Calories in Mead

I’ve talked to several people who want to know how many calories and/or carbs they are drinking in wine.  Here are a couple of ways to figure it.

To get a general idea of calories FROM ALCOHOL in your wine you first need to know how many grams of alcohol you are dealing with:

To find the grams of alcohol in your drink:

(Volume (ml) x ABV% x 8)/1000

Once you have the grams in your wine, multiply that by 7 (alcohol is 7 calories per gram) (formula from  This is not counted as fat, carbs, or protein.  It is in fact the fourth macronutrient but is often ignored as such.

So, for example, let’s take a 6 oz glass of 11% ABV wine, completely dry (FG 1.000): 117.441ml x 11% x 8/1000 = 10.3348 grams of alcohol in that 6 oz.  Multiply that by 7 for 72.34 calories.

What about residual sugar?

Keep in mind that sugar (or any carbohydrate) is 4 calories per gram.  This can get more tricky.  If you ferment your mead to dryness, then backsweeten, it is easier to figure.  For example, I often backsweeten with 1/4 Cup of honey per gallon.  I then can figure out the calories in that and divide it by the ounce, thus figuring out how many of those calories end up in my glass.  Also, because sugar is lower calories per gram than alcohol, a dry but higher ABV wine may have more calories than a lower ABV with some residual sweetness.

For example, a 1/4 C of Honey is about 250 Calories (62.5g sugar).  I put that in an entire gallon of mead. There are 128 oz in an US gallon.  Therefore, there are about two calories per ounce (about .5g of carbs).

So, back to our above example: Say we have 6 oz of the same 11% ABV wine, that I backsweetened with 1/4 Cup of honey (and end with a FG of about 1.003).  We know it was 72.34 calories and now we add about 12 calories (3g carbs) to that and have a total of 84.34 calories for those 6 oz of mead.

Notice I say “about” a lot.  That is because each type of honey has different levels of sugars, and viscosity, this amount is the closest estimate I could find from different resources.  This is why bakers go by weight of ingredients and not liquid measurements. Also, why can’t the USA figure out the metric system?

Some Conversions for your Convenience:

  • 1 oz = 29.5735 ml
  • 1.5 oz (shot glass) = 44.3603 ml
  • 4 oz = 118.294 ml
  • 6 oz = 177.441 ml
  • 8 oz (1 cup) = 236.588ml
  • 12 oz (soda/beer can) = 354.882 ml
  • 1 US Gal = 128 oz
  • 750 ml (bottle of wine) = 25.3605 fluid oz
  • 375 ml (half bottle) = 12.6803 fluid oz
  • 1/4 C white sugar = 194 calories
  • 1/4 C honey = 250 calories
  • 1/4 C Maple Syrup = 210 calories