Warmer days are just around the corner, and for many of us that conjures up images of sitting in the garden, savouring an ice cold alcoholic beverage. If a gin and tonic is your drink of choice, you’re not alone. Sales of gin – particularly UK-made – have been booming since the pandemic, with people looking to collect a selection of both traditional and flavoured gins they can enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
In fact, the amount of ginoisseurs (we’ll take credit for coining that word, thank you very much!) has grown so much, that the amount of UK distilleries grew by a whopping 110 in 2021! We wrote a blog post about gin’s popularity here.
So, gin’s here to stay (phew!) but, what if you’re looking to balance a little weekend indulgence with watching your waistline? How many calories does a G&T contain? And is tonic water as healthy as it sounds?
Well, let’s break this down, because of course, while gin and tonic enjoy a very happy and enduring marriage, you can drink gin without the tonic. (In fact, Sing Gin is just perfect when enjoyed neat – try freezing it!) so we’ll look at gin first.
When it comes to the UK’s most popular gin brands, the calorie content varies pretty significantly. The average number of calories in a standard 25ml serving of gin, though, is 64, and it can be as low as 54. Not bad at all! Neat gin is one of the lowest calorie alcoholic drinks you can choose.
Always the one who asks for a double? You’ll be looking at around 108 calories. All alcohol contains empty calories, but so far, so good for finding a drink you can still relish while watching your weight.
Although it has an interesting story behind it (we’ll save that tale for a future read!) pink gin today is simply gin that has been flavoured with fruits. So it has the same calorific value as its normal gin counterparts. Why is it pink? It’s thanks to the colour of the fruits used! Strawberries, raspberries, currants and cranberries are all fruits that impart both pink gin’s fun colour and sweet, berry notes.
So, no need to choose between normal gin and pink gin when on a diet – it comes down to what you’re in the mood for!
The words ‘tonic’ and ‘water’ mean our favourite mixer is often associated with health benefits. It does sound as though it’s come straight out of a Scarborough spa, in our view! Tonic water is carbonated water with quinine, a natural substance from the Peruvian cinchona tree. But of course tonic water contains a sweetness designed to perfectly complement the piney taste of gin, so you’d be right in assuming there’s a fair amount of sugar or fructose corn syrup in there, and that’s where those sneaky calories lurk.
What’s the damage? For traditional tonic water – as with gin – it varies by brand, but you’re looking at somewhere in the region of 21-31 calories per 100ml serving of tonic water.
Compared to other soft drinks this is a pretty good result. If you want to push down that calorie number as much as possible, though, you might choose to go for a slimline tonic water. Again, depending on the brand, you could imbibe as little as 2-18 calories per 100ml!
To create the best gin and tonic you’ve ever had, you’ll need 50ml Sing Gin (always a double!) and a Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic. All in all you’ll be looking at 144 calories, or a single Sing & Tonic will be 80 calories. Click here to purchase a bottle with next day delivery.
We feel duty-bound to point out, being the makers of beautiful gin made from Spanish grapes that we are, that diet tonic waters usually contain artificial sweeteners, like any other diet drink. While they’re certainly lighter on calories, some will argue they don’t carry flavour as well, or the sweetness can fight with the flavours of the gin. If you’re looking to keep those calories down, we’d recommend you opt for a light tonic water such as Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Mediterranean Tonic. They usually contain less sugar than their traditional counterparts, rather than an artificial replacement, allowing the gin’s nuanced botanicals to still come through beautifully.
Lots of us have our absolute favourite mixers and wouldn’t want to compromise, but if you still want to be able to enjoy a drink and lose weight too, a slimline mixer can be a nice, easy swap. That alone should save you around 60 calories.
If you want to be strict about losing weight, forgoing alcohol altogether is the best route. We say, though, that a healthy balance is the best way to meet your weight loss goals while still enjoying life’s small pleasures.
With that in mind, a gin and tonic is one of the lowest calorie alcoholic drinks you can choose. On the same side of the scales is red wine, wavering around 105 calories per serving, neat spirits, such as vodka, tequila or whisky, which, like gin, can be enjoyed on the rocks (ice makes any drink feel that little bit more special!) and… for the decadent among you, champagne comes in at around 85 calories per serving.
Many cocktails, lager and craft beer are best avoided when on a strict diet. Those tend to contain as many calories as a naughty snack or a meal.
All in all, great news for sipping a gin and tonic while watching your waistline! All alcohol should, of course, be enjoyed in moderation, but being mindful of calories doesn’t mean you have to cut it out entirely.
If you are looking to equip yourself with everything you need for those summer afternoons in the garden, or a gift for a calorie-mindful friend, our Gin Lovers’ Dream Hamper, including a range of tonics with different calorie contents – from a fruity light rhubarb & raspberry tonic, to the sweet floral notes in the Mediterranean tonic – is the perfect option!
We reckon those summer afternoons in the garden are looking even more inviting now! If you fancy spending your calorie quota on an award-winning gin with seven hand-crushed botanicals, step this way. We promise you’ll never need to utter, “that wasn’t worth the calories”!
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