Whether you’re out at a bar or fixing yourself a drink at home, there are plenty of options to stay true to your low carb or keto lifestyle—especially if you have the added versatility of a flexible ketogenic diet like Atkins20® or Atkins40®*. When consumed in moderation, alcohol can be enjoyed as part of your keto lifestyle. Keep in mind that while many of these choices are low in carbs, alcohol still provides calories and the body needs to burn off those alcohol calories before it can get back into fat burning mode. 1 If you notice that your weight-loss has stalled, you may need to cut back on alcohol. Read on to discover which keto friendly alcohol and drinks to stick to and which to avoid.
What Alcohol Can I Drink On Keto?
- Pure Spirits. Hard alcohol like vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey, and gin all contain zero carbs and are the most keto friendly alcohol choise.
- Hard seltzer. White Claw started the hard seltzer craze with their 2g carb per can beverages, plus more options like Truly and Bon & Viv make it easy to find your favorite.
- Some wines. Not all wines are ideal keto alcohol drinks; depending on the type, carbs range from 0-4 grams a glass. Look for dry varieties—like brut champagne for sparkling; Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for white; and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for red—to stay on the lower end of the spectrum. Additionally, a higher alcohol content in the wine also indicates that it will have fewer carbs. Stick with wines that are greater than 12% alcohol.
What Alcohol Should I Avoid on Keto?
- Beer. At an average of 17g carbs per serving, there’s a reason beer is sometimes called liquid bread! If you simply must have beer, look for the lightest beers, which can be as low as 2g of carb per serving. But still, beer should be consumed sparingly.
- Some wines. As above, some wines are more keto friendly than others. In general, sweeter varieties of wines like Moscato and Riesling will have a greater carb count. Also, avoid dessert wines like ports and sherries, as these contain quite a few more carbs.
- Wine coolers & malt beverages. While these colorful, fruity beverages can have a lower ABV per serving, they’re loaded with sugar and a super-high carb count.
What Cocktails Can I Drink on Keto?
Knowing that most pure spirits, or “hard alcohol,” can fit into your low carb lifestyle is the first half of the battle. If you prefer a mixed drink, you’ll have to be sure to choose your mixers carefully to avoid sugary juices, sodas, and store-bought cocktail mixes.
For example, if you’re a fan of tonic water, make sure to choose diet tonic, as regular tonic water has upwards of 25 grams of sugar per serving. You could also choose to drink your keto friendly alcoholic straight or on the rocks to keep things simple and free from additional carbs. But, for those looking for a cocktail to sip, here are a few keto alcohol drinks ideas to get you started:
- Vodka soda. This cocktail is the king of keto vodka drinks, made simply with vodka, club soda and a lemon or lime wedge. Easy, refreshing, and zero carbs; what’s not to love?
- Old Fashioned. Traditionally made with whiskey, a dash of orange bitters, and a sugar cube, this cocktail can be made even lower carb with your favorite low carb sweetener.
- Sangria. Depending on the keto friendly fruit involved, a red or white sangria can be a refreshing, low carb beverage to enjoy on a patio or porch.
- And more! Check out cocktails in our New Year’s article, and browse our Recipes page to find even more adult beverages that can fit into your low carb and keto lifestyle
PubMed Central, National Library of Medicine, 2020: Ethanol metabolism: The good, the bad, and the ugly
Throughout the world, ethanol is both an important commercial commodity and a source of major medical and social problems. Ethanol readily passes through biological membranes and distributes throughout the body. It is oxidized, first to acetaldehyde and then to acetate, and finally by the citric acid cycle in virtually all tissues…