Going on a ketogenic or keto diet is certainly not the easiest thing to do, especially when you love food and cocktails. Having to skip the carby food and drinks on a night out with friends can be real torture. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like that.
The popularity of the keto diet has allowed a plethora of dietitians, doctors, and knowledgeable bloggers to offer their own pieces of advice and recommendations on how to live a keto life.
From the food you can eat to the drinks you are allowed to have, there’s nothing you cannot find.
By now, you should have realized that following a keto diet is not that difficult as you can replace most carb sources with other low-carb alternatives.
While you may know it all about food, it might have not yet come to your attention to ask about the cocktails. You might simply be one of those people who stay faithful to that glass of red, dry merlot or to those who do not drink alcohol at all.
But if you want to have a cocktail at a party, which ones are considered keto?
How Can A Cocktail Be Low In Carbs?
Most liquors, such as rum, tequila, and whiskey (see also ‘13 Best Peanut Butter Whiskey Drinks‘), contain no carbohydrates on their own. Once you mix in the beverages, flavorings, and mixers that go into cocktails, the carbohydrates keep rising in number.
Carbs are partly loaded with sugar, and since cocktails usually have a significant amount of it, they are very keto-friendly.
Nevertheless, if you opt for mixers that contain virtually zero carbs, like soda water, for those with low carbs, like tonic water, and for sugar-free juices or artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, what you’re getting is a low-carb, keto cocktail (see also ‘28 Warming Cocktails For Fall‘).
What Are Some Low-Carb Cocktails?
Any simple cocktail (see also ‘24 Best Watermelon Cocktails‘) that does not contain sugar, like vodka mixed with soda or gin with light tonic or some lemon juice, can easily be considered a low-carb cocktail option and enjoyed by someone on a keto diet.
Many iconic cocktails are high in carbs, however, with some quick and easy tweaks, you can easily create a low-carb version of them. Keep on reading below for a list of 20 keto cocktails you can try making the next time you are craving them!
Check out our “15 Delicious & Easy-to-make Keto Casseroles” if you want more keto food-spiration.
Living that low-carb life doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to that Friday after-work glass of margarita (find our favorite Margaritaville margaritas right here). With natural or monk fruit blend sweetener and sugar-free orange juice instead of triple sec, you can enjoy your margarita guilt-free.
Don’t forget to salt your glasses! Try the following recipe for some skinny margarita cocktails:
- Keto Focus Keto Margarita
For a bubbly margarita that is still low in carbs, try this champagne margarita recipe to combine two of your favorite drinks in one!
Martinis do not have any sugary juices or sugar whatsoever in their original recipe, so they’re pretty much keto-friendly on their own.
So, regardless of whether you prefer to drink them with gin or vodka, try one of these recipes below and have your James Bond drink the right way!
A classic whiskey old-fashioned (see also ‘30 Must-Try Whiskey Cocktails‘) contains something between 5 to 10 grams of carbs, that depends on the quantity of the ingredients you will use to make it.
While most old-fashioned cocktails have added sugar in them, replacing it with some low-calorie (and low carb) artificial sweeteners of natural Stevia drops can significantly reduce that amount.
Check out this keto old-fashioned cocktail recipe that needs only 3 ingredients.
For an alternative to the classic old fashioned, try this keto vanilla old fashioned recipe for that extra vanilla essence.
A classic Vodka or Rooftop Lemonade recipe with table sugar can easily be tweaked and turned into keto with an easy substitution.
Instead of going for a store-bought lemonade with added sugar, try a sugar-free one or simply add some lemon juice with a low-carb sweetener.
Check out this keto Vodka Lemonade recipe with only 4.8 grams per serving.
7. Moscow Mule
Vodka, lime, ginger beer, and lime wedges to garnish are all you need to make the perfect Moscow Mule. But, when on a keto diet, ginger beer is a no-no due to its sugar and, hence carb, content.
Thankfully, there are many people who could not accept parting with their favorite cocktail, and so a keto Moscow Mule recipe was born… or better, a sugar-free Ginger Beer like the one this recipe asks for.
While we’d love to say it isn’t true, a classic Manhattan cannot be considered keto because it contains vermouth.
Sweet vermouths are liquors with high sugar content, but if you replace them with dry vermouths, you might be on the right path toward creating a low-carb version of the Manhattan cocktail.
The traditional Cosmopolitan cocktail (see also ‘20 Pink Cocktails To Make At Home‘) is made with vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime.
To reduce the carb content, replace the Cointreau with orange extract and go for a sugar-free cranberry juice that you can mix with a low-carb sweetener of your choice.
10. Dark ‘n’ Stormy
A Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail has some sugary ginger beer or sugar syrup in it to give this drink that sweet yet bold flavor.
This low-carb version of the cocktail is made with dark rum, sugar-free ginger beer, and lime and is ideal for a rainy day. The best part? You can mix it with ice to make a frozen cocktail (see also ‘23 Delicious Frozen Cocktail Recipes‘) for those hot summer days or rooftop parties too.
11. Bloody Mary
Everyone has a different favorite Bloody Mary. Many people like it spicy, others like it sweet, whereas others love it when it is loaded with garnish or with just a celery stalk.
Regardless of the way you prefer it served, a Bloody Mary can be a low-carb cocktail without any compromise on its taste.
Try one of the following recipes for a tasty tomato cocktail:
A Paloma is one of those cool summer cocktails that is simple to make and can easily become a low-carb cocktail that you can enjoy when on a keto diet.
Simply leave out the agave syrup and replace it with grapefruit juice for a lower-sugar solution.
Luckily, the availability of sugar-free grapefruit sodas makes it so easy to ask for a keto version of the classic Paloma cocktail and even make it on your own at home with a simple, 4-ingredient, sugar-free Paloma recipe.
13. Piña Colada
A classic pia colada is high in sugar and thus carbs. However, this KetoDiet recipe has around 8 grams of carbs, something that, although not ideal for a daily keto reward, is a decent option.
Made with rum, mint, soda, and lime, mojitos can easily be considered keto drinks… or not. Unfortunately, mojitos are also made with sugar, which raises their carb content.
However, this article has proven to you that nothing is impossible, and keto mojitos are definitely doable.
With a sugar-free 7up to replace the sugar syrup needed, this Low-carb Mojito recipe can help you make a delicious cocktail at home that you can enjoy with no guilt whatsoever.
Finally, we could not leave out the sangria wine that you are probably thinking of whilst reading this article.
You might have thought that a sangria made with dry wine and fruits is simply not the same – and we can’t blame you for that – but there’s actually more than one keto-friendly sangria recipe you can try.
Get some dry wine, brandy liquor, berry liquid water enhancer, and low-carb sweetener, and make this recipe by replacing the sweet wine and fruits with some zero-carb alternatives.
If you are always waiting for spring to enjoy your cocktails, then this grapefruit ginger fizz is a great way to start having them and celebrate the season that’s just arrived.
Made with gin or vodka, low in carbs and with only 80 calories per serving, you can enjoy a couple of these cocktails guilt-free!
You can still enjoy the flavor profiles of this delightful, zesty cocktail without the carbs!
This keto version is ideal for when you need some tropical aromas at the end of a long carb-free day.
This Jamaican rum punch recipe (see also ‘A Bunch of Party Punch Recipes: 42 Easy Ideas‘) combines the taste of coconut, pineapple, orange, and lime to create a cool cocktail that can accompany your dinner or even be served on its own for a late night gathering.
Daiquiri is an iconic cocktail made with rum (see also ‘23 Classic Rum Cocktails For The Summer‘), fruits, and sugar. But a typical lime Daiquiri packs around 20-25 g of net carbs, most of which are sugars.
However, substituting sugar with stevia can make it possible for Daquiri lovers to enjoy their drink and stay in their keto zone!
Check out this recipe for instructions on how to make one.
19. Wine Spritzer
This 3-ingredient white wine spritzer is perfect for keto dieters who enjoy the freshness of a cocktail but are not a fan of their sweetness.
With only white wine, lemon and lime sode, and some lime juice, this citrucy cocktail can be enjoyed with or without food and with or without company!
If you are all for the chocolatey cocktails, then you need to treat yourself with this chocolate peppermint cocktail.
With keto peppermint syrup and sugar-free chocolate syrup, you can make this cocktail every day if you want to. Don’t forget to sweeten the rim!
21. Irish Coffee
Adding sweet Baileys (see also ‘23 Delicious Baileys Cocktails‘) to your coffee might kick the carb content higher than you want, but you can always have an Irish coffee the keto way.
This recipe uses whiskey and a bit of brown sugar so that you can have your Irish low-carb coffee any day you want!
Refreshing and delicious, this strawberry bourbon smash uses fresh strawberries, basil and bourbon for a cocktail that is sweet yet bittery thanks to the final pinch of pepper you can optionally add!
23. Blueberry Cooler
Sugar-free syrups can turn any cocktail that asks for sugar into a low-carb one, and these blueberry coolers are no exception.
Made with vodka and fresh blueberries, all you need is some soda and keto syrup to turn this into a sweet, summer cocktail you can enjoy at parties.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Keto Alcoholic Drinks?
When it comes to hard alcohol, it’s pretty straightforward: pure spirits like whiskey, brandy, cognac, vodka, gin, and tequila (see also ‘5 Best Tequila Subscriptions‘) contain zero carbs and are all fine on keto.
Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks. Don’t add juice, soft drinks, or sweet flavorings to spirits.
What Is The Best Keto Alcoholic Drink?
Wine and light varieties of beer (see also ‘8 Best Beer Subscription Boxes‘) are also relatively low in carbs — usually 3–4 grams per serving. Pure alcohol products like rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey all contain no carbs. In addition, light beer and wine can be relatively low in carbs.
The Bottom Line
As you can tell, keeping your carb intake under control whilst enjoying your favorite cocktails is very easy to do.
You don’t even have to compromise the taste of your margarita, as these keto recipes presented above can turn your cocktails into keto drinks full of taste (and alcohol!).
So, when you are celebrating or attending parties, events, special occasion gatherings, or even when hosting your own party, choose one or more of these recipes and have fun with a cocktail in hand.
After all, a glass or two of cocktails are very much necessary and will definitely help you relax and enjoy the night with your guests.