When asking about how many calories in vodka, remember to add the calorie count of anything you mix it with, such as tonic water, soda pop, seltzer water, etc. These can vary by brand so are not mentioned here. Be sure to include any extra shots of other liquors in your calorie count as well.
Most of the major types of hard liquors have the same number of calories. Tequila, whiskey, gin and rum also have about 100 to 125 calories per 1.5 oz shot, or jigger.
Higher proof vodkas made in Poland are rarely seen on the American market, but because they do exist, and can be brought in through customs by travelers, here are the caloric values:
86 proof,. 28 grams (1 fluid oz) = 69 calories
86 proof, 42 grams (1.5 fluid oz) = 105 calories
90 proof, 28 grams (1 fluid oz) = 73 calories
90 proof, 42 grams (1.5 fluid oz) = 110 calories
94 proof, 28 grams (1 fluid oz) = 77 calories
94 proof, 42 grams (1.5 fluid oz) = 116 calories
100 proof, 28 grams (1 fluid oz) = 82 calories
100 proof, 42 grams (1.5 fluid oz) = 124 calories
Vanilla Vodka, one shot, 42 grams (1.5 fluid oz) = 82 calories
Citrus Vodka, one shot, 42 grams (1.5 fluid oz) = 87 calories
Vodkas Made From Fruit:
Generally, one shot, 42 grams (1.5 fluid oz) = 90 to 95 calories, but can vary widely.
Vodka-Flavored Pre-Mixed Drinks
So, what is vodka?
Vodka is a distilled beverage composed primarily of alcohol (in the form of ethanol) and water that may or may not have traces of impurities or flavorings. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE), which is responsible for spirits sold in the United States, vodka is defined as a neutral spirit “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” Sounds pretty appetizing, doesn’t it?
But even for all its plainness, Vodka is traditionally consumed alone, or by itself, in the “Vodka Belt” countries that surround the Baltic Sea and in many Eastern European countries. In North America, vodka is more commonly used as an ingredient in cocktails and mixed drinks than alone. A straight, neat, on-the-rocks, shot of 100-calorie vodka can quickly become a 300-calorie mixed drink if you aren’t paying attention.
Vodka also has a minimum alcohol content that it must reach before it can be considered “vodka” and there does not appear to be an official upper limit, but 50% is usually as high as it gets. The European Union has established a minimum of 37.5% ABV for any “European vodka” to be called vodka. In the United States, to be called “vodka”, it must have an alcoholic content of 30% or more. Traditionally Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, Latvian and Lithuanian vodkas are 40% alcohol by volume (ABV) or 80 proof but they also create much higher alcohol contents as well.
Vodka is also known as a “hard liquor” and contains no carbohydrates, no protein and no fat.
So, where do the calories come from of from carbohydrates, proteins or fats?
It comes from the alcohol itself.
Alcohol is neither a sugar nor a carbohydrate, but it does contains 7 calories per gram, which is much higher than sugar at 4 calories per gram, but less than fat at 9 calories per gram. And since hard liquors are more concentrated sources of alcohol than wine or beer, they tend to be higher in calories per ounce. So, one shot of vodka has an amount of alcohol comparable to the alcohol in a full glass of wine or half a glass of beer.
However, just to complicate things even more, alcohol content is measured in percentages not in grams. Yet, it is usually sold labeled with “proof” value rather than the percentage value. But, not to worry! The powers that be made it easy for you! The proof value of an alcoholic beverage is always double the alcohol percentage by volume. This translates to vodka that may be listed as 80 proof actually being 40% alcohol by volume.
How are alcohol hard liquors, or spirits like vodka actually made?
The type of alcohol that is in vodka is known as “ethanol” Ethanol, is made by a process known as fermentation, in which yeast (a starch) breaks down sugar (carbohydrates) into a combination of ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This is done in an anaerobic environment (where no air is present). When the fermentation is complete, and the container is opened to the air, the carbon dioxide gas bubbles simply dissipate out into the atmosphere leaving only ethanol and water behind. Vodka, and other distilled spirits, such as gin, rum, and whiskey, go through a distilling process to separate the ethanol from the water.
Different sources of sugar, or carbohydrates, are used for creating vodka and this results in different flavors and different alcohol content levels. The sugar from grapes creates wine; while wheat, rye, and barley (alone or in combination), potatoes, beets, corn, molasses, sugar cane, and even milk. along with a variety of other plants and fruits are used to make vodka. More recently, hemp seeds have been used to make vodka in Russia.
Grain-based vodkas are the most popular and tend to be smooth and may even taste fruity. Vegetable-based vodkas, such as potato vodka are often thought of as harsh and medicinal, though the Chopin brand has laid that argument to rest.