How many calories in vodka? About 97 calories per shot or jigger — although it depends on the proof. (See the chart below for the calorie details.)
But be careful with your mixers, or you’ll get many more calories than you expected!
Our tips (below) will help you keep your vodka low-calorie. But first, let’s take a closer look at the source of vodka calories and explain why all vodka is created equal — at least when it comes to calories.
The Calories in Vodka Depend on the Proof
Almost all the calories in vodka come from the alcohol, so it doesn’t matter what brand of vodka you are drinking.
|1 oz (30 ml)||1 shot or jigger
1.5 oz (44 ml)
* Calories do not include cocktail mixers, which can add a lot
of calories. See below for more info.
** Proof is double the percentage alcohol by volume. For example,
80 proof = 40% alcohol.
References and Sources
But what does matter is the proof!
Proof refers to the percent of alcohol in the vodka. Proof is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. Most vodka sold in the U.S. is 80 proof, which is 40% alcohol. But specialty vodkas can range from 60 – 100 proof.
So just how many calories are there in vodka? Well, a standard 1.5 oz (44 ml) shot or cocktail jigger of 80 proof vodka has 97 calories.
Take a look at our Vodka Calories Chart to see the calories for different vodka proofs and amounts.
But (of course), it’s not quite that simple because most people drink their vodka in a cocktail or a mixed drink…
Counting Calories? Watch Out for the Mixers!
When you add vodka to a cocktail, your 97 vodka calories can quickly rise to 150 calories — or much more if you are getting really fancy drinks. Mixers are often very high in sugar and calories, so be cautious!
For example, tonic is one of the most common mixers. But Canada Dry Tonic water is full of high fructose corn syrup. So every ounce adds 2.9 grams of sugar and 11 calories. That boost the calories of your Vodka Tonic cocktail from 97 to 147 calories.
How about mixing your vodka with Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry to make a Cape Codder? That’s 4.5 grams of sugar and 17.5 calories per ounce, and it will boost your cocktail to 185 calories. Ouch!
So what can you do? Be wise about the mixers you use…
Low-Calorie Vodka Cocktail Tips
Although low-calorie vodka is a myth, low-calorie cocktails are definitely not. As we said, the mixers in a cocktail can double or even triple the calories. But here are a few tips to keep the calories under control.
Use Club Soda Instead of Tonic
Most tonic waters are full of high fructose corn syrup. Try club soda instead — it’s got zero sugar and zero calories. But it also has zero taste and zero sweetness. Read on if you need something to sweeten things up a bit.
Use Just a Splash of Fruit Juice
If you want to add some flavor and a little sweetness, use a splash of fruit juice. But avoid juices that have extra sugar added. And don’t add too much fruit juice. Even if it’s 100% juice, it’s likely to be high in calories. And when you are drinking juice, you don’t get the full benefit of the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that you’d get if you ate the fruit whole.
Try Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that comes (of course) from the agave plant. It’s been more famous as the plant used to make tequila. But it also makes a good natural sweetener because it makes your taste buds think it’s sweeter than sugar — so you can use less of it. It tastes about 50% sweeter than sugar, so you can typically substitute any sugar with half to two-thirds the amount of agave nectar.
It’s still got carbs in it, so this is not a sugar-free substitute. But it’s got only about 3 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for sugar. And you can use 50% – 75% less of it to get the same sweetness as sugar. So it can really save some calories.
You Might Try Truvia or Stevia?
Sweeteners like Truvia that are made from the stevia plant might be a good alternative. But we haven’t done our research on this yet, so we can’t yet recommend them.
These sweeteners boast that they are natural and that they have zero carbs and zero sugar. That sounds good, but typically it’s not good to trick your body. If your taste buds think they are getting sugar, it will kick off several biological reactions. But there can be some negative consequences when the sugar never arrives.
We’ll add an update here once we’ve taken a closer look at stevia.
Health Benefits of Vodka (When you Drink in Moderation!)
It’s unlikely that you are drinking vodka just because you want to be healthy. But you may not know that drinking vodka actually has quite a few health benefits, from boosting your cardiovascular health to boosting your brain power.
The key is that you drink in moderation! If you drink in excess, then any alcohol becomes very bad for your health.
Find out more in our article Health Benefits of Red Wine and Alcohol
Do you have some tips or recipes for your own low-calorie vodka cocktails? Do you have an opinion on agave nectar, Truvia or stevia? We’d love to hear it, so leave a comment below.
- “Agave Syrup May Not Be So Simple.”
- The Wall Street Journal.
- 27 October 2009.
- New York: Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24.
- Washington: GPO,
- 30 March 2012.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.
- 7th Edition.
- Washington: GPO,
- December 2010.