How Many Calories Are In A Shot Of Whiskey?

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 consumed, 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 great potential for energy. So it can’t hurt to know how many calories are hidden in whiskey.

What kind of 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 do you calculate the calories of whiskey?

If we want to know the number of calories per whiskey glass, 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 spirit 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 (80 proof) 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 amount 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%, 80 proof) has almost 91 calories

Note: A dram stands for the traditional Scottish measure for a glass of whisky. This sip of whisky can be smaller or larger. Often the measure stands for 25 to 40 ml whisky in a glass.

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

The usual whiskey glass contains low calorie compared to other alcoholic beverages and is therefore particularly suitable for those on a diet or are meticulously counting calories. A 20 ml glass of whiskey contains just 46 calories and less than 0.1 grams of sugar. A caipirinha glass with about 300 ml content consists of 324 calories and 51 grams of sugar.

Studies even show that moderate consumption of whiskey gives the body energy and reduces the craving for sugar. Nevertheless, the consumption of alcohol increases the feeling of hunger. Whiskey should therefore not be consumed in conjunction with the following foods in order not to immediately replenish the saved whiskey calories:

  • calorie-containing foods, such as chocolate
  • fatty foods, such as pizza, burgers, chips.


If you want to drink alcohol, whiskey is no wrong choice from the calories’ perspective. 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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