18 Low-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks For The Weight-Conscious Drinker
By Jasmine Chiam
Posted: April 27, 2022
If I had a magic lamp and a genie, I'd wish away the calories in booze.
Now, you're probably thinking, "Do the calories in alcohol really matter that much?"
Unfortunately, many alcoholic drinks contain more calories than meets the eye. A Piña Colada, for instance, has over 600 calories! To put that into context, you'd need to walk for roughly two hours just to burn that off. If you ask me, it doesn't seem like a particularly great trade-off.
But there is good news; You don't actually have to stop drinking altogether if you're trying to get that waist a couple of sizes down.
The solution? Low-calorie alcoholic drinks.
In this guide, we'll look at some of the best low-calorie alcoholic drinks you can get your hands on, including low-calorie wine, beer, and mixed drinks. And, of course, we'll also cover some practical tips for enjoying alcohol without tipping the needle up the scale.
Plus, if you're interested in learning some practical tips for drinking more mindfully and to avoid binge drinking, check out this video with useful tips you can put into action:
How Many Calories are Hidden in Boozy Drinks?
Keeping active and watching what you eat will definitely be part of the weight loss journey. But it's also best to be mindful of the calories you drink during a night out—or a laid-back Netflix evening for introverts like me.
Now, hear me out. Not all alcoholic drinks are calorie-laden. A shot of vodka, whiskey, or tequila is less than 100 calories. But the thing is, the caloric content of drinks can be very different from one another.
On the list of waistline offenders, you have the most notorious culprits—sugary cocktails and mixed drinks. These contain a ton of syrup and sugar and are often topped off with jarred or canned fruits drenched in sweetness and preservatives.
A classic margarita contains around 200-300 calories, while sugary or oversized margaritas may jump as high as 400 calories. And don't get me started on the devilishly tasty but dangerous chocolate martini. That chocolate lover's dream can become a weigh-in nightmare, packing over 400 calories in a 2.5 oz serving.
Your favorite beers don't fall far behind, either. A regular 12 oz beer contains around 150 calories, while higher-alcohol content brews may have well over 300 calories.
Now, I don't have a genie in a lamp, and I'm definitely not one. But hey, low-calorie alcohol is as close as you'll get to enjoying your favorite tipples while being mindful of your overall health.
After all, alcohol is known for being a wellspring of empty calories—in other words, they deliver fuel but not nutrients.
18 Low-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks for the Weight-Conscious Drinker
Around 75% of adults in the US drink, so alcohol is here to stay.
You don't have to eliminate alcohol from your diet. Instead, focus on making proactive changes to your drinking habits, such as replacing your regular tipples with lower-calorie alternatives.
To help you out, here's a list of some of the best low-calorie alcohols that are both waistline and tastebud-friendly. These options are ideal for weight-conscious drinkers and those looking to generally feel healthier, and even maintain better liver health.
Let's get into it.
Best Low-Calorie Wine
The calories in wine come from its alcohol and sugar content. Dessert wines, late harvest wines, and sweet wines tend to have more calories due to their higher sugar content. Meanwhile, lighter, dry wines with a lower ABV and no added sugar typically have a lower calorie content.
Most wines aren't directly marketed as low-calorie, so they can be hard to spot. But we've got your back with this list of some of the best low-calorie wines on the market!
1) Oddbird Sparkling Rosé
19 calories per 4.2 oz serving, 4.75g sugar, 4.75g carbs, 0% ABV
With just 19 calories per serving, the Oddbird Sparkling Rosé is an elegant, non-alcoholic sparkling wine with a well-balanced blend of Chardonnay white wine and Pinot Noir grapes. You'll be greeted with a smooth, silky texture and hints of summer berries and crisp green apple.
This non-alcoholic sparkler from France has been carefully aged in a barrel for 12 months prior to dealcoholization, which is then done through a unique patented method that preserves the exquisite flavor and aroma of the wine. This rosé is perfect for those looking for hangover-proof, low-calorie wine to wind down during the evening.
2) Surely Non-Alcoholic Pinot Noir
50 calories per 8 oz serving, 4g sugar, 12g carbs, 0% ABV
If you're looking for a 0% ABV red wine that doesn't taste like cheap grape juice, this is it. The Surely Non-Alcoholic Pinot Noir has a bright and fruity flavor with nice tannins and a lovely deep red color. This low-calorie red is made from grapes sourced from the Californian coast and fermented on the skins to capture that gorgeous velvet hue.
It's a light yet flavorful dinner table red that's bound to be a crowd-pleaser and perfect for pairing with grilled fatty fish, roasted chicken, or your favorite pasta dish.
3) Mind & Body Cabernet Sauvignon
90 calories per 5 oz serving, 0.3g sugar, 4.92g carbs, 9.0% ABV
The Mind and Body brand uses an innovative method called the spinning cone technology to remove a portion of the alcohol in this wine while keeping its flavor and aroma intact. This red wine has rich blackberry and raspberry flavors, and you'll also notice a subtle note of green olive, vanilla, and dry herbs.
This Cabernet contains no added sugar and much fewer calories than your typical glass of red wine. So, feel free to pair it with a red meat entrée and grilled portobello mushrooms for a guilt-free dinner date with yourself (or a friend).
4) Bellissima Sparkling Wine
92 calories per 5 oz serving, 0g sugar, 0g carbs, 11.5% ABV
Zero-sugar sparkling white wine. Now it doesn't get much better than this. Years of research and perfecting their technique has gotten us to this point—the elimination of all sugar from fizzy wine.
Well-balanced with a pleasant hint of acidity, this sparkling wine presents a gentle scent of white flowers and grapefruit. It's the complete package. Fresh, velvety, creamy, and crisp.
This Italian Prosecco will pair magnificently with a seafood platter or cured meat. And yes, you're looking at a keto-friendly way to enjoy a drinkable bubbly with no carbs.
5) Barefoot Pinot Grigio
91 calories per 4 oz serving, 0g sugar, 3.1g carb, 12.5% ABV
The Barefoot Pinot Grigio is a crisp and light-bodied wine that goes down smoothly and is very light on your wallet.
Think tropical fruits, citrus peels, and a charming floral accent. On the palate, this Pinot Gris is off-dry with medium acidity, and you'll also notice tart green apple notes and a peach undertone. The delicate tropical flavor keeps this white wine fun, approachable, and perfect for an afternoon hangout with the girls (or boys!).
Try it with a rich, creamy pasta or mushroom dish. Or, if you're in the mood for robust flavors, this wine may pair well with spicy food, though this is up for debate—Hey, we can't please everyone!
6) Thomson & Scott Organic Prosecco
84 calories per 4.2 oz serving, 0.9g sugar, 1.67g carbs, 11% ABV
The Thomson & Scott Organic Prosecco is produced from Glera grapes grown in North-East Italy. Certified organic and vegan, it's also completely free from herbicides and pesticides.
On the nose, the vibrant fruity aroma with a dash of apple is absolutely delightful. And on the palate, this white is crisp, light, and dry with a little acidity. The delicate, textured bubbles also add an elegant touch to this low-calorie wine.
This will be a crowd-pleaser great for various occasions and celebrations. It's a refreshing pre-meal drink—but definitely give it a try with fragrant and spicy dishes, too.
7) BABE 100 Rosé Wine
100 calories per 8.5 oz can, 0g sugar, 2g carbs, 6.9% ABV
Looking for an alternative to hard seltzer? Well, the BABE 100 Rosé Wine is an attractive choice that contains only 100 calories per can and no sugar at all.
It's refreshing but a little lighter on the flavor with a very-much-toned-down sweetness. This low-calorie wine is easy to drink, and its convenient (and cute) packaging makes it a great addition to a pool party. If you're into stronger and harder-hitting flavors, though, you may seek out an alternative option.
Best Low-Calorie Beers
A cold beer is one of life's simplest pleasures, but there's a chance your favorite brew is the cause of those extra pounds. One gram of alcohol contains seven calories on its own, not to mention that some beers have tons of added sugars and flavors that account for even more calories.
The good news is that many popular brands have been crafting low-calorie versions of the brews you love and enjoy, and here's our list of them.
8) Skinny Brands Lager
89 calories per 11.2 oz bottle, 3g carbs, 4% ABV
A premium lager that checks all the right boxes—low-calorie, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free. If you're on a low-carb or keto diet, this could be the perfect match.
The Skinny Brands Lager is clean and crisp but rather light in flavor (though it's labeled as full-flavor) with a subtle fruity twang. This beer is best served ice-cold.
It could feel a little bit watered down compared to your typical can of beer. But it's definitely worth the discount in calories if you're looking to lose that beer belly.
9) Lagunitas Daytime IPA
98 calories per 12 oz can, 3g carbs, 4% ABV
The Daytime IPA spells a delicate canvas of malt and oats with deep tropical flavors and a splash of hops. The fruity citrus flavors are heavier, while the malty tones may come off as too subtle or mild.
There's just the right balance of bitterness and carbonation and not too much floral or pine. This low-calorie beer also has more of a thin and light body with a crisp finish.
The Lagunitas Daytime IPA is perfect as a light summer beer, but those fond of better-accentuated malt flavors may not enjoy it as much.
10) Guinness Draught Stout
125 calories per 12 oz bottle, 9g carbs, 4.2% ABV
There's something so iconic about the Guinness look; You can tell who's enjoying one from across the room. And this one's no different. After it settles, what you get is the perfect black body with beautiful lacing and a nice ivory head.
On the nose, you'll notice beautiful hints of chocolate, coffee, and barley. With each chug, you'll be hit with the bitter notes first, but this quickly tones down to reveal a toasted grain and malt flavor, along with delicate notes of coffee and cream. Expect soft carbonation and a creamy, velvety mouthfeel that goes down very smoothly.
Whether you choose to swig it at a bar or pair it with steak, pork, or stew, this is one of the best low-calorie beers you'll find on the market. It's the definition of guilt-free, delicious, and creamy bliss. However, this may not be the best for a low-carb diet!
11) Brewdog Lightspeed
99 calories per 12 oz can, 5.5g carbs, 4% ABV
The Brewdog Lightspeed pours a hazy golden body and a foamy white head with decent retention and limited lacing.
In terms of flavor and aroma, think tropical, citrus, and peach, with a sprinkle of toasted caramel. You'll also notice a mildly bitter hop presence and hints of citrus fruits off a soft malty base. This low-calorie beer is light and crisp but not as thin as you may expect from a 4% ABV IPA.
12) Kona Light Blonde Ale
99 calories per 12 oz bottle, 4g carbs, 4.0% ABV
The Kona Light Blonde Ale has a nice bright golden body and a decently creamy head that dissipates pretty quickly. You won't be expecting much lacing with this one.
This ale has a delightful aroma of pineapples and mangoes, though this isn't translated into taste that much. What you'll notice on the palate is floral and tangy hops with very soft notes of mango and a trace of bitterness.
It's a little lighter on the flavor but has excellent carbonation and makes a great refresher after a surf or day at the beach. This also pairs decently well with grilled fish, shrimp, or salad.
13) Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout
~175 calories per 12oz bottle, 21g carbs, 5% ABV
Now, I know this isn't the lowest-calorie beer out there. But I figured I should include something for chocolate lovers before they come at me with pitchforks. Chocolate stouts can contain upwards of 300 calories, so I would say this option is a pretty decent compromise. And it's mighty-good tasting, too!
The first thing you'll notice is a gorgeous and intense chocolate flavor, and once this dwindles, you'll be met with delicate roasted malt, vanilla, and cocoa flavors. With a velvety and very smooth finish, this is a match made in heaven between luxurious chocolate and high-quality stout.
It isn't overbearingly sweet or chocolatey, and it's almost as if they resorted to black magic to get this perfect balance. On a side note, this stout is brewed with well water drawn from 85 feet below the ground. So, you might say that's their magic touch.
You will need to practice some self-control with this (I know it's crazy good). But after all, it isn't the lowest-calorie beer on the market.
14) Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA
70 calories per 12oz serving, 16g carbs, 0% ABV
The perfect beer to indulge in if you don't want to fret about calories or the side effects of alcohol. This brew is a delicious session IPA with a blend of five Northwest hops and well-balanced bitterness over a specialty malt body.
This IPA has a citrus, lemony flavor with a mildly sweet and malty finish, and you can also expect some light and lively carbonation. There isn't much of a difference between this non-alcoholic IPA and your regular one in taste and flavor. So Athletic Brewing has nicely proven that you can save on calories without compromising taste!
Best Low-Calorie Mixed drinks
15) Vodka Soda And Lime
The vodka soda and lime combination makes one of the lowest-calorie mixed drinks out there. It's just over 130 calories for a 7.5 oz serving. Plus, the soda water helps keep you hydrated without any extra calories.
Mix some vodka and soda water over ice, and you may opt for a squeeze of lemon or fresh lime. If you'd like, garnish it off with a sprig of rosemary or mint.
16) Light Moscow Mule
A light Moscow Mule contains just 100-130 calories per serve. To make this, mix vodka, sugar-free ginger beer, and lime or lemon juice in a copper mug with ice. Give it a nice, gentle swirl, and garnish it with a slice of lime or mint leaves.
The Moscow Mule pairs well with a range of snacks and dishes, such as sushi, grilled salmon, and goat cheese.
17) Rum And Diet Coke
To make your rum and coke more skinny-jeans-friendly, simply swap out regular coke for diet coke. Light rums are the most popularly used in this mix, but you may also go for dark rum, which has a richer and bolder flavor.
A normal rum and coke will get you to almost 200 calories, while this light alcohol drink nabs just 100 calories in an 8 oz serving.
18) Diet Gin And Tonic
As legend has it, army officers and soldiers in India added a mixture of gin, water, sugar, and lime to an anti-malarial medication called quinine to make it more palatable. And voilà, the gin and tonic cocktail was born!
This classic light cocktail is one of the simplest concoctions you can try. Simply pour gin and diet tonic water over a glass of ice. A rosemary sprig, slice of grapefruit, or lime wedge will serve well as a garnish. This low-calorie mixed drink contains around 120 calories per 6 oz serving.
On a side note, lower alcohol content usually equates to lower calories, too. So, you'd definitely want to check out our guide on low-alcohol or non-alcoholic classic cocktail recipes!
Tips for Cutting Calories While Drinking
So, other than going for low-calorie alcoholic drinks, here are some different ways to enjoy a social swig without tipping the scale too far up.
Eat up before you drink up.
On the surface, this sounds counterproductive. But it's always best to have a decent meal before your night out. If you go on an empty stomach and happen to get hungry, your main options at the bar would be snacks high in calories, fats, or sugar.
On top of that, alcohol intake can increase your appetite for high-fat savory foods. Hence, try to appease your growling stomach with a sizable (and preferably healthy) meal first, so you don't end up drinking too much or chowing down a platter of beef-cheese nachos later on.
Practice mindful drinking.
Mindful drinking isn't so much about quitting alcohol but more so about being aware of how much alcohol you're consuming. To do this, you could draw out a plan to set your limit beforehand or focus more on meaningful engagement rather than mindless swigging during your night out.
You can also check out our full guide to mindful drinking, which serves up some practical tips for attaining better health without quitting.
Hydrate like nobody's business.
Alternate between alcohol and water. Yes, alcohol can dehydrate you. So getting enough fluids in will naturally help you drink less alcohol and keep you well-hydrated throughout the night.
Don't be shy to ask for a glass of water with that pint of beer. Your ego can take the backseat for this one. It's for the greater good, I promise!
You Can Drink on a Diet.
Low-calorie alcoholic drinks aren't unicorns. They exist. And they'll be a helpful part of your weight loss journey if you really like your alcohol but still want to keep the pounds off your tummy.
Ultimately, discipline is the name of the game—From your choice of beverage to your drinking habits at the bar, you'll need to make a conscious decision to watch the calories you chug. It's understandably not easy, but very possible if you put your mind to it.
Sunnyside is here to help you kickstart your mindful drinking journey. We've already helped tens and thousands of people cut an average of 1500 calories from their diet in just their first month. Sign up for our free 15-day trial and start building healthier drinking habits.Start Your Free Trial
Jasmine is a professional health and wellness content writer and a Bachelor of Pharmacy graduate. She enjoys researching and writing content that engages, educates, and inspires her readers to get deeper in touch with their wellness.