Are you trying to cut back on sugar but still want to enjoy a drink or two?
You’re not alone. Many people are looking for low-sugar options when it comes to alcohol.
But with so many choices out there, it can be hard to know which ones are the best.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the alcohols with the least amount of sugar.
From hard spirits to wine and beer, we’ve got you covered.
So sit back, relax, and read on to find out which drinks you can enjoy guilt-free.
What Alcohol Has The Least Amount Of Sugar In It?
When it comes to alcohol, the ones with the least amount of sugar are hard spirits like gin, vodka, whiskey, and rum. These drinks are typically made from grains or potatoes and are distilled to remove impurities and sugars.
In fact, clear liquors like vodka, tequila, and gin are lowest in sugar and calories and are easiest for our bodies to metabolize. They contain nearly entirely ethanol without added sugar, making them a great option for those looking to cut back on sugar.
For example, a standard 1.5-ounce shot of tequila has only 97 calories and no carbs or sugar, according to the USDA. Whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum are also low in sugar and calories, with roughly 110 calories per shot.
Why Sugar Content In Alcohol Matters
While alcohol itself does not contain sugar, many alcoholic beverages are mixed with sugary ingredients like fruit juices, syrups, or sodas. This can lead to a high sugar content in some drinks, which can have negative effects on blood sugar levels.
For example, a 4-ounce pina colada contains a whopping 28 grams of added sugar, while a 1.5-ounce shot of creme de menthe contains 21 grams of sugar. These added sugars can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess.
It is important for individuals with diabetes or those watching their sugar intake to be aware of the sugar content in their alcoholic beverages. Opting for low-sugar options like hard spirits or choosing mixers with no added sugars can help keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent unwanted weight gain.
Additionally, alcohol can have a confusing effect on blood sugar levels because it prevents the liver from producing glucose. This can lead to hypoglycemia after a night of drinking. Therefore, it is advisable to test blood sugar levels whenever possible to get an idea of how different drinks affect your sugar levels.
Understanding The Sugar Content In Different Types Of Alcohol
While hard spirits like gin, vodka, whiskey, and rum are generally low in sugar, the sugar content in other types of alcohol can vary significantly. For example, beer can contain between 0-35 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving, while wine can contain between 1-25 grams of sugar per 5-ounce serving.
It’s important to note that the sugar content in alcoholic beverages doesn’t come from the alcohol itself, but rather from added sugars or natural sugars found in the ingredients used to make the drink. For example, a 4-ounce pina colada contains a whopping 28 grams of added sugar, while a 5-ounce glass of red or white wine contains about 1 gram of sugar that comes from the grapes.
When it comes to mixed drinks, it’s important to be mindful of the mixers used. Many mixers like orange juice, tonic water, and soda contain high amounts of added sugars that can quickly add up. Opting for sugar-free or low-sugar mixers like club soda, diet tonic water, or fresh citrus juices can help reduce your overall sugar intake.
Hard Spirits With The Least Amount Of Sugar
If you’re specifically looking for hard spirits with the least amount of sugar, then gin, vodka, and whiskey are your best bet. Gin is made from juniper berries and other botanicals, while vodka is made from grains or potatoes. Whiskey is typically made from grains like barley, rye, or corn. All three of these spirits are distilled to remove impurities and sugars, resulting in a drink that is low in sugar and calories.
A standard 1.5-ounce shot of gin has roughly 110 calories and no sugar or carbs. Vodka and whiskey also have a similar calorie count per shot and no sugar or carbs. It’s important to note that while hard spirits may not contain sugar, they can still be high in calories if mixed with sugary mixers like juice or soda.
So, if you’re looking for a low-sugar option for your next drink, consider opting for a simple gin and tonic or a whiskey on the rocks. Just be sure to watch out for added sugars in mixers and keep your portions in check to maintain a healthy balance.
Low-sugar Wine Options
For those who prefer wine, there are also low-sugar options available. Dry wines tend to have the least amount of residual sugar, making them a great choice for those watching their sugar intake. Dry red wines like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah/Shiraz usually have less than one gram of sugar per five-ounce pour. Dry whites like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Viognier have between one and 1.5 grams of sugar per five ounces. Low-sugar sparkling wines like Brut and Extra Brut have about two grams of sugar per five ounces.
Organic wineries like La Cappucinna also offer low-sugar options. Their Pinot Grigio has a lower ABV of 12.5%, meaning it contains less sugar than the average glass of white wine. Merlot is another type of wine with low residual sugar content, with an average sugar content of about 0.91 grams per pour in a 5-ounce glass.
It’s important to note that the sugar content in wine can vary greatly depending on the fermentation period and winemaker’s production methods. When in doubt, opt for dry white wines as these tend to have the lowest amount of sugars (and calories). Biodynamic wines don’t use any additives or added sugars, so those are also good options to consider.
Low-sugar Beer Options
If you prefer beer over hard liquor, there are still options with low sugar content. Light beers and low carb beers are typically lower in sugar than regular beers. For instance, a 12-ounce serving of light beer contains around 0.3 grams of sugar and 5.9 grams of carbs. On the other hand, a regular beer has about 0 grams of sugar and 12.8 grams of carbs per serving.
Non-alcoholic beer, on the other hand, contains the highest amount of sugar among all types of beer, with 28.5 grams of carbs and sugar per 12-ounce serving. However, non-alcoholic beer is still an option for those who want to avoid alcohol altogether.
It’s important to note that while light beers and low carb beers may be lower in sugar than regular beer, they still contain carbs that can affect blood sugar levels. It’s also important to drink in moderation and be aware of the calorie content of your drinks, as alcohol is a significant source of calories even without added sugars.
Mixers To Avoid For A Low-sugar Cocktail
While hard spirits are low in sugar, it’s important to watch out for mixers that can quickly add up the sugar and calorie count. Juices, simple syrup, and soda are all high in sugar and should be avoided if you’re looking for a low-sugar cocktail. Instead, opt for mixers like sparkling water, tonic water, diet sodas, or sugar-free juices.
Premade cocktail mixers should also be avoided as they often contain added sugars and artificial flavors. It’s important to read the labels of any mixer you plan on using to ensure it doesn’t contain added sugars.
If you’re looking to add some flavor to your low-sugar cocktail, consider adding fresh fruits like berries, citrus fruits, or herbs like mint or basil. These natural ingredients will add flavor without adding any extra sugar or calories.