 oz ethanol * 29 grams per oz = 17.4 grams of ethanol
  • 17.4 grams ethanol * 7 calories per gram = 121.8 calories

As you can see, the proof directly correlates to the calorie count.

How Many Calories In A Shot Of Whiskey?

A shot of whiskey typically contains around 108 calories. The calorie content can vary slightly depending on the brand and proof of the whiskey. For example, Crown Royal Special Reserve has 96 calories per 1.5oz shot, while Maker’s Mark has 110 calories per 1.5oz shot. Whiskey itself is not excessively high in calories compared to other alcoholic beverages, making it a reasonable choice if you are watching your calorie intake. It is essential to be mindful of the calorie content in alcoholic drinks, as they can contribute significantly to your daily caloric intake. If you are looking to reduce the calorie content of your whiskey drink, opting for lighter brands with lower alcohol by volume (ABV) can help lower the calorie count. Additionally, choosing to drink whiskey neat or on the rocks can further minimize your calorie intake compared to mixed drinks with high-calorie mixers like soda or juice.

Calorie Ranges By Whiskey Type and Brand

Whiskey, a popular alcoholic beverage, varies in calorie content depending on the type and brand. Here is a breakdown of the calorie ranges for different whiskey types and brands based on the provided search results:

  • Average Calorie Content: A 1.5oz shot of whiskey generally contains around 100 calories
  • Calories by Brand:
    • Crown Royal Special Reserve: 96 calories per 1.5oz shot
    • Jack Daniels: 98 calories per 1.5oz shot
    • Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky: 98 calories per 1.5oz shot
    • Wild Turkey: 98 calories per 1.5oz shot
    • Johnnie Walker (Black Label): 98 calories per 1.5oz shot
    • Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon: 100 calories per 1.5oz shot
  • Higher Calorie Brands:
    • Knob Creek Bourbon: 120 calories per 1.5oz shot
    • Dalwhinnie Scotch Whisky: 141 calories per 1.5oz shot
  • Calories in Cocktails:
    • Old Fashioned: 150-300 calories
    • Margarita: 200-500 calories
  • Choosing Low-Calorie Whiskey:
    • Opt for clear spirits like vodka and gin for lower calorie options.
    • Avoid sweetened whiskeys and choose dry or unsweetened varieties.
    • Select lower proof whiskeys for reduced calorie intake.
    • Prefer straight whiskey or whiskey on the rocks to avoid additional calories from mixers.

Health Considerations with Whiskey

Understanding whiskey calories is key for your health. Below are some additional considerations:

  • While whiskey does contain antioxidants, overconsumption has risks like liver damage.
  • Nutritionists recommend women consume no more than 100-150 whiskey calories per day, and men no more than 150-200 for weight management.
  • Always drink responsibly and in moderation. Consider low-calorie mixers like soda water or diet coke.
  • Avoid whiskey if you have certain medical conditions or take medications that interact with alcohol.

Finding Low Calorie Whiskey Options

Want to enjoy whiskey without excess calories? Consider these tips:

  • Select whiskey with a lower ABV. Look for 80 proof or less.
  • Try a flavored whiskey, which often has lower ABV while still offering flavor.
  • Add water to your whiskey to dilute the calories.
  • Opt for a smaller 1oz pour instead of a standard 1.5oz shot.

Popular low calorie whiskey brands:

  • Seagram’s 7 Crown (70 proof, 82 calories)
  • Eagle Rare Bourbon (90 proof, 111 calories)
  • The Dubliner Irish Whiskey Liqueur (70 proof, 84 calories)

The Impact of Serving Size

Pay attention to serving size, as overpouring adds calories:

  • Standard shot sizes are 1-1.5oz. But bars sometimes pour higher amounts.
  • Using a jigger to precisely measure pours will help control your intake.
  • Ask for whiskey on the rocks in a lowball glass to avoid large pours.
  • Stick to one shot instead of multiples to limit calorie consumption.

Mixing Whiskey Cocktails

What about mixing whiskey into delicious cocktails? Here are some tips:

  • Avoid high calorie mixers like tonic, cola, or sweet tea.
  • Try sparkling water, diet soda, or unsweetened juice for lower calorie options.
  • Bar lime, bitters and mint add lots of flavor without substantial calories.
  • If adding juices or syrups, ask for light amounts or consider sharing a cocktail.
  • Cocktails mixed with sodas or colas will be around 150-200 calories. Juice-based ones can reach 300+.

How Whiskey Compares to Other Alcohol?

How Whiskey Compares to Other Alcohol?

Compared to beer, wine and other spirits, here is how whiskey stacks up calorie-wise:

  • Light beer: 100 calories per 12oz serving
  • Red wine: 125 calories per 5oz glass
  • Vodka: 100 calories per 1.5oz shot
  • Gin: 115 calories per 1.5oz shot
  • Rum: 105 calories per 1.5oz shot

As you can see, a whiskey shot lands in the middle calorie-wise. So enjoy in moderation!

Customizing Your Experience

Part of the fun of whiskey is customizing your perfect drink! Consider these tips:

  • Create simple syrups with herbs, spices or citrus to add flavor without many calories.
  • Infuse whiskey with flavors like tea, pineapple, or jalapeno for a unique taste.
  • Explore different bitters, cherries, olives or celery to spice up cocktails.
  • Experiment with homemade combinations and share recipes with fellow whiskey lovers!

What are your go-to ways to enjoy whiskey while keeping calories in check? Share your suggestions in the comments.

3 thoughts on “How Many Calories In A Shot Of Whiskey? Accurate Answer Here”

  1. There is no such thing.

    All the calories in whisky are in the alcohol content which is 40%or more by law.

    If you worry about the calories in whisky you are drinking far, far too much.

  2. There are approximately 64 calories per ounce of 80 proof whiskey. American standard shot glasses are 1.48 fl. oz., putting the calorie count at approximately 96-100 calories.

  3. The rule of thumb that I’ve always used is — and this is approximate, of course — 100 calories per drink. So, a glass of wine, a beer, or a mixed drink average about 100 calories each. You usually don’t drink vodka neat (unless you are perhaps Russian), so if you want the actual number of calories for your drink, you’ll have to add in the mixers.


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