Popular alcoholic drinks can pack a full meal's worth of calories, but the right choices can give you that buzz without the belly bulge, according to calorie data analyses.
For instance, a 12-ounce Long Island iced tea, made with vodka, tequila, rum, gin, sweet and sour mix and cola packs about 529 calories, according to alcohol information site Get Drunk Not Fat. That's more than the number of calories in a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese.
"Things that have more sugars in them, that probably are a little easier to drink in more than just a shot form, are probably going to have more calories in them," said Jessica Hunter, co-founder of Get Drunk Not Fat.
A 12-ounce vodka and Red Bull packs 366 calories and a 12-ounce margarita packs about 417 calories, according to the site.
For those looking to bring on the buzz with a drink that contains fewer calories, some beers would be a better option.
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Miller Lite, Natural Light and Yuengling Light contain fewer than 100 calories per 12 ounces, while Heineken Light packs 150 calories.
"The higher-calorie beers are always going to be the heavier ones, the ones that probably maybe taste a little bit better on the palate. Lower-calorie beers are going to be more straight-to-the-point beers," Hunter said.
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But some drinks labeled "light" or "skinny" aren't exactly low-calorie. Anheuser Busch's Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, at 6 percent alcohol by volume, contains 371 calories per 12 ounces; a Jose Cuervo Light Margarita contains 272 calories and a Skinnygirl White Peach Margarita contains 298 calories, according to the data.
Get Drunk Not Fat says it collects calorie data from individual distillers and brewers. Its data differs slightly from the drink calorie calculator offered by the National Institutes of Health for example.
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