8 Low Calorie Alcoholic Beverages

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

2719-1337577_wine_swirl.jpgAs a general rule, it is best not to drink more than one or two alcoholic beverages per day for optimal health.

However, most of us don’t live in a perfect world so for social occasions or in my case, vacation, sometimes we end up drinking a little more than one drink.

So, when thinking about the waistline, what are the lowest calorie options?

8 Low Calorie Alcohol Options

  1. Wine: My number one recommendation. Many studies have shown that wine is less likely to contribute to weight gain. On average about 100 calories per 5 ounce glass, plus wine contains heart healthy polyphenols. However, it is important to remember that the health benefits diminish as you drink past that one or two glass maximum.
  2. Vodka Soda/ Vodka Diet Tonic: About 70 to 90 calories depending on the vodka brand/ proof. Clear liquors are always a good choice when you are trying to play it safe. Just remember not to add extra syrups or juices.
  3. Champagne: One flute is only about 75 calories. Even if you add a splash of 100% juice, that only brings it to about 100 calories per drink.
  4. Coconut Rum: Surprisingly lower in calories than other hard liquors: 51 calories per ounce. Just mix with a diet tonic, and splash of orange juice and you have a drink under 100 calories! Don’t forget there are other light liquor choices like tequila, brandy, scotch which are all about 65 calories per ounce.
  5. Bacardi and Diet Coke/ Diet Tonic: A traditional cocktail at 65 calories per 5 ounce drink, but I do not advocate drinking sodas on any occasion.
  6. Gin and Diet Tonic: A personal favorite at 120 calories per 6 ounce.
  7. Lemon Juice and Lime Juice: Will only set you back 10 calories when added to your favorite drink. If you add these juices to flavored liquor on the rocks or with diet soda/tonic, you will be in good shape.
  8. Light Beer: About 60-115 calories depending on brand. But, haven’t we all heard about beer belly? Light beer is a lower calorie option, but can leave you feeling more bloated.

Do you have any lower calorie alcoholic favorites?

Filed in Drinks,


  1. Emily Sanders

    I am really in to low-calorie wine at the moment. You can enjoy a night out without feeling guilty! I recently read a pretty good article from wine writer Jeni Port on Wendy Harmer’s new website, “The Hoopla”, which recommended some great low-cal wines (including sparkling) – you should check it out.

  2. Charle

    White wine contain a bit fewer calories than red, but red wine has more antioxidants.

  3. Liz

    Thanks for the advice! Is there a big difference between red and white wine?

  4. SueK24

    Another tip, having a protein chaser with that drink will reduce the negative impact to your blood sugar (alcohol acts similar to the less desireable carbohydrates that quickly get into the blood stream and result in blood sugar spikes). So if you’re going to have the drinks, it’s smart to also partake of the appetizers. Chicken, shrimp and cheese cubes are all good choices.

  5. Sara

    A recent study says diet soda can actually add to weight gain. Zero-calorie beverage can actually jeopardize your weightloss plans.

  6. Spectra

    In the summer, a personal favorite of mine is an ounce of vodka mixed with a diet lemon-lime soda and one of those Crystal Light To Go packs. I mix it with crushed ice and a wedge of lime and it’s fantastic.