How many units are in whisky?

The number of units in a dram can vary slightly depending on the make and style of the whisky. However, a standard shot of whisky is normally around one unit of alcohol. A 70cl bottle of 40% abv whisky will have around 28 units of alcohol in it. This means that more than the recommended number of units for an entire week can be found in just one bottle of whisky!

Whisky and other spirits have a significantly higher ABV (alcohol by volume) than drinks such as wine and beer, so it is important to be cautious with your measures and to keep an eye on how many units you are consuming.

Calculating units

Calculating units can sometimes seem a little confusing. However, it is actually much more straightforward than it seems. Simply multiply the volume of the drink in millilitres with the ABV of drink. Then, take this number and divide it by 1,000. The number that you are left with is how many units of alcohol there are in your drink. Simple!

How many calories are in whisky?

Just like with the number of units in a whisky, the number of calories can differ slightly depending on the type of whisky you are drinking. Some will be slightly more calorific than others, however, the difference will never be too drastic. On average, a single shot of whisky is around 105 calories. The average bottle of whisky contains around 1,500 calories.

These calories only apply if you are drinking your whisky by itself. If you have it with a mixer or in a cocktail, these calories will increase depending on the other ingredients in the drink.

Whisky is significantly less calorific than beer and wine as carbohydrates are completely stripped from the drink during the distillation process. There may be trace amounts of sugar in certain whiskies depending on the type of barrel that they have been matured in, however, it is never enough that it would have a real impact on the number of calories in the dram. The calories in spirits come almost completely from the alcohol itself.

Tips to monitor your whisky intake

Be careful with measures. If you are having a whisky at home, it can be easy to overestimate a standard measure and you may end up drinking more alcohol than you initially intended to. It may be worthwhile investing in a jigger to ensure that you are pouring exact measures. This is an especially worthwhile purchase if you consider yourself as a bit of a mixologist and enjoy making cocktails at home. This is a safer way to concoct a dram as opposed to free pouring your alcohol and allows you to properly track your units.

Be sure to check the ABV of every whisky that you drink. While lots of drams sit around the 40% mark, there are some that are significantly higher, such as cask strength whiskies which are often closer to 50-60%. These whiskies will contain more units of alcohol than whiskies with a lower ABV so be sure to do your calculations to be safe. The ABV is listed on the label on the whisky bottle. If you are in a bar or restaurant, you can ask your server to check this for you.

Know your limits

It is recommended that men shouldn't regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol per day and women shouldn't regularly drink more than 2-3 units of alcohol per day.

Regularly drinking over the recommended amount of alcohol can lead to health complications down the line, including high blood pressure and heart disease. Please make sure that you are drinking cautiously and responsibly.

Working out the number of units and calories in a bottle of whisky is actually much more straightforward than you may initially think. By doing so, you are being much safer in the way that you consume your alcohol as you are aware of exactly what you are putting into your body. Now, pour yourself a whisky and drink with the peace of mind that comes with a perfectly measured dram!