Are you on a low carb or keto diet but still want to enjoy a drink every now and then?
You’re in luck! There are plenty of alcoholic beverages that are low in carbs and sugar, making them a great option for those watching their intake.
From champagne to whiskey, we’ve rounded up some of the best low carb alcoholic drinks for you to enjoy without the guilt.
So sit back, relax, and sip on one of these tasty drinks while staying true to your diet goals.
What Alcohol Has The Lowest Carbs And Sugar?
When it comes to alcohol, there are some types that are lower in carbs and sugar than others. Pure alcohol like rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey contains no carbs at all. This makes them a great option for those on a low carb or keto diet.
In addition to these spirits, there are also some other alcoholic beverages that are relatively low in carbs. For example, wine and light beer can be good options. Dry wine, both red and white, contains about 2 grams of net carbs per glass and is a popular choice for many people. Light beer is also a good option, but it’s important to check the carb count of your favorite brand.
If you’re looking for a cocktail, there are plenty of low carb options as well. A vodka soda or gin and soda is a great choice if you want to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. A dry martini made with gin and vermouth is also a classic option that contains no carbs.
Understanding Carbs And Sugar In Alcohol
It’s important to understand that not all alcoholic beverages are created equal when it comes to carbs and sugar. While pure alcohol like rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey contain no carbs at all, other types of alcohol can vary greatly in their carb and sugar content.
Beer, for example, can contain a significant amount of carbs. Regular lagers typically have around 10-15 grams of carbs per pint, while stouts, porters, and Guinness can have upwards of 20 grams of carbs per pint. Light beers may be a better option with less than 10 grams of carbs per pint or even less than 5 grams in some cases. Pilsners are also thought to have a relatively benign effect on blood sugar.
Wine can be a good option for those looking to limit their carb intake. Dry wine, both red and white, contains about 2 grams of net carbs per glass. However, it’s important to note that sweeter wines like dessert wines or moscato can have significantly more carbs and sugar.
When it comes to cocktails, it’s important to be mindful of the mixers used. Many mixers contain added sugars and can quickly increase the carb and sugar content of your drink. A vodka soda or gin and soda is a great choice if you want to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. A dry martini made with gin and vermouth is also a classic option that contains no carbs.
It’s also important to remember that alcohol itself is not a carbohydrate. While some alcoholic beverages may contain carbs and raise blood sugars, alcohol itself is metabolized differently by the body. The liver breaks down alcohol into carbon dioxide and water, without creating any sugar. However, excessive alcohol consumption can still have negative impacts on blood sugar control and overall health.
Low Carb Champagne And Sparkling Wine Options
For those who enjoy the bubbly, champagne and sparkling wine can also be a good choice when it comes to low carb and low sugar options. Brut champagne is the best option, as it contains less than 1 gram of carbs per ounce. Extra dry or sweet champagne should be avoided, as they contain higher amounts of carbs.
Dry white and red wine are also good options, with around 2 grams of carbs per serving and 120 calories. However, sweeter wines can have up to 4 grams or more of carbs and 160 calories per serving. When it comes to champagne, it has an average of 7 grams of carbs per glass, which is slightly higher than wine.
To find the lowest carb and sugar options for sparkling wine, look for bottles labeled “brut nature” or “extra brut,” as they have the lowest amount of residual sugar with 3 grams or less. Sparkling wines from European countries such as France, Italy, Greece, and Spain tend to prioritize dryness and have lower sugar content. Mercat Cava Brut Nature sparkling wine from Spain is a great option with notes of pear, green apple, and cream.
Low Carb Beer Options
For those who prefer beer, there are also some low carb options available. Budweiser Select 55 is a popular choice, with only 1.9 grams of carbs per bottle and a low calorie count. Miller 64 is another well-known low carb beer, with just 2.4 grams of carbs per can. Both of these options are easy to find at most liquor stores.
It’s important to note that many low carb beers may have a slightly watered-down taste compared to regular beer. This is because the brewing process often involves removing some of the carbohydrates that contribute to the flavor of the beer. However, if you’re looking for a buzz, it’s best to choose a beer with a higher alcohol content.
Dark beers tend to have a higher carb count, so it’s best to avoid stouts and darker lagers if you’re watching your carb intake. If you’re in Australia, there’s a zero carb beer called Bighead Beer brewed by Burleigh Brewing, but unfortunately it’s not widely available outside of Australia.
While low carb beers can be enjoyed in moderation without slowing weight loss or ketosis, it’s important to remember that even the most keto-friendly beers will slow progress as you drink more. It’s crucial to drink alcohol in moderation and be mindful of your goals and preferences.
Low Carb Wine Options
For wine lovers who want to keep their carb intake low, there are some options to consider. Dry wines are the best choice as they have the fewest grams of sugar and therefore the least amount of carbs. Dry red wines like Pinot Noir and Shiraz are great options, as they contain only 2-3 grams of carbs per glass. Merlot is also a good choice with around 2.5 grams of carbs per glass.
When it comes to white wines, Sauvignon Blanc is a refreshing and crisp option with only approximately 2 grams of carbs per serving. Classic Sauvignon Blancs have notes of peach, pineapple, and grass, making them a great pairing with delicate fish dishes and green veggies topped with fresh herbs.
It’s important to note that not all wines are created equal when it comes to carb content. Sweeter white wines like Rieslings and Moscatos should be avoided if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet, as they can contain up to 4 grams or more of carbs per glass. European wines tend to prioritize dryness, so Nebbiolo, Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja, or even Xinomavro are good options to try.
If you want to be absolutely certain about the carb content of your wine, consider subscribing to a service like Dry Farm Wines. They curate low-carb and low-sugar wines from around the world and lab test them to ensure their carb count is accurate. With their service, you can enjoy wine without worrying about your carb intake.
Low Carb Spirits And Cocktails Options
If you’re looking for low carb spirits and cocktails, there are plenty of options to choose from. Hard liquor like vodka, rum, tequila, gin, brandy, and whiskey are all great choices as they contain zero carbs. However, it’s important to be mindful of what you mix them with. Avoid sugary mixers like fruit juices and syrups and opt for soda water or diet tonic instead.
If you’re a fan of margaritas, try a skinny margarita made with fresh lime juice, tequila, and a sugar-free sweetener. Another popular low carb cocktail is the Moscow Mule made with vodka, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer (make sure to choose a low carb ginger beer).
For those who enjoy a classic martini, try a dirty martini made with gin or vodka and olive juice. If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, try a mojito made with rum, fresh mint leaves, lime juice, and a sugar-free sweetener.
Tips For Enjoying Low Carb Alcoholic Drinks Responsibly
While low carb alcoholic drinks can be a great option for those on a low carb or keto diet, it’s important to enjoy them responsibly. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Limit your intake: Drinking too much alcohol, even low carb options, can hinder weight loss and lead to other health problems. Stick to one or two drinks per day and avoid binge drinking.
2. Choose your mixers wisely: Many mixers, such as fruit juices and soda, are high in carbs and can quickly add up. Stick to low carb mixers like club soda, sparkling water, or diet tonic water.
3. Watch out for hidden sugars: Some cocktails may contain hidden sugars in the form of syrups or liqueurs. Be sure to ask your bartender about the ingredients or make your own low carb version at home.
4. Stay hydrated: Alcohol is dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after drinking to avoid dehydration.
By following these tips, you can still enjoy low carb alcoholic drinks while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.