What Alcoholic Drink Is the Worst for You?

By Judy Antell

While some studies show that red wine has health benefits, for both the heart and cancer prevention, hard liquor has no known health benefits. And if you have a drinking problem, or are taking medication like antibiotics, any alcohol is bad for you.



Martinis may be the 'least bad' of hard liquor drinks, since they consist of gin (traditionally) or vodka (popularized over the last 15 or so years). This holds true for classic martinis only, made of either liquor and a bit of vermouth, but with no other mixer. Gin and vodka have 65 calories per ounce, the lowest of any hard liquor.

New Martinis

Appletinis and other sweet martinis have ingredients like apple schnapps, which are high in sugar and calories. If you are watching your weight or are diabetic, you should avoid these drinks.


Regular beer has more carbohydrates than any other drink, so if you are watching your weight, or need to limit carbs for any health reason, beer is a poor choice.


An 8 oz. margarita has about 450 calories, and a frozen margarita has over 700. If you are an adult on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, you are drinking over a third of your calories in one frozen drink. Margaritas, made with tequila and lime are high in sugar, and they are also unhealthy for those on low salt diets, since the rim or the glass is typically salted.

Pina Colada

An 8 oz. pina colada, a mixture of rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream, has the highest calorie count, over 800 calories. It has fat from the coconut and sugar from the juice. And instead of fresh juice, some margaritas are made with commercial mixes that contain high fructose corn syrup. This is one drink to be avoided.