If you’re looking to lose a few pounds or maintain your weight, you’ll already know how constricting a diet can feel. All of your favorite foods, like cheesy pizzas, piles of pasta and beer, go out the window on day one. Of course, there are plenty of benefits that come with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, but it’s important to let your hair down every now and again and indulge in things that feel good.
One massive diet-breaker is alcohol. Obviously, if you’re 100% committed to losing weight, you should avoid alcohol altogether. But if you’re looking to achieve a balance between enjoying a drink every now and again while still heading in the right direction with respect to weight, understanding the calories in your alcohol-filled delights is an important step. It’s also important to note that alcohol can change the way your body burns fat, so keeping consumption to a minimum is always preferable.
When it comes to choosing hard drinks on a diet, there are definitely better liquors to pick. From drinking light beers to seeking out liquor and cocktails which fall at the low-calorie end of the spectrum, your choice of beverage can have a large bearing on your waistline. Mocktails might seem like an obvious alternative, but most mocktails are full of sugary ingredients.
To help you stick to healthy-ish spirits, we’ve put together seven of the lowest calorie liquors below. We’ve chosen the lowest calorie rum (both spiced and white), vodka, gin, whiskey and tequila on the market as well as one pre-mixed option. Between versatile vodka, delicious gin and tropical rum, there’s sure to be an option for every taste. However, if you don’t mind which liquor you drink, stick to choices with a lower proof to save on calories.
All of these liquors can be used in creating a range of delicious, low-calorie cocktails, which are perfect for chilling out on a sunny afternoon. Just be sure to choose low-calorie mixers, such as lime juice or soda water.
If you’re on a diet and don’t want to say goodbye to spirits, try switching to these low-calorie options for an almost guilt-free way to enjoy a drink now and again.
1. Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka
If the name alone isn’t a big enough clue, this Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka is intentionally designed as a low-calorie alternative to full-calorie vodka choices. Taste-wise, this delicious vodka can be compared to satin sheets and silk robes, leaving you with a smooth and clean alcoholic drink for every occasion. The hint of sweetness further adds to the neat taste of the 30% liquor while its versatility means it’s a great option for shooting straight or mixing in cocktails. Of course, the branding may make some guys feel awkward about putting this on display in their home bar. If that’s a problem, opt for one of our favorite vodkas, which have about 100 calories per serving. If vodka isn’t your drink, choose one of the low-calorie whiskey or tequila options on this list.
*77 calories per 1.5oz serving
2. Gekkeikan Sake
BEST LOW-ALCOHOL OPTION
Sake, a traditional drink from Japan, is made by fermenting rice and is traditionally enjoyed chilled and neat. Thanks to the use of fermentation, sake is usually only between 14% and 16% alcohol, so the average shot has a minimal amount of calories. However, because sake is extremely sippable, most people would consume several shots in a sitting. If that’s the case, the calories in sake will quickly add up. Still, we recommend you try this delicious, low-cal drink if you’re trying to stick to your diet.
*59 calories per 1.5oz serving
3. Powell & Mahoney Low Calorie Margarita
BEST PRE-MIXED OPTION
It may seem too good to be true, but the Powell & Mahoney Low Calorie Margarita really is a low-calorie margarita. It’s ready to drink from the bottle or it can be used as part of a cocktail base and mixed with other low-calorie liquors. The drink is also 100% natural and reduces the calorie count of a normal margarita by up to 65%. Ingredients include cane sugar, lime juice and natural orange extract, which help to deliver a taste you’ll keep coming back to.
*20 calories per serving
4. Christian Brothers Brandy
If you’re looking for a post-dinner tipple that won’t tip the scales, look no further than Christian Brother Brandy. Brandy is made by distilling wine and then aging it in wooden casks. The result is a 35% to 40% alcoholic beverage with tons of flavor. It’s typically enjoyed neat in a brandy snifter which allows your palms to gently warm the liquid and release its flavors. While this isn’t the lowest calorie drink on our list, the fact that it’s best neat negates the necessity to add calorie-heavy mixers to your glass.
*99 calories per 1.5oz serving
5. Gordon’s London Dry Gin
With its bold juniper flavor and low calorie count of 52 calories per 25 milliliters, Gordon’s London Dry Gin is both a delicious gin and a comparatively diet-friendly liquor. Its full flavor makes it ideal for mixing in cocktails to provide a taste you’re going to remember. This gin was also awarded Winner of Double Gold at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and boasts an aromatic experience, which comes from the included orange peel, anise blend and juniper. Since most people don’t enjoy drinking gin neat, this low-calorie alcohol is best served with tonic water or lime juice on the rocks.
*52 calories per serving
6. Malibu Original Caribbean Rum
BEST FOR STRAIGHT SHOOTING
This Malibu Original Caribbean Rum is a diet-friendly way to transport yourself to the tropics. It boasts a rich, flavor-filled blend of coconut and island rum, which provides a delicious taste worthy of the beach, pool or other fun-and-sun-filled social locations. It tastes great neat, on the rocks or as part of a variety of cocktails, including classics like a Cuba Libre and Pina Colada.
*51 calories per ounce
7. Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit and Rose
Thanks to the runaway success of low-cal brands like Skinnygirl (see our top pick), more and more classic brands are getting in on the fun. Enter: Ketel One’s Botanical series. Featuring three different styles of flavored spirits, these low-cal liquors present an easy mixing opportunity. There is a small caveat, however. This is not technically vodka. In order to achieve their low-cal status, Ketel One brewed this batch with 30% ABV, which puts it just below the 40% required in the US to be considered vodka. A rose (and grapefruit) by any other name will still get you tipsy, though. We like it over ice with a few ounces of sparkling water and a lime wedge. This refreshing liquor contains 40% fewer calories than a glass of white wine.
*73 calories per serving
The Italians know how to eat and drink well without gaining a lot of weight. Take a page from their book and start enjoying Aperol as an aperitivo. This orange liquor has a bitter flavor of oranges, herbs and roots and is typically mixed with low-calorie prosecco, soda water and ice to make an Aperol spritz, the national cocktail of warm, Italian afternoons. Thanks to its low alcohol content (11%), Aperol is an unforgettably delicious, low-calorie alcohol.
*85 calories per serving
9. TY KU Soju
MOST UNDER-THE-RADAR ALCOHOL
Soju, which is the national drink of Korea, is a distilled rice (or other grain)-based spirit with between 20% and 24% alcohol. It’s a neutral liquor, so it doesn’t have a strong taste and its lower alcohol percentage also means it doesn’t have the harsh burn associated with other spirits. It’s also incredibly low in calories. Plus, this particular soju, namely TY KU Soju, is made with 100% barley and contains no additives or preservatives
*45 calories per serving
10. Crown Royal Deluxe
BEST FOR MIXING
As Canada’s most famous whiskey export, there’s already a lot of support for Crown Royal. What may further add to your love of this liquor is knowing that one serving is free from fat and carbohydrates and contains a reasonable 96 calories. The flavor is rich and bold with subtle notes of fruit and vanilla making it an ideal base for simple mixes like Crown and Sprite or Crown and Coke. As an 80-proof liquor, this bottle does contain more calories than some of the other options on this list, but we feel the strength more than makes up for it.
*96 calories per serving
11. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
Another popular rum, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum has been a favored liquor choice for years, yet many people don’t know it sits at the diet-friendly end of the scale. With only 86 calories per one-and-a-half ounces, you can have a glass or two without feeling guilty. The secret blend offers a smooth and medium-bodied rum, which fits the bill for sipping or mixing. Of course, you can never go wrong with the near-legendary rum and Coke mix. Its widespread popularity makes Captain Morgan rum a solid choice as a gift for friends.
*86 calories per serving
12. Hennessy V.S Cognac
Brandy has already graced our list of low calorie alcohols, but we think cognac also deserves a special spot. All cognac is brandy produced in the Cognac region of France, so like brandy, it also has a generally low calorie count. In particular, Hennessy V.S Cognac isn’t bad for the waistline. This flavor-filled alcohol offers notes of citrus, grape and oak, and it can be enjoyed neat. That way, you need not worry about the additional calories in the soda or juice you would add to most other spirits.
*69 calories per serving
13. Taittinger Brut La Francaise
BEST FOR CELEBRATIONS
We didn’t believe it either, but it turns out a standard glass (4 ounces) of champagne won’t kill you in the calorie department. In fact, that single glass only packs 84 calories. That’s not to say you should go crazy and call dibs on an entire bottle (there are approximately 6.25 glasses per bottle of bubbly), but that does mean you can enjoy a celebratory toast every now and then without totally busting your diet. Now that we mention it, discovering champagne is a low-cal option is reason enough to pop a bottle and celebrate. Cheers!
*84 calories per serving
14. Don Julio Blanco
Tequila is making a comeback in a big way. And in this Don Julio Blanco handcrafted tequila, you’ll find a liquor which is unique in flavor and more friendly to your waistline than many competing options. Branded as tequila in its truest form, the taste is both dry and clean with hints of citrus and just enough black pepper to get your heart racing. Enjoy it neat, on the rocks or shoot it with friends as an after-dinner pick me up to get the night started. The classy bottle makes this a great gift idea for bachelor parties, college grads and generally anyone looking to have a good time.
*96 calories per serving
15. Casamigos Mezcal
BEST ON THE ROCKS
If you’re one who likes to get straight to the point, reach for this bottle of mezcal next time you’re looking for a drink. While tequila (and its cousin mezcal) are both low-cal options when it comes to liquor, mezcal is a bit easier to drink straight, thanks to the smokey flavor. And when it comes to mezcal, we trust our old pal George Clooney and his brand Casamigos. The flavor is smokey enough to mask the kick, but not so smokey that it feels like you’re drinking an ashtray. It pairs perfectly with a single ice cube or none at all (if you’re so bold).
*70 calories per serving