low calorie bourbon drinks

13 Low Calorie Bourbon Drinks

Finding low-calorie bourbon drinks that don’t taste like artificial sweeteners is hard but not impossible. As bourbon lovers, finding bourbon cocktails that fit into a low-calorie diet is a job we take seriously! Browse these 13 low-calorie bourbon cocktails that will keep you on track and relaxed during every season. 

Low Calorie Bourbon Drinks

13 Diet-Friendly Bourbon Cocktail Recipes

1. Bourbon Old Fashioned

by Better Than Bread Keto

Bourbon Old Fashioned

Having a classic old-fashioned cocktail recipe in your repertoire is a must for anyone who likes to make cocktails at home. If we’re being honest, there’s never a bad time to sip an old-fashioned.

The simple recipe is made using bourbon, orange bitters, and sweetener. Monk Fruit sweetener is our favorite because it doesn’t disrupt the flavors of the bourbon, and it’s zero calories! Once you’ve mastered the art of making this classic cocktail, you’ll understand why we put it at the top of our list.

2. Mint Julep

by Primal Edge Health

Mint Julep

Choosing classic bourbon cocktails seems to automatically lead to lower-calorie cocktails than some other types of liquor. Our theory is simple – bourbon tastes delicious as-is, so you don’t need a lot of high-calorie mixers to make a great cocktail! 

We’ve loved this recipe for the classic drink because it isn’t hard to make, but it looks like an expert bartender made it.

Use our experience to make your mint julep turn out better the first time around with these two tips: 1) don’t skimp on the ice in your cocktail glass, and 2) make a pitcher ahead of time! Making a large batch and letting it sit for at least an hour before drinking really infuses the cocktail with fresh mint flavor.

3. Whiskey Sour

by Lose Weight By Eating

Whiskey Sour

We can’t talk about bourbon drinks without mentioning a low-calorie whiskey sour. If you’re watching your sugar intake and calories, you’ll love this sugar-free, refreshing drink. 

We regularly put this cocktail on our menu for at-home date nights because it feels sophisticated and pairs beautifully with red meat and seafood. It’s easy to prepare too! We like to start with a cocktail shaker half full of ice, then add the other ingredients on top, but some people prefer to do it in the opposite order.

No matter the order, this bourbon cocktail uses bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar-free syrup. Once you’re done shaking your cocktail, strain it into a sour glass (also called a rocks glass or old-fashioned glass, it just depends on who you ask!) before garnishing it with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice. 

4. Bourbon & Ginger Ale

by The Bar

Bourbon & Ginger Ale

Who doesn’t love alcoholic beverages that are named after the simple ingredients used to make them? Initially skeptical of this simplistic recipe, we quickly swallowed our doubts with every delicious sip. 

Bourbon, ginger ale, lime, and nutmeg are used to make a bourbon & ginger ale cocktail that has just the right amount of carbonation and a unique combination of flavors. Fair wairing – the ginger ale flavor is strong, so you won’t like this cocktail if you don’t like ginger ale.

Personally, we think it makes all the difference to use regular ginger ale for a better-tasting cocktail (even if it does add some calories!), but diet ginger ale can be used instead if you want to lower the calorie content even more.  

5. Bourbon SideCar

by The Spruce Eats

Bourbon SideCar

A Sidecar is one of the classic cocktails that can be made in a few different ways. Some people prefer cognac or brandy in their Sidecar, but we’re team bourbon all the way!

This might be our favorite timeless cocktail because it can be made in so many ways! This low-cal recipe is very close to how the cocktail was originally made when it was invented in 1922. Triple sec, bourbon, and fresh lemon juice are shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

6. Ginger Whiskey Soda

by Low Carbing Asian

Ginger Whiskey Soda

A ginger whiskey soda is another bourbon cocktail with a strong ginger ale taste. In our house, that’s a welcome addition to cocktails, but it’s certainly not for everyone. 

We’ve added this recipe to our mental list of go-to cocktails when we don’t want to spend time measuring or gathering ingredients. It can even be prepared with no cocktail shaker! Grab whichever glass is handy, add ice cubes, then pour about 2 ounces of bourbon with 2 ounces of ginger ale. 

If you find that ratio too strong or weak, adjust accordingly to get the right amount of liquor in your glass.

7. Bourbon Peach Smash

by My Life Cookbook

Bourbon Peach Smash

When we picture a cocktail recipe that could be served poolside, this low-carb version of a bourbon peach smash is what we see! Not only does it have fewer calories than other bourbon smash recipes, but it also fits into a keto diet.

The most important ingredient to achieve the peachy flavor is sugar-free peach syrup. We found Torani peach syrup at a local grocery store, but tons of brands sell sugar-free syrups online too!

Mint, bourbon, and a lemon wedge are the only other ingredients you’ll need. If you want to add a little fizz to your bourbon smash, we highly recommend topping the glass with club soda before serving!

8. Blackberry Bourbon Smash

by The Best Keto Recipes

Blackberry Bourbon Smash

Having a low-sugar sweetener on hand is one of our best-kept secrets to drinking cocktails without constant weight gain. You’d be shocked at how many calories are added to cocktails with things like simple syrup!

The blackberry syrup in this recipe has no added sugar, just healthy ingredients like blackberries and monk fruit sweeteners. In fact, monk fruit has proven health benefits, so that basically means the cocktail itself has health benefits, right? Alright, alright, our logic there might be a bit flawed, but you get the point!

Mint, bourbon, lime, soda water, and blackberries are also needed to create your blackberry bourbon smash. 

9. Maple Bourbon Smash

by What Molly Made

Maple Bourbon Smash

We try to avoid cocktails with long ingredient lists, but sometimes the final product is worth a few extra ingredients. This recipe calls for a spiced maple simple syrup made with cinnamon sticks, ginger, and star anise, but you can easily swap maple syrup for agave or monk fruit sweetener for a low-calorie syrup.

The cocktail includes bourbon, fresh rosemary, orange juice, lemon juice, orange bitters, and spiced syrup. We like to cut even more calories by choosing sugar-free orange juice. Soda water or diet ginger beer is used to top the cocktail and add some bubbly fun to happy hour.

10. Sparkling Gold Rush

by Atkins

Sparkling Gold Rush

If you want a cocktail that has a high alcohol content that’s ideal for a special occasion without the high-calorie count of champagne, the Sparkling Gold Rush cocktail is the answer! Bourbon, lemon juice, sparkling water, and sugar-free simple syrup make a luxurious-looking cocktail we can’t get enough of.

We’ve served this drink in an old-fashioned cocktail glass and champagne flutes, but the drinkware you choose won’t impact the flavor. Pro cocktail tip: before juicing a lemon to make the cocktail, do a little garnish preparation by peeling lemon twists. 

11. Kentucky Mule

by Fool Proof Living

Kentucky Mule

We’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby, but we think it’s a safe assumption that this low-calorie cocktail would be the perfect indulgence during the races. It’s light, refreshing, and served in a stunning copper mug in true Moscow Mule fashion.

Mint, bourbon, lime, and Ginger beer come together to make, in our opinion, one of the most underrated summertime bourbon cocktails! It’s traditionally garnished with a lime wedge and fresh mint sprig, but the copper mug will look great even without a garnish.

12. Manhattan

by Eating Well


If you aren’t ordering a Manhattan with bourbon, you aren’t experiencing the best version of this iconic cocktail. A Manhattan is traditionally made with rye whiskey, but using bourbon instead creates a lighter, smoother taste that we love!

The cocktail is served in a martini glass, which is rare for bourbon cocktails. 

13. Revolver

by Liquor.com


The revolver cocktail is very similar to a Manhattan, but the slight ingredient changes make a big difference in flavor. We are immediately drawn to this bourbon cocktail because it brightens the taste of bourbon with espresso liqueur and orange bitters. 

It’s also a drink that’s low-calorie as-is with no need for substitutions, which is a level of convenience we can definitely get behind!


What is the lowest-calorie bourbon?

In our research, we’ve found that almost every bourbon is relatively low in calories. Maker’s Mark Bourbon is one of the lowest at 97 calories per serving. Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon comes in at 100 calories per serving, while Woodford Reserve is a bit higher at 110 calories per serving.
Overall, most bourbon falls around 100 calories.

What is the healthiest mixer for whiskey?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Healthy is a subjective term. If you were to ask us what the lowest calorie mixer is for bourbon, we’d recommend diet ginger ale. 
If you mean healthy, as in minimally processed, whole ingredients, things like fresh lemon juice, orange bitters, and mint are some of our favorite flavors to use with bourbon.

Which alcohol has the least calories?

Whiskey, gin, tequila, and vodka all have around 100-110 calories per serving. The calorie content goes up significantly if you start looking at flavored and cream liqueurs.
Red wine is one of our favorite types of alcohol when we’re watching our calorie intake, too, although most people don’t realize that it’s only around 105 calories per serving! 

Is vodka or whiskey more fattening?

We have good news – neither is fattening! Vodka and whiskey are free of carbs and contain a similar calorie content of around 100-110 calories per serving.

What can I drink if I don’t like bourbon?

If you think you don’t like bourbon, there’s a good chance you just haven’t had good bourbon yet! Try top-shelf brands or visit a distillery for a whiskey tasting before you decide you don’t like bourbon. Trust us; it is delicious!

Key Takeaways 

  • Classic bourbon cocktails can be made low cal with zero-calorie sweeteners and simple mixers like soda water or lemon juice.
  • The old-fashioned cocktail is one of the best things to order at a bar if you’re watching your calorie intake. 
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match ingredients to make your perfect bourbon cocktail!
  • Most bourbon is about the same calorie content, but top-shelf brands have more complex, smooth flavors. 

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