Tip

Which Alcohol Packs the Most… and Least…Calories

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If you’re going to order a drink with dinner, which does less damage: wine, beer, or a cocktail?

Cocktails

Most restaurant chains’ mojitos, Moscow mules, and margaritas deliver 200 to 300 calories. Chili’s Strawberry or Mango Patrón Margarita hits 360. But a classic margarita—tequila, lime, triple sec—in a small glass cuts most of the sugar and hovers around 200 calories.

Frozen blended drinks like piña coladas typically range from 500 to 900 calories. That’s what alcohol, sugar, and ice cream or coconut cream will do. A Cheesecake Factory Strawberry Creamsicle spiked milkshake (930 calories) packs more than a day’s saturated fat and an estimated 13 teaspoons of added sugar.

A few cocktails—a classic martini or Manhattan, for example—aren’t likely to do more damage than a 6 oz. glass of wine.


Wine or Beer

Expect around 150 calories in a 6 oz. glass of red or white wine. But a 9 oz. pour has 220. And sangria can hit 200 to 300 calories, thanks to the fruit, juice, liquor, or sugar.

Beer also starts at 150 calories for a 12 oz. can or bottle (100 calories for a light beer). But the calories climb to 200 to 250 in a 16-to-20 oz. draft pour.

Keep in mind: higher-alcohol beers, like Lagunitas IPA or Samuel Adams Rebel IPA, start at around 200 calories for just 12 oz. Ditto for many hard ciders, like Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.


Want more numbers? Find your drink in our chart:

Light Beer (12 oz.) Calories
Budweiser Select 55 55
Beck’s Premier Light 60
Miller 64 64
Michelob Ultra Amber 90
Busch Light 100
Coors Light 100
Corona Light 100
Kirin Light 100
Michelob Ultra 100
Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus 100
Miller Lite 100
Natural Light 100
Bud Light 110
Miller High Life Light 110
Bud Light Lime 120
Michelob Light 120
Sam Adams Light 120
Beer (12 oz., unless noted) Calories
Busch 110
Bud Ice 120
Abita Purple Haze 130
Abita Strawberry Lager 130
Guinness Draught 130
Natural Ice 130
Rolling Rock 130
Rolling Rock Amber Lager 130
Beck’s Dark 140
Bud Light Platinum 140
Busch Ice 140
Heineken 140
Miller High Life 140
Omission Lager 140
Pabst Blue Ribbon 140
Yuengling Traditional Lager 140
Beck’s 150
Beck’s Oktoberfest 150
Budweiser 150
Corona Extra 150
Founders All Day IPA 150
Kirin Ichiban 150
Landshark Lager 150
Magic Hat #9 150
Michelob Amberbock 150
Shock Top Lemon Shandy 150
Yuengling Black & Tan 150
Allagash Saison 160
Allagash White 160
Beck’s Sapphire 160
Michelob Lager 160
New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale 160
Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner 160
Blue Moon Belgian White 170
Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager 170
Budweiser Black Crown 170
Guinness Nitro IPA 170
New Belgium Citradelic Tangerine IPA 170
Redd’s Apple Ale 170
Samuel Adams Summer Ale 170
Shock Top Belgian White 170
Victory Prima Pils 170
Best Damn Apple Ale 180
Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale 180
Blue Moon White IPA 180
Omission Pale Ale 180
Samuel Adams Boston Lager 180
Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat 180
Shock Top Raspberry Wheat 180
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 180
Sierra Nevada Porter 180
Lagunitas IPA 190
New Belgium Ranger IPA 190
Samuel Adams Octoberfest 190
Samuel Adams Winter Lager 190
Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA 190
Ballast Point Sculpin India Pale Ale 200
Leffe Blonde (11.2 oz.) 200
Omission IPA 200
Samuel Adams Rebel IPA 200
Sierra Nevada Stout 210
New Belgium Trippel Belgian Style Ale 220
Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale 230
New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA 230
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA 240
Allagash Black Belgian Style Stout 250
Founders Breakfast Stout 270
Victory Golden Monkey 270
Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout 320
Flavored Malt Beverages & Hard Sodas (11-12 oz., unless noted) Calories
Mike's Lite Hard Lemonade 150
Henry's Hard Orange Soda 190
Bud Light Lime Lemon-Ade-Rita (8 oz.) 200
Bud Light Lime Mang-O-Rita (8 oz.) 200
Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita (8 oz.) 200
Best Damn Cherry Cola 210
Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita Splash 210
Smirnoff Ice Original 210
Bartles & Jaymes Fuzzy Navel 220
Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita (8 oz.) 220
Henry’s Hard Cherry Cola 220
Henry's Hard Ginger Ale 220
Mike's Hard Lemonade 220
Mike's Hard Mango Punch 230
Bartles & Jaymes Margarita 240
Best Damn Root Beer 240
Bartles & Jaymes Piña Colada 250
Hard Seltzer (12 oz.) Calories
Truly Spiked & Sparkling¹ 100
Nauti Seltzer¹ 110
White Claw Hard Seltzer¹ 110
Spiked Seltzer¹ 140
Hard Cider (12 oz.) Calories
Michelob Ultra Light 120
Strongbow Gold Apple 170
Stella Artois Cidre 180
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple 190
Johnny Appleseed 210
Wine (6 oz., unless noted) Calories
Skinnygirl¹ 120
Arbor Mist Chardonnay Peach (8 oz.) 150
Arbor Mist Pinot Grigio White Pear (8 oz.) 150
Red (Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, etc.)¹ 150
White (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, etc.)¹ 150
Arbor Mist White Zinfandel Strawberry (8 oz.) 160
Korbel Brut California Champagne 160
Skinnygirl Sangria 160
Arbor Mist Arborita (8 oz.)¹ 170
Sweet dessert (3.5 oz.) 170
Barefoot Refresh Perfectly Pink Spritzer (8 oz.) 180
White, late harvest 210
Non-Alcoholic (12 oz., unless noted) Calories
Busch NA 60
Coors Non-Alcoholic 60
Fre Alcohol-Removed Wine (6 oz.)¹ 60
O'Doul's Non-Alcoholic Brew 70
O’Doul’s Amber Non-Alcoholic Brew 90
St. Pauli N.A. 90
Liquor & Liqueur (1.5 oz.) Calories
Pimm's No. 1 80
Gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey¹ 100
Baileys Irish Cream 140
Créme de menthe 190
Restaurant Mixed Drinks (1 drink) Calories
Red Lobster Manhattan or Martini 160
California Pizza Kitchen Moscow Mule 180
TGI Fridays House Mojito 180
Applebee’s Apple Sangria 220
Red Robin House Margarita 220
Olive Garden Peach Sangria 230
Uno Classic Mojito 240
Applebee’s Blackberry Sangria 270
Yard House Moscow Mule 280
Applebee’s Perfect Patrón Margarita 290
Red Lobster Strawberry Mojito 290
The Cheesecake Factory Pineapple Moscow Mule 290
Chili’s Patrón Margarita 310
Chili’s Blueberry & Pineapple Margarita 340
Chili’s Mango or Strawberry Patrón Margarita 360
Red Robin Long Island Iced Tea 400
The Cheesecake Factory Piña Colada 490
Red Lobster Mudslide 540
Red Robin Blue Moon Beer Shake 650
Red Robin Baileys Irish Cream Shake 720
The Cheesecake Factory Strawberry Creamsicle 930

¹ Average of more than one variety. Note: Most calories are rounded to the nearest 10.


Sources: company information and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Photos: fotolia.com: © mateusz (cocktail), © exclusive-design (wine).

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