Scotch Whiskey is a distilled spirit from Scotland. It is made of malted barley and other grains. A Whiskey has to be produced in Scotland to be named a Scotch. Many alcoholic beverages contain a lot of calories, but Scotch can be a low calory alternative. So let’s find out how many calories are in Scotch and how it compares to other Whiskeys.
What is Scotch
Let’s talk a bit about Scotch first. As I already said, it’s a distilled spirit from Scotland. A special type of Whiskey, that is fermented with yeast and has to age in oak barrels for a minimum of 3 years. In general, a good Scotch is amber-colored and more on the smoky side. You can usually taste warm notes of caramel, spices, and vanilla.
Scotch is one of the most common types of Whiskey besides Bourbon and Rye. And it is a drink you can enjoy even when you are on a diet.
How many Calories are in Scotch
Compared to other alcoholic drinks, a dram of Scotch will save you some calories. Naturally, this also depends on if you drink it neat or mixed. A serving of 1oz 50% abv Scotch contains about 80 calories. In the chart below, you can check out exactly how many calories your Scotch has.
|Whiskey Proof*||Calories||1oz – 30ml||1.5oz – 45ml|
|*Proof is double amount of abv. 80 proof equals 40% abv|
Calories in Bourbon and Rye Whiskey
The amount of calories does not depend on the type of Whiskey but rather on the level of proof. As a rule of thumb, a gram of alcohol in any type of Whiskey has about seven calories. That means a Bourbon or Rye with 50% alcohol by volume has 25% more calories than an alternative with only 40% abv.
Whatever Whiskey you choose, they’re all pretty low in calories. But mixed up in cocktails, it might be a different story. The addition of syrup, grenadine, liqueurs, or other high-calory ingredients will affect your calory intake severely. So let’s see what low-calory options there are to drink Scotch.
You might be asking yourself how vodka, gin, or rum compare to Whiskey. Well, they are all quite similar. Some have more calories, some have less. But the big difference is that they tend to be consumed in a cocktail. A neat vodka is a drink, but not something you sip to enjoy.
Best Ways to Enjoy a Low Calory Scotch Drink
The best way to keep the number of calories in your Scotch down is by drinking it without additional ingredients. If you have or want to add something, there are some clever ways to choose your ingredients. I put together a list of the most popular ways to drink Scotch on a diet.
As I said before, drinking your Scotch neat is, of course, a low-calory option. I also prefer to drink my Scotch neat rather than mixed or on the rocks. But that’s just my personal preference. If you favor enjoying your whiskey cold, the next option is for you.
On the Rocks
Drinking Scotch on the rocks is probably the most popular way to indulge yourself in this tasty spirit. The term “on the rocks” is so popular that the Japanese chose to make it a very similar phrase in their language. On the rocks is オンザロック (Onzarokku) in Japanese. In regards to calories, your ice cube won’t add anything. So, for your calory intake, it is irrelevant if you drink your Scotch neat or on the rocks.
Scotch & Soda
This highball also doesn’t add any extra calories. Scotch is mixed with club soda and not with sweetened soft drinks like coke or sprite. Add a slice of lime to make this highball both refreshing and low in calories.
Scotch and Water
To be honest, my least favorite of this selection. To me, adding plain water to Whiskey is simply watering down an excellent product. But ignoring personal preferences, I know many people happily drink their Scotch or Bourbon with a bit of water. Of course, this also doesn’t add any calories.
Be Careful With Your Mixers
You now know the low-calory alternatives to enjoy your Scotch Whiskey. But, naturally, there are also less healthy ways to enjoy it. If you mix a simple cocktail like a Whiskey Sour, you increase your calory intake by roughly 50%. The mix of syrup and lemon juice will make for a great drink, though.
The same also applies to Scotch Highballs not mixed with club soda but Tonic Water or Ginger Ale. These mixers also increase the calory intake by 50% or even more. It all depends on the amount of mixer and also the type or brand. But 50 percent is a lot. If you are on a diet, think twice if instead a regular Scotch & Soda can do the trick.
Is Scotch Good For Weight Loss?
That’s a definite yes and no. A no because there are many other beverages with a lower amount of calories. Water, for instance. But if you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, Scotch is a good choice. A regular jigger shot of Whiskey (1.5 oz) contains between 105 and 123 calories, which is comparably low for alcoholic beverages.
Scotch also doesn’t contain any carbs, sugar, or salt. It doesn’t even change your blood glucose levels as many other spirits do. However, the calories of a serving of Scotch are empty. That means they’re not useful for our body in any way. Plus, alcohol also causes an increased appetite. So be careful how much you drink and eat if you’re on a diet.
Drink moderately then Scotch can be beneficial
You might have heard this before, and it is true. Drinking Scotch or another Whiskey can be beneficial to your health. The benefits of regularly drinking a glass of red wine were proven a long time ago, but there’s evidence that a moderate intake of alcohol, in general, can be good for your health. -With the emphasis on moderate and regular.
That does not mean you should start drinking alcohol if you haven’t done it before. There are countless other things you can do to improve your health. But it means that drinking moderately and having a sip of Whiskey after a long day is not as much of a guilty pleasure as you perhaps thought it was. Again, “moderate” is the critical element here. In the article I linked in the paragraph above, I explain what it means exactly. And if you respect those limits, your risks of having a heart attack can be lowered significantly. Cheers!