Following a low-carb or keto diet doesn’t mean you have to take a pass on cocktail hour. Pure spirits, like vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, and tequila, all have zero net carbs. What makes a cocktail not so carb-friendly are the mixers you add to the cocktail shaker. We found some of the best low-carb alcoholic drinks, from a classic margarita to exotic drinks like the mai tai. Here are the best keto cocktails in each category.
Keto Vodka Drinks
Keto Berry Vodka Cocktail
Berries are one of the types of fruit that has fewer carbs than most others, making them a safe choice for low-carb mixed drinks. The flavor in this cocktail comes from a combination of fresh berries and muddled mint. Vodka and sparkling water finish it off for a cocktail that doesn’t blow your carb count for the day.
Vodka Ocean Breeze Cocktail
This luscious-looking tropical cocktail takes advantage of different flavors of sugar-free syrup to create a drink that tastes much more guilt-laden than it really is. If you’re someone who doesn’t want artificial sweeteners or coloring in your drink, then this one isn’t for you. But if you have some different sugar-free syrups on hand, you could take some liberty and create a lot of variations from this single cocktail.
Keto Vodka Lemonade
by Keto Focus
It doesn’t get much simpler than vodka and lemonade for a summertime cocktail, but lemonade can be sky-high in sugar. The key to making it work for a low-carb or keto diet is by making your own lemonade from scratch, using fresh lemon juice and monk fruit as the sweetener or whichever sugar-free sweetener you prefer.
Keto Bloody Mary
A good bloody mary is one of those classic cocktails that just hits the spot sometimes, especially when enjoyed with a weekend brunch. It’s also one of the best keto-friendly cocktails since most of the ingredients are naturally low in carbs. Plus, tomato juice has essential nutrients, after all!
Add in your favorites, like your top choice of vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and maybe a dash or two of hot sauce. The other nice thing about a bloody mary is that you can stick in all types of keto-friendly garnishes. Olives, bacon, cheese cubes, anyone?
Low Carb Tequila Drinks
Classic Keto Margarita
Margaritas go down a little too easily sometimes, but the original, classic version isn’t well-suited for a low-carb diet. The simple syrup and orange liqueur can quickly add up in total carbs. This version uses sugar-free simple syrup and skips the orange liqueur. To keep the hint of orange in a margarita, you could easily add just a drop or two of orange extract to the cocktail.
A classic Paloma combines tequila and grapefruit juice, along with a few other ingredients, but the original doesn’t really qualify as one of the best low-carb cocktails. This modified version is simple and fresh with tequila, sugar-free grapefruit soda, and a touch of fresh lime juice. This is an ideal keto-friendly cocktail for the summer.
Keto Tequila Sunrise
You might think that a tequila sunrise, with all that orange juice and grenadine, would be one of the worst drinks for a low-carb and keto diet, but this recipe shows us that the net carbs still come in at under 5g per serving. If you want to make this even more carb friendly, try adding less juice and substituting it with some zero-carb club soda.
Spicy Watermelon Keto Margarita
A cocktail that satisfies our sweet tooth quenches the desire for a little alcohol consumption, and isn’t so laden with carbs that it sabotages weight loss efforts? Sign us up! Jalapeno and watermelon add a nice contrast to this margarita without the need to add more sugar to mellow the flavors. For a tamer version, swap out the jalapeno for fresh mint leaves.
Tequila Ranch Water
by Dear Mica
This is one of the simplest alcoholic beverages you can make, and it’s a perfect, easy addition to any cocktail party – plus, it’s perfect for low-carb diets. Tequila, lime juice, and sparkling mineral water are all you need. Garnish with a juicy lime wedge, and you’re all set.
Keto Whiskey Drinks
Ginger Whiskey Soda
We might get some naysayers, but we’re ready to argue that diet ginger ale is among the best soft drinks for low-carb mixers. Unfortunately, sugar-free ginger beer can’t be found. But you can add ginger ale to just about any type of hard liquor, and it’s going to taste good. This ginger whiskey soda has zero carbs and is one of the simplest low-carb cocktails there is. Add a touch of lime juice if you like a little ginger-citrus flavor.
Keto Whiskey Sour
Traditional recipes for the whiskey sour contain too many net carbs due to the full-sugar sour mix. This low-carb version keeps the carb count in check by using a keto simple syrup combined with fresh lemon juice and egg whites. This might be one of your new favorite keto cocktails.
Basil Whiskey Sour
An alternate version of the whiskey sour, this one adds the herbaceousness of fresh basil, along with monk fruit sweetener, to create a lower-carb drink that’s lower in sugar than the high-carb original. This is one of the great low-carb beverages to enjoy in the summer after harvesting some fresh herbs from the garden.
Low Carb Old Fashioned Cocktail
The traditional old-fashioned isn’t a low-carb cocktail because it’s typically made with a sugar cube. This version reduces the net carbs by using a carb-free sweetener instead, along with orange bitters and your favorite whiskey or bourbon. Like other alcoholic beverages, you can always dilute this with a little club soda. Garnish with an orange wedge and fresh cherry (skip the maraschino variety for a low-carb cocktail).
Keto Bourbon Peach Smash
Bourbon and peach are an irresistible combination, but it’s a cocktail that’s often too high in sugar to enjoy on low-carb and keto diets. This swaps out the standard syrup with a sugar-free peach syrup, accented by a little fresh mint. It’s the perfect drink for a low-carb lifestyle.
Keto Rum Drinks
Low Carb Basil Lime Fizz
As a keto cocktail, this basil lime fizz stands out, and after one drink, you’ll understand why. You make your own sugar-free syrup that’s infused with basil and peppercorns for a bit of a bite. White rum, fresh basil, lime, and diet ginger ale or ginger beer round out the refreshing flavors.
Easy Keto Rum Punch
Say hello to a tropical paradise in the form of mixed drinks that are also suitable for the keto diet. A fruit and vegetable juice blend keeps the net carbs down, along with unsweetened drink mix powder for that unmistakable punch flavor. This calls for white rum, but you could use aged rum and have it turn out perfectly.
Low Carb Hot Buttered Rum
This drink is perfect for a cool evening by the fire, and it’s one of the best keto cocktails. Rum and spiced butter mix are all this recipe calls for, along with water. We can’t think of a more keto-friendly mixer than butter! This is also extra delicious with a little heavy cream added to it.
There’s nothing better than a cold mojito in a copper mug on a warm day. Made with a sugar-free sweetener and soda water, this version is safe for any low-carb diet. Just make sure to use the freshest mint you can find for the best flavor.
Keto Mai Tai
The mai tai, made with two types of rum, isn’t a drink that most would consider among the ranks of keto cocktails. However, as Low Carbology shows us, it can be made with fewer net carbs. This recipe does use a handful of different sugar-free syrups, so it’s a bit more involved than the other cocktails on this list, but it’s worth it!
Low Carb Gin Drinks
Low Carb Gin Fizz
by KetoDiet App
This recipe keeps it simple with zero carbs. All that’s required is your favorite gin, fresh lime juice, and sparkling water. You could also use a diet tonic instead if you want to switch the flavors up while keeping it zero-carb.
Keto Raspberry Gimlet
A gin gimlet is traditionally made with gin and lime, but we love this version that adds the flavor of fresh raspberries combined with zero-carb raspberry syrup to the mix. This recipe includes directions for making your own zero-carb simple syrup, but you can just as easily purchase one if you don’t want the fuss.
Classic Gin Rickey
This classic gin rickey calls for fresh lime, soda water, and a nice, high-quality gin. The flavors are crisp and light. You could also easily try other low-carb mixers if you want to switch the flavors up a bit. Something like a diet tonic or a lemon-lime diet soda would work nicely, too.
Rosemary Gin Fizz
Gin offers interesting botanical flavors which pair nicely with fresh garden herbs, like rosemary. For this drink, you need to make your own rosemary-infused simple syrup. You also need something that supplies the fizz part, but that also keeps the carb counts in check. Soda water, diet citrus soda, or diet tonic water will work.
As an alternative, you can also make use of sparkling wine instead of gin and make a rosemary wine spritzer — similar to carbonated wine coolers, but without all the carbs.
Keto Dirty Martini
Vermouth isn’t free of carbs, but it is low in carbs, providing 3-4g of carbs per serving. As long as you don’t go overboard, you can easily enjoy a gin (or vodka) martini without any carb guilt. If you want to skip the vermouth, you can make an extra, extra dry martini, which is essentially straight liquor. The dirty part of this martini comes from the olive brine and keto-friendly blue cheese-stuffed olives.
Low-Carb Alcoholic Drinks In A Can
Cutwater Lime Tequila Soda
Cutwater canned cocktails with soda all offer either low or zero carbs per serving. There are several flavors, like vodka soda, grapefruit, and cucumber vodka soda, but our favorite is the lime tequila, which is similar to a margarita but lighter and more refreshing.
White Claw Mango Hard Seltzer
If You want a drink that’s light, low in carbs, and has a hint of tropical flavor, our vote is for White Claw Mango Hard Seltzer. It has 2 grams of carbs per serving, which isn’t going to sabotage even the most strict of keto diets, and it tastes wonderful.
Ficks Blackberry Hard Seltzer
There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh, luscious blackberries in a cocktail, but it’s hard to come by, especially in canned, premixed drinks. We love this Blackberry hard seltzer by Ficks that contains only two grams of carbs per serving.
SeekOut Cucumber & Jupiter Hard Seltzer
SeekOut Cucumber & Juniper Hard Seltzer is a great alternative when you want a drink with low carbs per serving but don’t want something fruity or sweet. This is more similar to gin and tonic and is refreshingly different.
What alcohol has the lowest carbs?
All hard alcohols, like gin, rum, vodka, tequila, whiskey, and gin, don’t contain any carbs. It’s the mixers that can cause trouble for a low-carb diet and mess with your blood sugar. Be careful with wines unless it’s a dry, sparkling wine, which isn’t zero-carb but does fall on the lower end of the carb spectrum. Stay away from syrupy sweet liqueurs like cordials, coffee liqueurs, and Irish Cream. These are typically the highest in carbs.
What alcohol won’t kick you out of ketosis?
Hard, clear liquors on their own won’t kick you out of ketosis since they don’t contain any carbs. The trick to a keto-friendly cocktail is to make sure you use a keto-friendly mixer.
Can you drink alcohol on keto and still lose weight?
Alcohol and wines, including sparkling wines, all have calories, and many mixed drinks also have a good amount of carbs. One drink isn’t likely to ruin your diet unless it kicks you out of ketosis, but the calories can quickly add up. Two or three drinks have essentially the same caloric value as a single meal, so drink wisely.
- Hard liquor, including vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey, doesn’t have carbs
- The key to low-carb cocktails is choosing low-carb mixers
- A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, combined with sugar-free syrup, can replace most sour mixes
- Monk fruit is a good sweetener option, as is agave syrup, which has about 5g of carbs per serving
- Make sure to choose diet tonic water over the regular version for low-carb cocktails.