Understanding the Variations of Alcohol

Understanding the Variations of Alcohol

There are many variations of alcohol and they differ in some aspects: the calories in vodka (25ml) differ from the calories in wine. When we talk about drinking alcohol, the next common question is “what kind” of alcohol.

Alcohol can be broken down into types, and then the types can have some variations within them as well.

The alcohol facts page would be able to provide you with some basic information including mixing alcohol with various medications as well as energy drinks.

This article could help provide some background information about the different types of alcohol options. This is written to be informational. Keep in mind that as time goes on, additional types of alcohol are found.

This article will provide you with a brief review regarding the use of alcohol since it was discovered, the different types of alcohol, as well a brief review of the calorie count for the various types of alcohol discussed in the article.

Brief History of Alcohol

The use of alcohol can be traced back in history to 10,000 BC. The result of natural fermentation was discovered by man in ancient times and was soon followed by purposeful production of beers and wines from starchy and sugary plants.

Nonetheless, how alcohol was exactly discovered remains a mystery, and many believe that it was an accidental find. Different cultures had different uses for alcohol throughout history.

Alcohol was believed to have nutritional and medicinal purposes in the past, and in some cultures this belief continues. Historically, wine was commonly used during religious ceremonies and events. This has continued to be a regular practice.

It is believed that beer was discovered before bread was made for the first time. The beer that was consumed in ancient times was much different than the beer we are used to in the present time, due to the access of tools and processes to make beer.

Beer is usually served cold or chilled in the present day, this would not have been the case historically.

An additional factor that can be traced back in history is problematic drinking. Ancient Romans documented that drinking games were common, and often times heavy drinking was encouraged.

However, even in that time, there appears to have been a negative stigma associated with heavy, prolonged drinking. Of course, it is difficult to know exactly what was observed then, we can assume that there were similarities to individuals who drink similarly in present times. Examples would be slurred speech, poor coordination, belligerence and poor decision making.

For further information regarding the history of alcohol, please follow the link.


Variations of Alcohol
Standard Drink Size

Since we will be going into different drink options, it would be beneficial to review the specifics of the standard drink sizes. Standard sizes may differ from what is consumed in our own homes, however, restaurants and other retailers of alcohol are more likely to comply with the sizes.

Keep in mind, however, that the amount of liquid in your bottle, glass, or can doesn’t necessarily match up to the amount of alcohol that is actually present in your drink.

Please note: ABV is referring to Alcohol by Volume, which is measuring the strength of the alcohol

· Beer (with 5% ABV)= 12 fluid ounces

· Malt Liquor (with 7% ABV)= 8-9 fluid ounces

· Table Wine (with 12 %ABV)= 5 fluid ounces

· Distilled Spirits (with 40% ABV)=  1.5 fluid ounce shot


Types of Alcohol

When we talk about alcohol, there are Variations of Alcohol that we could be referring to. There are differences between the types, so this may be an important piece to be aware of.

Differences can include the strength of the alcohol as well as the calories in each.The differences can be observed with the different makers and brands of the alcohol type.

Below are the different types of alcohol that are used for drinking:

  • Beer
  • Spirits
  • Wine
  • Cider

Looking at Beer

Studies suggest that moderate drinking of beer may offer greater cardiovascular benefits than spirits.

When we look at beer, there are a few different kinds to think of. As time goes on, new ways of crafting beers is being discovered which leads to the addition of new types to add to the list. This means that this list could likely grow over time to include other variations.

 The typical options for beers include:

  •  Lagers
  •  Ales
  •  Fruit Beers
  • Wheat Beers
  •  Craft Beers
  •  Alcohol Free Beers

When we look at the options for beers, you will likely find variations within each category, especially with the craft beers. There will be differences within their caloric content as well as the percentage of alcohol.

Thus, people could expect different effects from consuming different types of alcoholic drinks. The observation with craft beers is that the beers with a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) count tend to have more calories than those with a lower APV.

Unlike other alcohol options, beers do not need to be mixed with other beverages so the caloric content is referring to the beer itself. Beer is usually served chilled or refrigerated.

For further information regarding the caloric content of different beers options, please follow the link.

Looking at Cider

Unlike the other alcohol categories, when we talk about cider, we are referring to a type of alcohol that is made from fermented apples. This category does not have the variations as the other types of alcohol mentioned above.

Variations within cider may be specific to other flavors added or the maker of the cider, however it does not contain a variety of options as with other alcohol options. Differences can be seen among the different brands and makers.

For further information regarding the caloric content of different ciders options, please follow the link.

Brief Look into Calories Found in Alcohol Options

Above we mentioned that the different alcohol options will have differences in their caloric intake. Below we will take a quick look at the different caloric contents of alcohol. A more in depth look at the different caloric contents, please follow the link.


  • Ales- Approximately 83 calories per bottle
  • Lagers- Approximately 91 calories per bottle
  • Fruit Beers- Can vary, approximately 200 calories per bottle
  • Wheat Beers- Approximately 150 calories per bottle
  • Craft Beers- Can vary from 100 calories to over 200. Craft beers with higher APV tend to have a higher calorie count
  • Alcohol Free Beers- Can vary from 120 to 200 calories depending on the brand and style of beer


  • Vodka- Approximately 97 calories for a single serving
  • Whiskey- Approximately 97 calories for a single serving
  • Tequila- Approximately 97 calories for a single serving
  • Rum- Approximately 96 calories for a single serving
  • Absinthe- Approximately 155 calories for a single serving
  • Gin- Approximately 72 calories for a single serving
  • Liqueurs- Can vary from approximately 119 calories to 176 calories for a single serving


  • Red Wine- Approximately 124 calories per glass
  • White Wine- Approximately 120 calories per glass
  • Rose Wine- Approximately 75 calories per glass
  • Champagne- Approximately 78 calories per champagne glass (4.1 fluid ounces)
  • Fortified Wines-Can range from approximately 60 calories to 157 calories per glass
  • Ice Wines- Approximately 115 calories in a 50 ml serving


  • Can vary from approximately 96 calories to 140 calories per serving

As stated earlier, it is common for some of the alcohol types to be mixed with other beverages. This could include cola, lemonades and fruit juices. If this is the case, you would need to account the calories from the other beverage to find out the true caloric value of the beverage.

“If you’re unsure whether alcohol may be a problem, speak with one of our supportive counselors. With many having first-hand experience they understand the struggle. The free chat is confidential & they are available 24/7.”

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