Units and calories in spirits
How many calories and units are there in spirits? Use our simple guide to find out how many units or calories your favourite spirits contain.
The UK’s Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines advise that both men and women are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. 14 single measures of 40% spirit equals 14 units so is equal to the CMOs' guideline.
If you regularly drink over these guidelines, you could be increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions such as liver and heart disease, and seven types of cancer. Find out more about the effects of alcohol.
You may be surprised to know that a 25ml measure 40% ABV shot of dark spirit, like whisky, with mixer contains 106 calories, similar to a chocolate mousse.
Clear spirits contain slightly fewer calories than dark spirits but the calories in vodka and other clear spirits can still quickly add up.
Ordering a 50ml ‘double’ spirit measure at a pub or bar makes your drink even more calorific – a double 37.5% ABV gin and mixer contains 149 calories, similar to a chocolate filled pancake.
There are often several measures of spirits in cocktails, alcopops or pre-mixed drinks – even if they don’t taste particularly strong. Always check the volume of the drink you’re consuming.
Checking a spirit's ABV (alcohol by volume) will give you a guide to how strong it is. The ABV tells you what percentage of the drink is made up of alcohol. For example, a spirit with 40% ABV is 40% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol there is.
Spirit measures are smaller than normal alcoholic drinks so it can be more difficult to keep track of the units you’re drinking. To stay on track, try these top tips: