Units and calories in whisky
Find out how many calories and units are in whisky, and how that relates to the low risk drinking guidelines.
calories in 25ml of whisky and mixer
As well as having a much higher ABV, spirits like whisky are often served with sugary mixers which can mean drinking far more calories than you realise.
Make it a double and your drink could add up to around 200 calories, which is about the same as a burger. In gym hours, that’s roughly half an hour on the treadmill, something to think about if you’re trying to get in shape.
The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) low risk drinking guideline for both men and women is that to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. If you regularly drink 14 units per week, it is recommended that you spread your drinking evenly across 3 or more days, rather than ‘saving’ them and having them all in one go.
Spirits like whisky have a higher Alcohol by Volume (ABV) than most other alcoholic drinks and are often around 35-40%. In comparison beer is often around 5% ABV.
A single measure of whisky with an ABV of 40% contains one unit of alcohol, which means that drinking more than 14 single measures of whisky in a week would put you above the guidelines.
Like many spirits, the amount of alcohol in whisky can vary significantly between brands and types. To find out how much alcohol is in your drink, check the label for the ABV, or ask your server before ordering. If your whisky has a 40% ABV that means it contains 40% pure alcohol.
There are a huge number of whisky varieties available, some of which can be much stronger than the standard 40% so it’s important to always familiarise yourself with the ABV of the whisky you’re drinking. Units and calories will increase as the alcohol content increases, so if you’re not sure, ask the person making your drink to double check. That way you’ll find it far easier to keep track of your unit and calorie intake from whisky.
A whisky with a 48% ABV contains 1.2 units per single measure, compared to the standard 1 unit of a 40% whisky. When ordering a drink, or buying a bottle, always be sure to check the alcohol content so you can track your units accurately.
Units and calories in whisky mount up quickly, especially when consuming in quantities over a 25ml single measure. Stick to singles when you’re out, and invest in a measure cup for drinking at home so you can be sure exactly how much you’re drinking.
Cocktails can often be ‘free poured’ by eye or served using larger measures than a standard 25ml single so it can be difficult to know how much alcohol you’re really drinking. Ask the bartender to tell you how they’re making your drink so you can keep track of your units.