Many alcoholic beverages are off-limits on the Keto diet because they have a lot of carbs. But fear not because we’ve compiled a list of the best (and worst) adult drinks for your Keto lifestyle. For the worst ones, we’re also providing you with Keto-friendly alternatives!
Remember, net carbs add up, so this is by no means a free pass to binge on these keto-friendly beverages. So please drink responsibly.
BEST KETO-FRIENDLY ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
Dry White Wine
Some lower-carb options for dry white wine include Italian Pinot grigio, Sauvignon blanc, and Pinot blanc. All 3 contain around 1 gram of net carbs per ounce. According to the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), one 5-ounce glass of Sauvignon blanc has just 3 net grams of carbs. The Dry Wine Club is a subscription service that only curates sugar-free, all-natural wines. If you’re lucky, you might just find a bottle of dry white wine in your next subscription box!
Dry Red Wine
Red wine is notorious for being sweet. Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot won’t kick you out of ketosis because they have fewer carbs per ounce than other dry red wines. A 5-ounce glass of Cabernet Sauvignon has just under 4 grams of net carbs. Fit Vine is a great brand that crafts wine with the Keto drinker in mind.
Depending on the variety, Champagne/Prosecco comes in anywhere from 0.03 grams of net carbs per oz (for the hard-to-find Brut Nature) to 1.6 grams of net carbs per ounce (for Doux, a rare kind of Champagne). To keep the carbs low, go for Brut instead of extra dry or sweet because it has fewer carbs. A standard 5-ounce glass of a California Brut Champagne called Korbel has 2 grams of net carbs.
For a drink with no calories, sugar, or carbs, all you need to do is take an ounce of your favorite hard liquor (vodka, tequila, rum, gin, or whiskey) and add a mixer such as soda water or flavored sparkling water (ex. Waterloo or LaCroix). One shot of tequila, for instance, has no net carbs (though it has 96 calories, all of which come from the alcohol).
A standard martini (vermouth and gin, with a green olive for garnish) has 0 grams of net carbs. You can’t get any better than that! Just make sure you don’t add any other fruit juices, sweet liqueurs, or syrups.
WORST KETO-FRIENDLY ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
Though the vodka itself doesn’t contain any carbs, it’s the other component, tonic water, that will cause you problems if you’re going Keto. Tonic water contains a ton of sugar. A vodka tonic has 15-24 grams of net carbs, ALL from the added sugar. Even if you opted for using diet tonic water with 0 grams of net carbs, most are still a no-no when it comes to going Keto because of the artificial sweeteners in it.
Keto-Friendly Alternative: Vodka plus Zevia Tonic Water (which is made with stevia) has 0 grams of net carbs.
(Diet) Coke and Rum
If Diet Coke is a no-go while going Keto due
to the artificial sweeteners, then what about regular, non-diet soda made from the purest cane sugar? That’s not any better either. A 12- oz can of Coca-Cola contains a whopping 39 grams of net carbs. Maybe it’s time to put down that drink or at least consider the Keto-friendly alternative below.
Keto-Friendly Alternative: Rum plus Zevia Caffeine-Free Cola has 0 grams of net carbs.
While a mimosa is made with Champagne or Prosecco, it’s also made with a fruit juice that contains a whole lot of sugar. If you’re on a strict Keto diet, this one drink will eat up (or should we say, drink up?) much of your daily carb budget. One mimosa has 13 grams of net carbs!
Keto-Friendly Alternative: Brut Champagne or Prosecco plus Sparkling Ice Orange Mango has around 2 grams of net carbs.
Other Mixed Drinks
Hard liquor is okay but everything else in a mixed drink (which is usually sugar, fruit juice, and/or purees) is a no-go. For example, an Old Fashioned (which is made with sugar, bitters [herbal alcoholic flavoring], and whiskey) has 5-10 grams of net carbs. Similarly, the typical margarita has 36 grams of net carbs.
Keto-Friendly Alternatives: We could go on and on about the Keto alternatives to the hundreds of mixed drinks out there. But for an Old Fashioned, you can sub the sugar with Monk Fruit. Angostura Bitters and whiskey are also Keto-friendly already. This would result in a drink with 0 grams of net carbs. As for a natural, Keto-friendly margarita, Swoon sells a margarita mixer that has just 1 gram of net carbs per serving. All you have to do is add tequila (which has 0 grams of net carbs) and ice, and boom! You’re in business.
Beer is even worse than wine or hard liquor when it comes to carb counts. That’s because beer is made with 4 key ingredients: barley, water, hops, and yeast. Yeast in small amounts is safe if you’re going Keto. But barley, a grain, is where you run into problems. A typical can of beer has 13 grams of net carbs, so having just one beer would severely limit the rest of your allocated carbs for the day.
Keto-Friendly Alternative: You could try a light beer instead for a lower carb count. A 12-ounce bottle of Budweiser Select 55 clocks in at just under 2 grams of net carbs and 55 calories.