Irish Cream Liqueur and the low risk unit guidelines

The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines recommend that both men and women are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week.

In a 50ml serving of Irish Cream Liqueur there are 0.8 units. If you were to drink as much as 14 units in a week and only drank Irish Cream Liqueur it would be the equivalent of 17 (50ml) servings spread across the week.

If you regularly drink more than these guidelines, you could be increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions. Find out more about the health effects of alcohol.

Irish Cream Liqueur is commonly known as a ‘digestif’ meaning it is often be drunk after a meal. People don’t tend to drink it as the only drink they have most of the time.

If you’re drinking at home, it can be harder to pour accurate measures of 50ml. You could be over-pouring and drinking more units than you think. Order one of our Unit Measure Cups for free to keep track of your units at home.  

How many calories are in Irish cream liqueur?

You might be surprised to hear that one 50ml glass of Irish cream liqueur contains 175 calories – the same as two mince pies. This would take you 18 minutes of running to burn off.

Just like in other alcoholic drinks, these are ‘empty calories’ with no nutritional value, so don’t benefit your body in any way. Most alcoholic drinks contain traces of vitamins and minerals, but not usually in amounts that make any significant contribution to our diet.

Again home pouring can make it harder to keep track of your measures and calorie intake. Measure your drinks out to help keep accurate track of what you’re drinking.

Find out exactly how many calories you’re drinking with our unit and calorie calculator

Check the strength of Irish cream liqueur

Though Irish cream liqueur has a sweet taste, it still contains more alcohol than most types of wine or beer.

Checking Irish cream liqueur’s Alcohol by Volume (ABV) will tell you how strong it is. Look out for the ABV on the label, which shows what percentage of the drink is alcohol.

For example, a glass of Irish cream liqueur with 17% ABV contains 17% of pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol is in the drink.

How to reduce the amount of Irish cream liqueur you’re drinking

Because Irish cream liqueur has a sweet flavour, it can be easier to drink more of it than some other spirits – this could mean you could drink more units in one go than you think.

To stay on track, try these top tips:

  1. Mind your measures at the bar. Irish cream liqueur is often automatically sold as a double (50ml) measure in pubs and restaurants (0.8 units). To reduce your units, you could ask for a single serving (0.4 units), and double up on ice.
  2. …and at home. It can be easy to over-pour if you’re relying on measuring by eye. For more accuracy, why not order our Unit Measure Cup from our online shop?
  3. Hit your sweet spot. A sophisticated hot chocolate with marshmallows can be a great stand-in for the sweet taste of Irish cream liqueur. But watch the calories if you’re trying to make healthy choices.
  4. Try ‘dry’ days. Many medical experts recommend taking regular days off from drinking alcohol. [https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/how-to-reduce-your-drinking/how-to-cut-down/alcohol-free-days/]. Test out having a break for yourself and see what positive results you notice.
  5. Download our free tracking app. If you choose to drink alcohol, recording exactly what you’ve drunk during the week will tell you whether you're keeping within the unit guidelines. Our free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app is perfect for tracking your drinks.

Discover some more practical ways to cut back on alcohol with our tips on cutting down.