Top 10 Drinks Highest in Alcohol

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

Alcohol is a depressant found in drinks. In small quantities, alcohol can lead to reduced anxiety, but in large quantities, can lead to impaired judgment, unconsciousness, and even death via alcohol poisoning. Due to these inherent dangers in alcohol, consumption is regulated to older adults and banned from children. Pregnant and lactating women should also avoid consumption of alcohol since it can harm their babies.

Moderate consumption of alcohol (1-2 drinks a day) is associated with health benefits such as reduced risk of all mortality (death) among middle-aged adults, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. This is especially true when consumed in a social setting.

Conversely, over-consumption of alcohol (more than 2 drinks a day) has serious health risks, including increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and cognitive decline. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking also lead to short term loss of judgment, leading to 79,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. Over-consumption of alcohol should be taken seriously as a health threat.

High alcohol drinks include whiskey, liquors, wines, and beers. The amount of alcohol for each drink is given in grams. While no official recommended daily intake (RDI) of alcohol is given, we chose to use 20 grams, which is equal to the amount of alcohol in one can of a normal beer (or 1 drink). So when you see the percent recommended daily intake (%RDI) it is the amount of alcohol in one drink. It is a bit of an underestimate to emphasize the need for moderation.

The amount of alcohol a person can tolerate depends on a variety of factors, but the most important are their body size, weight, and the amount of water in their body. It is recommended that you consume alcohol with water and/or food. Below are the top 10 drinks highest in alcohol, with the %RDI, and amount of calories in each drink.


Liquor Bottles

#1: Distilled Liquors (Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey) 100 Proof (50% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (28g)1 jigger (1.5 fl oz) (42g)
43g (304% RDI) (295 calories) 12g (85% RDI) (82 calories)18g (128% RDI) (124 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


A glass of creme de menthe

#2: Flavored Liquors (Creme De Menthe) 72 Proof (36% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (34g)1 jigger (1.5 fl oz) (50g)
30g (213% RDI) (371 calories) 10g (72% RDI) (125 calories)15g (107% RDI) (186 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


A glass of coffee liquor

#3: Coffee Liqueur 63 Proof (31% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (35g)1 jigger (1.5 fl oz) (52g)
26g (186% RDI) (308 calories) 9g (65% RDI) (107 calories)14g (97% RDI) (160 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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A carafe and cup of sake

#4: Sake (Rice Wine) 7%-20% ABV
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (29g)1 Glass (5 fl oz) (145g)
16g (115% RDI) (134 calories) 5g (33% RDI) (39 calories)25g (165% RDI) (195 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


A glass of dessert wine

#5: Sweet Dessert Wine (Port) (12%-20% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (30g)1 small glass (3.5 fl oz) (103g)
15g (109% RDI) (160 calories) 5g (32% RDI) (47 calories)16g (112% RDI) (165 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


A glass of coffee cream liquor

#6: Coffee Liqueur With Cream 34 Proof (17% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (31g)1 jigger (1.5 fl oz) (47g)
14g (99% RDI) (327 calories) 4g (31% RDI) (102 calories)6g (47% RDI) (154 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


A glass of red wine

#7: Red Table Wine (Mouvedre) (10%-16% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (29g)1 glass 5 fl oz (147g)
11g (80% RDI) (88 calories) 3g (24% RDI) (26 calories)16g (118% RDI) (129 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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A glass of white wine

#8: White Table Wine (Pinot Grigio) (8-15% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (29g)1 glass (5 fl oz) (147g)
11g (76% RDI) (83 calories) 3g (22% RDI) (24 calories)16g (112% RDI) (122 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


A glass of craft beer

#9: Beer (Higher Alcohol) (7%-11% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (31g)1 bottle (355g)
8g (55% RDI) (58 calories) 2g (17% RDI) (18 calories)27g (195% RDI) (206 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


A glass of beer

#10: Beer (Regular or Light) (2%-5% ABV)
Alcohol in 100g 1 fl oz (30g)1 can (356g)
4g (28% RDI) (43 calories) 1g (8% RDI) (13 calories)14g (100% RDI) (153 calories)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.