By Lindsay Moyer and Kaamilah Mitchell

A typical 6 oz. glass of wine or 12 oz. beer has as many calories as a can of Coke (140). Some beers have twice that much. But you’d never know it from many labels and non-chain-restaurant menus. (Chain restaurants must disclose calories.)

Alcohol is responsible for 88,000 deaths each year in this country, mostly from car crashes, suicides, violence, falls, and liver disease. But booze can also leave its mark on your midsection.


A beer’s calories depend mostly on alcohol and, to a lesser extent, on carbs.

Light. Very-low-alcohol beers (2% to 3% alcohol) like Miller 64 start at around 60 calories in 12 oz. Most lights (4% alcohol) have about 100 calories.

Regular. An average 5% alcohol brew like Budweiser hovers around 150 calories.

IPAs. Heavy hitters (6% to 9% alcohol) like IPAs, double IPAs, and Belgian-style Trippels pack 200 to 300 calories. Gulp! A lower-alcohol “session” IPA cuts that to 140 or so.

Draft pours. Do the math. Even an average beer hits 200 or 250 calories when you’re served a 16 or 20 oz. glass.

For a longer list beyond the beers in our chart, including carbs, see

Mixed Drinks

The examples in our chart are typical for chain restaurants. But drinks vary from one bartender to another. The usual ranges:

Martini or Manhattan. Classic cocktails with little added sugar (Manhattan) or no added sugar (martini) typically fall in the 150-to-200-calorie range.

Moscow mule or mojito. Expect about 200 to 300 calories.

Margarita. A classic margarita—tequila, lime, triple sec—in a small glass limits the calories to 200. But sugary (often frozen) margs jump to 350...and oversized ones reach 500.

Blended frozen drinks. Large frozen mudslides or other boozy ice cream shakes hit 500 to 800-plus calories. That’s like slurping up a (540-calorie) Big Mac...or more. May-day!


Rule of thumb: any gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey has 100 to 120 calories per 1.5 oz. shot, before you add any mixers. That’s because all of liquor’s calories come from its alcohol (40% to 50%).

Exceptions: “Cask strength” or “barrel proof” liquor can reach 150-or-so calories. Liqueurs (like Baileys or Cointreau) vary, depending on their alcohol, sugar, or other extras.

Seltzer, Cider, etc.

Most hard seltzers match the calories of a light beer (100-ish). And sugar ranges from zero (Bon & Viv, Henry’s, Smirnoff) to half a teaspoon (Nauti, Truly, White Claw) in 12 oz. Sure beats other sweet sips:

Hard cider. Expect up to 200 calories and 3 to 5 teaspoons of sugar—some from juice—in 12 oz. Dry ciders are lower (150 calories).

Ritas. This brand of canned sparkling margaritas—made with high fructose corn syrup and, in some flavors, food dyes and sucralose—crams 190 to 220 calories into just 8 oz. How many of the 21 to 29 grams of carbs are added sugar? The company won’t say.


Our chart shows the calories (150) for 6 ounces, the amount in a restaurant pour. A 9 oz. glass reaches 220 calories.

Even many higher-sugar whites (like Moscato or Riesling) are in the same ballpark.

Count on 200 to 300 calories in a glass of sangria, thanks to fruit, juice, sugar, etc.

To see how wines from some big brands vary, go to

Photos (top to bottom): Love the wind/, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., wollertz/, monticellllo/, White Claw Seltzer Works, New Africa/