How much sugar is in your flavoured gin and tonic?

Two double servings of flavoured gin could provide up to a third of the NHS maximum recommended daily intake of sugar, suggests a new report - and that’s without counting the sugars in your mixer.


Flavoured gins have exploded in popularity over the last 12 months, and with the arrival of summer, we’re set to see more people than ever before cradling a copa in gin gardens around the country.

What’s more, it’s the drink of choice for many of those who are also hoping to fit back into last summer’s wardrobe without having to undo the belt an extra notch, due to the comparatively low calorie count in a gin and tonic.

However, in contrast to standard gin, many of the top-selling flavoured gins in the UK contain a surprisingly large amount of sugar, reports the MailOnline.

According to the article, flavoured gins such as Gordon’s Pink Gin, Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin and Whitley Neill's Handcrafted Rhubarb & Ginger Gin all contain relatively high levels of sugar.

Whereas a non-flavoured traditional gin contains little or no sugar (the calories come from the alcohol), some flavoured gins contain up to 65g, the equivalent of 15 teaspoons, of sugar in a full bottle, reports the article.

  • A 50ml (a standard double serving) of flavoured gin might contain between 3 and 4.5 grams of sugar.

  • That’s before you count the calories from your mixer, tonic water or juice, which contain additional sugars (around 7g per 200ml serving for most ‘slimline’ tonics, and roughly 14-18g per 200ml serving for a standard tonic water).

  • The NHS recommends that adults consume no more than 30g of ‘free sugars’ per day. (‘Free sugars’ are those found in fizzy drinks, juice and alcoholic drinks of this sort, that have been steeped in sugar.)

By that benchmark, a double gin and tonic using one of the flavoured gins reported in the article by the MailOnline could contain up to half the recommended daily limit.

Research from the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) in its biannual public attitudes tracker in November 2018 revealed that concern about sugar has risen “more than any other concern” among the public, with over 55% of respondents worried about sugar consumption.

However, unlike soft drinks companies, alcohol brands are not required under current UK law to list ingredients, including sugar, on their labels.

It’s not all bad news for lovers of flavoured gins, though: the survey was sponsored by Greenall’s, whose Wild Berry Pink Gin contains no sugar.

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