How Many Calories Are In A Shot Of Whiskey – A Health Check

How Many Calories Are In A Shot Of Whiskey – A Health Check

How many calories are in a shot of whiskey - whiskey shot on a table

If you are someone who loves a shot of whiskey, did you ever asked yourself the question of how many calories are in a shot of whiskey? We will find out the answer in this article!

Whiskey first appears in Scottish tax records in 1494 as Aqua vitae. At that time, every Scottish clan produced its whiskey for its own use. With a glass in it, the hard work was more comfortable to manage – and even in noble classes, there were enough occasions to toast together. The “water of life” gave energy and made people happy. Counting the calories of whiskey – nobody would have thought of that in the 15th century.
Even today, the consumption of alcohol is not based on nutrition but pleasure. Nevertheless, alcoholic beverages like whiskey have significant energy potential. So it can’t hurt to know how many calories are hidden in whiskey.

What nutrients does whiskey have?

Whiskey contains almost exclusively water and alcohol as a result of the distillation. Protein, fat, or carbohydrates, which are known from food, are missing in pure whiskey. Substances such as tannins, lignin, and vanillin are responsible for the taste of whiskey. These originate from storage in wooden casks, but they are irrelevant for calculating the nutrient and calorie content. In the following, we will look at how the calories of whiskey can be calculated at all.

How many calories have one gram of alcohol?

In pure form, 1 gram of alcohol has 7.1 calories.

How to calculate the calories of whiskey?

If we want to know how many calories are in whiskey, we must determine how many grams of pure alcohol are contained in the whiskey’s corresponding amount. A look at the bottle reveals the percentage of alcohol, usually 40%, with a standard bottling. So there are 40 grams of alcohol in 100 ml whiskey? No, because the density of alcohol is about 0.8 grams per milliliter. This density is also called the specific weight of alcohol. Here you can check the details on ethanol (pure alcohol).

The formula for calculating the alcohol content is :
amount in ml x (Vol.-% / 100) x 0.8 = gram of pure alcohol
In connection with the density of alcohol (40 ml alcohol x density 0.8), this results in 32 grams of alcohol from 100 ml whiskey.

If you drink 100 ml of whiskey (with 40% alcohol share), you consume 227.20 kcal.
This is about 9% (assumption: 2,500 kcal) of the daily calorie requirement for an average man. For a woman (assumption: 2,000 kcal), it is even 11% of the daily needs.
Conversely, a man would have to drink about 1.1 liters (a woman about 880 ml) of whiskey with a 40% alcohol level to cover the individual daily calorie requirement. However, with this not recommendable diet, any nutrition expert would probably clench his hands over his head.

How many calories are in a shot of whiskey (4cl)?

At home or in the bar, you usually don’t drink 100 ml of whiskey at once, so here we do the calculation again for a regular tasting glass or shot with 40 ml:

  • 40 ml whiskey contains 16 ml of alcohol
  • 16 ml alcohol is 12.8 grams of alcohol
  • 12.8 grams of alcohol corresponding to 90.88 kcal
  • So a dram of 4cl whiskey (40%) has almost 91 calories

For comparison: if you drink half a liter of beer, you will easily consume 260 kcal. And often it is not just one 😉

So: Keep calm and drink a little dram and enjoy your time!


If you want to drink alcohol, whiskey is no wrong choice from the calories perspective of view. But not only that, in general, you relax, chat with friends, and enjoy your dram!

Check out the healthy ways to savor your drinks:

  • Neat Whisky
  • On the Rocks
  • Mixing with Water
  • Ginger Ale or Diet Coke

Reminder: As always, don’t drink too much and not regularly.

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