Tequila is incredibly popular these days. The Mexican spirit can have huge amounts of complexity and has led to may new premium brands. Surely it isn’t too bad for you? It is true that there is usually no sugar or carbs in tequila but what about calories. How many calories does tequila have, is tequila zero calories?
How many calories does tequila have? Is it zero calories?
Unfortunately tequila is not zero calories. The USDA state a standard measure of tequila has 97 kcal per standard 1.5 fl oz shot. That equates to about 215kcal per 100ml of tequila. This is based on a 40% ABV tequila.
Some tequilas are 37.5%, others are export strength at 43.5%, these will have slightly more or less calories per serving.
What is a standard serving of tequila?
Tequila can come in lots of unique shapes, sizes, strengths and colours. What one person thinks of as a standard tequila might be completely different from someone else.
Luckily for everyone, the USDA and CDC have devised a list of “standard” alcoholic drinks. Each one contains the exact same amount of alcohol – 14g of alcohol (0.6 ounces).
Below is a list of the standard drinks, volumes and ABV that all give 14g of alcohol.
|Drink and volume||Alcohol content|
|12fl oz Beer||5%|
|5fl oz Wine||12%|
|1.5fl oz Spirit (e.g tequila)||40%|
From the information and definitions given to us by the USDA, we can see that a standard shot of tequila is 1.5fl oz.
So in the USA, a standard shot is 1.5fl oz of 45ml of tequila.
How many shots of tequila are in a bottle?
There are 16 full shots and very nearly 17 shots of tequila in a full bottle. A shot is 1.5fl oz and there are 25.4fl oz in a standard 750ml bottle of tequila. The precise answer is there are 16.91 shots of tequila in a bottle.
How many shots of tequila are in a handle?
There are 33.8 shots in a handle of vodka. A shot is 1.5fl oz and there are 50.7fl oz or 1750ml in a handle bottle of tequila. It represents half of a fluid gallon of tequila. A handle is over twice the size of a 750ml bottle of tequila.
How many calories are in a bottle of tequila?
If a 1.5fl oz shot of tequila is 97kcal and there are 16.91 shots in a bottle of tequila, that means a bottle of tequila contains 1640kcal.
How many calories are in a handle of tequila?
If a 1.5fl oz shot of tequila is 97kcal and there are 33.8 shots in a handle of tequila, that means a handle of tequila contains 3279kcal.
How many calories in different strengths of tequila?
All my calculations above are based on a vodka being 80% proof or 40% ABV. However, this might not be the only strength you might find, only what the CDC/USDA call standard to compare the alcohol in different drinks.
In the table below you can see the calories that would be in a shot of vodka for different strengths.
|ABV of vodka||Calories per 1.5fl oz shot|
How many shots of tequila to get drunk?
The CDC states it takes the average 160lb adult male, 4 standard tequilas to get drunk. A standard shot of tequila is 1.5fl oz and 40% ABV. The 4 tequilas have to be drank over 1-2 hours. If you are a female or lighter then it will take less tequila, if you are a significantly heavier male, it may take 5+ shots of tequila to get drunk.
You can check the math at my full article here
How many calories are in non alcoholic tequila?
Non alcoholic tequila can have as little as zero calories but the major brands have around 3-5kcal per 1.5fl oz shot. That means they have around 5% of the calories of alcoholic tequila.
What is the calorie difference in non alcoholic and alcoholic tequila?
The USDA state a standard measure of tequila has 97 kcal per 1.5 fl oz (44ml). We can use this as a decent generic reference point to start from.
I know there will be a large range within the craft tequila world with lots of new flavours, additives and alcohol contents but it acts as a good surrogate for comparison.
We can look at one household name regular tequila and then 2 of the new breed of non alcoholic tequilas
Non alcoholic tequila
- Clean T from Clean Co
- Ritual Tequila Alternative
|Tequila||Kcal count per 1.5 fl oz||% of calories||% of calories saved|
|Standard USDA measure tequila||97||100%||0%|
|Patrón Añejo 40%||98||101%||-1%|
|Patrón Silver 40%||99||102%||-2%|
|Clean T (Clean Co||12||12%||88%|
|Ritual Tequila Alternative||2||2%||98%|
As you can see, you can save massive amounts of calories when you ditch the alcohol.
Quite clearly if you are a regular tequila drinker, then swapping some or all of your drinks to a non alcoholic alternative will have a huge calorie saving.
Why are non alcoholic tequilas so much lower in calories?
The answer is how many calories are in alcohol.
|Substance||KCal per gram|
Gram for gram, alcohol contains much more calories than sugar and carbs. The alcohol free and non alcoholic tequilas have such a reduced calorie load due to the vast reduction in alcohol.
The flavoured alcohol free tequila is water based the agave essence which are virtually calorie free.
If you want a guilt free tequila then alcohol free and non alcoholic tequilas are the future.