Keto Alcohol Swaps That Will Help You Stick To Your Low-Carb Diet

Informational

Glasses of different alcoholic beverages

So you like alcohol but want to stick to the keto diet? Don't worry! If you pick healthier choices, you can still enjoy the occasional drinks or cocktails.

Here are some alcohol swaps that can help you maintain your keto lifestyle guilt-free!

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Regular Beer to Light Beer

A bottle of a light beer and a regular beer

This is among the most accessible and heavily-consumed alcoholic beverages around the world. However, when it comes to the keto diet and low-carb options, beer is one to be avoided. 

A regular beer can go as high as 20 grams of carbs or more, and has often been associated with weight gain. But as low-carb diets like keto gain more popularity, more producers have come up with “light” options for their beers.

Here is the average carb count of different types of beers per 12 fluid ounce bottle:

  • Light lager: 5.9 grams
  • Guinness stout: 9.9 grams
  • Lager: 12.8 grams
  • Hard cider: 21.3 grams
  • Malt beverages: 36.3 grams

Light beer refers to any beer with a low-calorie count and, in some cases, low alcohol content. A decrease in calories usually entails a fall in alcohol content. Many light beers have low alcohol content, with some reaching as low as 2.3 percent ABV.

Light beers are frequently misunderstood as non-alcoholic, flavorless, bodiless, bubbly, or lacking in aromatic and taste complexity. This is definitely untrue. The term "light" merely refers to the small number of calories contained in that bottle or can of beer.

  • It's also worth noting that the darker the beer, the higher the carb intake. Avoid any stouts and lagers, particularly those beers which are red, amber, or brown.
  • Because these beers are low in carb count and alcohol content, you can have a 12-ounce beer every day without jeopardizing your weight reduction or ketosis. 
  • If you want to drink two or three beers, choose those with the fewest carbs and calories.
  • However, even the most keto-friendly beers contain enough calories, carbs, and alcohol to hinder your progress as you drink more. So always drink in moderation. 

Liqueurs to Pure Spirits

Four assorted liquor bottles

While many spirits are regarded for their low carb, diet-friendly image, liqueurs may pack a lot of sugar and carb levels in a tiny serving. Even just 1.5 fluid ounces (45 ml) could have up to 15g of carbs!

Liqueurs are produced from spirits that have been flavored and sweetened with fruits, herbs, syrup, and even cream. Of course, the sweeter and creamier the liqueur is, the higher its calories and carbs content.

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Pure spirits like rum, whiskey, brandy, vodka, gin, tequila, and cognac have zero carbohydrates and are suitable for a keto diet. A regular 1.5-ounce jigger of these pure spirits carries no carbs and just roughly 100 calories without any mixer.

However, when added with sweeteners or sugar-sweetened drinks like juice and soft drinks, the net carbs of these liquors skyrocket. Choosing low-carb or keto-friendly mixers like soda water or diet tonic is crucial if you plan to make a mixed drink with these spirits.

The keto-friendly pure spirits are:

Gin

Gin is a grain-based distilled liquor that is flavored with botanicals. Because of its main ingredient, juniper berries, it is known for its piney flavor. 

There are many varieties to choose from, from the famed London dry gins to modern gins, which are less piney and more palatable. It's the primary ingredient of the martini and a vital component of the iconic gin and tonic.

Vodka

Vodka is a distilled spirit that is typically produced from grains or potatoes. Vodka is likely the most flexible liquor today due to its neutral flavor. From sweet to savory, fruits to herbs, spices to fizzy mixers, vodka cocktails cover many flavor profiles.

Rum

Rum is a distilled sugar spirit. Pure cane sugar, syrup, or molasses are all options for the sugar. The underlying flavor of rum is sweet, toasted sugar, regardless of the foundation.

Rum is among the most versatile spirits due to its sweeter flavor. There are plenty of traditional rum cocktails to select from because rum was one of the first liquors to be mixed into cocktails. It's a natural base for tropical drinks and can be found in a variety of warm cocktails.

Whiskey

All whiskeys are made from malted grains such as barley, corn, rye, wheat, and others. Furthermore, whiskey is usually aged in barrels for a period ranging from a couple of years to decades.

It's yet another cocktail base that may be used in a variety of ways. There is a ton of variety in flavor profiles because there are so many styles. 

It matches nicely with many fruits, notably the darker ones, and it blends well with various liquors to make complex mixes. Warm whiskey drinks are also quite popular.

Tequila

Tequila is produced from the agave plant. Tequila has an excellent flavor profile that works well with a wide range of cocktails. 

There are margaritas and frozen cocktails made with tequila and whatever fruit you can think of. It's also a popular choice for party shots and an excellent basis for spicy drinks.

Brandy

Brandy is produced from fermented juices of fruits like grapes, apple, peach, and apricot, to name a few.  Brandy is a liquor commonly consumed on its own. 

It's a prominent element in several classic cocktails, and it's usually added in drinks with a few ingredients. On the other hand, many current brandy recipes defy tradition and use brandy in unusual flavor combinations.

Sweet Wines to Dry Wines

A shelf full of wines

It's no wonder that alcoholic beverages containing high carb and high sugar elements, such as grapes, can potentially raise your carb count, but not all wines are like this. In reality, several types of wine are minimal in carbs and may be consumed in moderation on a keto diet.

Sweet wines are made when winemakers leave out a lot of residual sugar during the winemaking process. Higher amounts of residual sugar mean higher carbs. Some sweet wines to avoid while on keto are:

  • Dessert Wine - 164 calories and 14 grams of carbs per drink (5 fl oz)
  • Port Wine - 70 calories and 10 grams of carbs per drink (5 fl oz)
  • Sangria - 175 calories and 15 grams of carbs per drink (6 fl oz)

A keto-friendly wine should ideally have a low alcohol content (13.5 percent ABV or below) and no residual sugar. A dry wine would be the best option in this situation. A 150 ml (5-ounce) serving of dry wine includes only 108 calories and 0 carbohydrates.

Dry wines can probably be enjoyed regularly with little weight loss influence if you follow a moderately low carbohydrate diet, requiring roughly 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day. 

If you're on a really strict low-carb or keto diet, taking less than 20 grams of carbs per day, an occasional glass of wine would be a better choice.

A glass of dry wine contains roughly 0.5 grams of sugar, along with minimal amounts of glycerol and some other carbohydrate leftovers from the winemaking process, for a total carbohydrate content of fewer than 2 grams. 

Some great options for dry wines are as follows:

Champagne

Champagne and other dry sparkling whites are exceptionally low in carbohydrates, with only 2 grams of net carbs per 5-ounce serving. For a safe bet, look for those with the labels like "Brut," "Extra Brut," or "Brut Nature."

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Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a dry wine that contains just about 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per serving. 

With a burger or a cheese platter, this full-bodied red is a great match. It features bell pepper, allspice, black currant, and dark cherry flavors, as well as rich tannins for a smooth finish.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is not necessarily a sweet wine just because it is less acidic and more creamy. Its flavors of lemon, apple, butterscotch, and honeysuckle are best served cold with a salad, fish, or cured meats. In terms of carbs, a low alcohol Chardonnay contains only about 2 grams per serving.

Merlot

With flavors of red fruit and a medium body, an exquisite Merlot is a perfect match for steak dinner. Per serving, this wine contains only about 2.5 grams of carbohydrates. With its silky tannins, a bottle of this wine is a terrific way to impress dining friends.

Dry Riesling

The majority of Riesling wines are pretty dry. Look for the term "Trocken" on the label as the key. That means the bottle is a crisp white awine with hints of lime, apricot, and jasmine, and each serving contains only roughly 1 gram of carbohydrates. Another fantastic feature of this wine is that it pairs well with a wide variety of foods.

Chianti

With aromas of black cherry, strawberry, and green pepper, this is a spicy and fruity Italian red wine. It's also great for a keto diet, with only 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per serving. You can make a tomato-based pasta sauce to go with it.

Sauvignon Blanc

This crisp white wine is one of the driest on the market. With only around 2 grams of carbs per serving, it's also keto-friendly. Sauvignon Blanc has peach, pineapple, and grass flavors, making it an excellent match for delicate fish meals and green vegetables topped with fresh herbs.

Keto-Friendly Cocktails

Two glasses of cocktails garnished with orange slices

A keto-friendly cocktail would be the trickiest and most demanding on this list. For a cocktail to be keto-friendly, both the alcohol and the drink mixers have to be low-carb and low in sugar.

Between the two, the alcohol would be the simpler to solve. Most alcoholic beverages used in cocktails are liquors. Distilled spirits like gin and rum are great liquor bases because they’re naturally zero-carb.

On the other hand, traditional mixers like juice, sweeteners, liqueurs, and even sugar are not keto-friendly. To make keto-friendly cocktails, replace these high-carb mixers with keto-friendly alternatives like low-carb sweeteners and club soda.

Some examples of cocktail swaps are:

Standard Margarita to Keto Skinny Margarita

A glass of margarita with lime

The keto skinny margarita is one of the best keto cocktails for your low-carb lifestyle. With just three ingredients and a few minutes of preparation, you'll be able to enjoy this refreshing beverage any time! 

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Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. Squeeze the lime into a small container to get the lime juice.
  2. In another bowl, make a syrup by whisking the warm water and low-carb sweetener.
  3. Mix the sweetener syrup, lime juice, and tequila in a shaker or mason jar. Shake well.
  4. Wet the rim of your cocktail glasses, then line with coarse salt.
  5. In an ice-filled margarita glass, pour the mixture and serve. Add a garnish of lime if desired.

Standard Mojito to Low-Carb Mojito

Glasses of mojito

A mojito is a fantastic drink for the summer. This keto-friendly recipe will please your taste buds and satisfy anyone on keto.

Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. In a cocktail glass, place the mint leaves and lime wedges.
  2. Muddle them with a muddler.
  3. Pour the white rum, ice, and sweetener. Stir well.
  4. Top it off with soda water. Garnish with some mint sprigs or slices of lime if desired.

Standard Gin And Tonic to Keto-friendly Gin And Tonic

To make gin and tonic keto-friendly, the only thing you need to do is swap the standard tonic water with something that is keto-friendly. 

You can replace the high-sugar ingredient with a naturally sweetened diet tonic water. You can also add club soda, which is also keto-friendly, to the mix to give more flavor to your gin and tonic.

Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. Prepare an ice-filled highball glass or chill the liquids if you plan to skip the ice. 
  2. Pour 2 ounces of gin, then top it off with 4-6 ounces of diet tonic water based on your preference. 
  3. If you want to add the club soda, add about 1-1.5 ounces to the glass. 
  4. Gently stir the mixture to blend the liquids. 
  5. Add the garnish of your choice, and serve.

For more keto-friendly cocktail recipes, check out this list.

Conclusion

Even though you’re on a keto diet, you can still enjoy drinking your favorite liquor. Hopefully, this article helped you choose an alternative, so you can still enjoy a glass or two. 

Did this article resonate with you? Let us know in the comments!

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