Buzz Balls are a popular ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage that combine wine, spirits, and flavorings. With sweet flavors like watermelon, lemonade, and cherry, Buzz Balls may seem like a tasty lower calorie cocktail option. But how many calories are actually in one Buzz Ball? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Buzz Ball?
A Buzz Ball is a pre-made alcoholic beverage that combines wine, distilled spirits, and natural flavors. Buzz Balls have an alcohol content around 15% ABV (alcohol by volume). They come in 11.2 fluid ounce single-serve bottles with screw tops, making them convenient and portable.
Buzz Balls were created in the 1990s and have expanded to over 25 flavor varieties. Some of the most popular Buzz Ball flavors include:
- Long Island Iced Tea
- Jungle Juice
The sweet fruity flavors and higher alcohol content make Buzz Balls appealing to many drinkers looking for a ready-to-enjoy cocktail. They are especially popular for events, parties, and occasions when premixed drinks are convenient.
Nutritional Profile of Buzz Balls
Even though Buzz Balls may taste like juice or soda, they definitely don’t have the same nutritional profile. Here is an overview of the key nutritional facts for a standard 11.2 oz Buzz Ball:
- Calories: Around 285-350 calories per bottle
- Carbohydrates: 18-25 grams
- Sugar: 15-22 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
As you can see, the majority of calories in a Buzz Ball come from carbohydrates and sugar. The high sugar content explains the sweet fruity taste. But there is minimal protein or fat.
Calorie Range of Buzz Ball Flavors
While all Buzz Balls have a similar base, the specific flavors can vary slightly in their calorie content. Here is an overview of the range of calories across popular Buzz Ball varieties:
|Buzz Ball Flavor||Calories|
|Long Island Iced Tea||326 calories|
|Jungle Juice||346 calories|
As you can see, calories range from 285 to 346 per 11.2 oz bottle, depending on the specific Buzz Ball flavor. The fruit flavors like watermelon tend to be lower in calories, while the long island iced tea and jungle juice flavors are higher in calories.
Comparing Calories to Other Alcohol
At over 300 calories per bottle, Buzz Balls contain a significant amount of calories compared to other types of alcohol. Here is how they compare per standard serving size:
- Beer (12oz serving): Around 150 calories for a light beer
- Wine (5oz glass): Around 120 calories for red, 100 for white
- Vodka (1.5oz shot): Around 100 calories per shot
- Buzz Ball (11.2oz bottle): 285-350 calories
Per ounce, a Buzz Ball contains almost 3 times as many calories as beer or wine. The sugar content of Buzz Balls contributes to their higher calorie density compared to drier alcoholic drinks.
Factors that Affect Buzz Ball Calories
While the typical range is 285-350 calories per bottle, there are some factors that can cause slight variations in the calorie content of Buzz Balls:
Flavors and Sweeteners
The ingredients and sweeteners used to flavor Buzz Balls can impact calorie content. Added fruit juices will add natural sugars, while artificial sweeteners may reduce calories. For example, the watermelon flavor may use more fruit juice than the iced tea flavor.
Buzz Balls with higher alcohol content will generally contain more calories. For example, the Long Island Iced Tea flavor could potentially be slightly higher in alcohol (and calories) than a Peach Buzz Ball.
Batch to Batch Variations
Slight natural variations between production batches may cause up to 5-10% variation in calorie content between different bottles. So one Watermelon Buzz Ball may have 10-15 calories more or less than another bottle.
Does Mixing Buzz Balls Change the Calories?
Buzz Balls are premixed and ready-to-drink right out of the bottle. However, some people enjoy pouring them over ice or mixing with soda or juice. Here’s how that affects calories:
- Ice: Adding ice doesn’t change the calorie content – it just dilutes the beverage slightly.
- Soda Water: Mixing with zero-calorie soda water won’t add any calories. The Buzz Ball calories stay the same.
- Juice or Regular Soda: Adding caloric mixers like juice, cola, or lemon-lime soda will increase the total calorie count. For example, mixing a 300 calorie Buzz Ball with 150 calories worth of juice would make it 450 calories total.
The best option to avoid increasing your calorie intake would be mixing Buzz Balls with zero-calorie soda water or drink them straight from the bottle as intended.
Lower Calorie Alternatives to Buzz Balls
At over 300 calories each, Buzz Balls contain a hefty amount of calories in a small package. Here are some ideas for lower calorie alternatives if you are looking to moderate your calorie intake from alcoholic beverages:
Low-Calorie Beer or Wine
Choosing light beer or dry wine is a much lower calorie option than Buzz Balls. A 5oz glass of wine or 12oz light beer will be around 100 calories or less.
Spirits with Zero-Calorie Mixers
Opt for spirits like vodka, rum, gin, or tequila mixed with zero calorie tonics, sodas, or sparkling water. Add fresh fruit like lemons, limes, or berries to infuse flavor. The total will be under 150 calories.
Spa resorts and health-focused bars have crafted skinny cocktails using low calorie ingredients like cucumber, herbs, citrus, and zero calorie sweeteners. Look for light mojitos, skinny margaritas, or low-calorie martinis.
For a wine-based drink, make spritzers by mixing 3oz dry wine with 3oz sparkling water or diet soda. The total will be around 100 calories.
Nutrition Tips for Drinking Buzz Balls
If you want to occasionally enjoy drinking Buzz Balls while keeping nutrition in mind, here are some tips:
- Budget the calories into your daily intake. Make adjustments to stay on track.
- Alternate with non-alcoholic drinks like water to help pace yourself and stay hydrated.
- Avoid mixing with high-calorie sodas or juices to prevent excess calorie intake.
- Eat a healthy meal before or while drinking to help absorb the alcohol.
- Keep Buzz Ball portions moderate – they have more calories than lighter drinks.
The Bottom Line
So how many calories are in a Buzz Ball? On average, you can expect most Buzz Ball flavors to contain between 285-350 calories per 11.2oz bottle. That’s nearly 3 times as many calories as beer or wine per ounce.
Factors like flavor, alcohol content, and batch variations may cause slight differences in calories between bottles. Mixing Buzz Balls with zero-calorie soda water won’t add any calories, but regular sodas or juices can add to the total per serving.
While they are higher in calories, Buzz Balls can be worked into a balanced diet in moderation. Just be sure to account for the calories and pair with healthy eating habits if enjoying these boozy, fruity concoctions.