How many calories in gin?
The good news is that gin can be good for the hips as it’s at the lower end of the calories intake as far as an alcoholic beverage goes. However, given my blog I will highlight the ABV figure to you as it’s not always just about calories.
What is ABV and why does it matter?
So good news as there are not as many calories in gin as some other alcoholic drinks but never overlook the alcohol content, your units guide and what you mix it with. They all matter.
The good news is alcoholic free gin may be an alcohol alternative whether you drink alcohol or not!
What is gin?
Gin gets a real name for itself as is ideal for pre-dinner, post dinner and it is known in some quarters as the “devil’s drink”. It is rumored to make you depressed although that can be true of any alcohol abuse or over indulgence as we like to refer to it!
It has even has got a history as being one of the things given to soldiers over the years in many of the early wars as so-called “dutch courage”.
That term is still being used to today for something we would rather not do. It gives us a bit of a heave ho!
Gin is an alcoholic spirit that has now got many alcohol free options that can be helpful if you are watching your calories.
Now what many people don’t realize is that gin actually does not taste of anything very much. It’s true which actually makes the making of alcohol free gin even more exciting. Its what is added that matters!
Pick up most gins in a supermarket and or read the bottle in a bar and you will see the terms “natural botanicals’ . It is these that really add to the flavor of gin and make it very aromatic and there are literally hundreds of botanicals that you could add.
- Imagine baking a cake and you add the tasting ingredients rather than just tasting the flour.
- Well this is the same as gin making really!
My colleague who is now a distiller says it’s an art form and that you have to be a master at gin making skills, I kind of point out that this is true of many professionals but I get what he is saying when it comes down to gin.
These berries are probably what you know and love about gin and the best known part of the process when we think about the flavor after all it is a very distinctive taste.
Juniper berries are harvested between October and February mainly and are found very in places like Tuscany and Macedonia so they like the sun! They also have many undertones of in terms flavor which is why the taste bursts into your mouth and you generally would sip it.
Please sip the drink and don’t knock it back!
Lemon, orange and citrus peel can all be used in the making of gin to give it its flavor so it is a remarkable alcoholic drink in terms of its versatile nature. Licorice and almonds are also very popular.
If you live in the UK I can recommend a visit to the place where they make Plymouth Gin. Devon has the oldest working distillery in the world and it’s a fascinating tour and also you can have a drink of course!
The building itself goes back to 1430 which was a monastery (as they are always are) and the local gin has been made there since 1793. Do a search and you will find it. It’s well worth a trip.
You also get to visit the Plymouth Hoe which has some great memories from my childhood.
How many calories in gin and should I be worried?
Compared to many alcohol drinks gin is up there in the low calorie category but especially if you add it to a low calories mixer like fever tree my favorite ( although now with alcohol free gin). In fact with gin it is the mixers that can make the difference in the number of calories.
For example wine can have around 160 calories and beer a 180 per serving while gin depending on the alcohol can have around:
Gin 80 proof 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97 calories
Gin 94 proof 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116 calories
So even with an increased proof of alcohol there is not much difference however it is worth bearing in mind the calories are totally free from any nutrients so you really are drinking it for the alcohol and the taste. It is also what I call a “great moment” drink so:
So it is seen as an event rather than just a drink and hopefully one to be savored. It’s also low in calories and has natural healthy ingredients.
Bear in mind however stay away from the headlines ( and i have seen plenty) that say that its a healthy drink. The reason is simple, it is still alcohol and can affect our health, life and body overall. Just because it is one of the lower alcohol based calorie drinks does not mean it’s totally safe.
It can create mood swings in people and gets often related to mental health if you drink too much like any alcohol.
Calories or ABV?
At this blog we like to highlight alcohol free choices and ABV is key.
In the UK we have these guidelines that people like to brush off when they go to the doctor. I actually don’t know many people who tell the truth which kind of makes the assumption that many of us are more than 14 units a week alcoholics which is the limit at which you do the least harm.
1 Unit = 1 Standard Drink
Ideally you would want to spread that consumption across a week as opposed to a big binge session which is why I have never been a fan of Dry January. Spreading your units evenly across the week can really help take the pressure off your liver.
So let’s put aside the calories of a gin and tonic for a moment and remember that alcohol content matters as well.
Imagine you are in an bar that has a 25ml measure gin. At the very least you are looking at 37.5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) gin which contains 0.9 units. Now 14 units minus 0.9 leaves you with 13 ish units for the week.
Now imagine you went large as many people do, so that is now neatly 2 ish units in one drink and it’s only Monday!
ABV is the thing that lets me know that my drink does not have any alcohol or at very least a natural trace as there is in orange juice, ABV stands for alcohol by volume and it tells you how much of your drink is pure alcohol.
Kinda of important right?
So whereas gin might be decent on calories it’s up there on the ABV measure!
So I had a colleague who would think nothing of drinking over 20 gin and tonics across a week which of course would put him well over the recommended amount. It’s easy to do.
Now I was just a social wine drinker but that even caused my liver to fail and of course volume plays a role here.
Overtime drink sizes are getting bigger and you hardly ever see people having just a standard glass of wine anymore and the same is true for a double gin and tonic, it just ends up being in the vocabulary of people.
How many times do you see a pub promotion “buy a large glass and get the bottle of wine” highlighted in big letters or pushed by the bar staff? They are in business. I get that but of course the liver does not care about that fact.
Also, gin, like most alcohol, has no nutritional value and you should never substitute alcohol for food.
What about alcohol FREE? Any good news
Many alcohol free drinks contain lots of sugar so it’s not all good news however in terms of beer, wine and gin you would definitely take the calories’ down a notch if you went in that direction and of course it is far better for health with overall natural botanicals still part of the mix but with no or very little trace alcohol.
Any beverage below 0.5 abv is classed as alcohol free and to be fair there is probably more in your bread rolls or orange juice as fermentation always causes some kind of trace alcohol in many of the foods that we eat.
Alcohol free gin is really an alcohol free spirit branded that way and for me ideal for pre-dinner choice and people who want to be social.
It really is the ideal option and the flavor packs a punch.
To be fair you do feel like you are having a celebratory moment. Other people also get intrigued by it so you don’t feel the pressure to drink alcohol.
Seedlip which is my choice of alcohol free gin at 00abv.com is made like any spirit of gin would be so you don’t miss out on the botanicals and this brand has every flavor going from berries to orange peel.
I give it 10/10.
A word of caution it is a quality product so it ain’t cheap and you would sometimes even pay more for it bizarrely than a straight house gin.
I also love watching people work out how to pour it. I had to tell the bar staff in my home town that they need to pour it just like alcoholic gin otherwise I would of needed a brandy to get over the price.
The good news is you keep a great fresh taste that you can savor but you get rid of the alcohol and the sugar. With a diet tonic say Fever Tree my preferred choice you are looking at around just over 5.2 calories’ if that.
If you really wanted to play the health card you are also getting the antioxidants through the botanicals and of course the biggie is its alcohol FREE!
I really recommend it and if you want to purchase it through my amazon affiliate link you would be supporting this site so thank you, Just click on picture below and it’s delivered really quick in my experience so ideally stock up for birthdays and celebrations.
If you have friends or family that don’t drink, having alternatives can really make someone’s night and take away any awkwardness. I have even known people who can’t drink switch to this and it means no hangover in the morning and they can enjoy their evening.
Did you know how many calories in gin?
No I not taking the idea of a good Gin and Tonic away in fact as a brand both alcohol and alcohol free is driving the market still with so many varieties. However, if you want to take even more calories’ out of the mix as well as the alcohol it might be time to switch to Seedlip, a quality brand that packs a punch.
What’s your take on gin and calories’? What is your favorite choice and have you tried alcoholic free spirit versions? I would love to hear your views and I always get back to you and respond.