Keto Alcohol Guide: Low Carb Drink Choices

A Keto alcohol guide? Yes. You can totally enjoy a drink or two from time-to-time on this diet plan.

Over the years, I’ve read countless dieting books that prohibited me from drinking alcohol. Actually, it’s probably the first thing that many “diet gurus” say to cut out of your diet. Alcohol gets a bad reputation because it’s basically empty calories.

In an ideal world, sure. I’ll give up alcohol to lose weight. But let’s get serious. I’m almost thirty years old and I very much enjoy a tasty alcoholic beverage (or 3) from time-to-time and a night on the town. If the ketogenic diet is going to be a liveable and long-term lifestyle for me, alcohol is required.

The beauty of eating keto is that you can make alcohol choices that are low carb and still lose weight! Stick to the options in my keto alcohol guide and you’ll be more than prepared for anything!

Low Carb Liquor

On average, one shot is the equivalent to about 1.5oz and for these spirits have a nutritional value of 0 carbs and roughly 64 calories.  Of course, this will vary depending on how much is actually in your beverage (order a double? Double the nutritional stats).

Approved spirits on a keto, low carb diet include:

Clear Spirits

  • Vodka (Three Olives, Absolut, Grey Goose, etc.)
  • Rum (Captain Morgan, etc)
  • Gin (Tanqueray, Beefeater, etc)
  • Tequila

Dark Spirits

  • Whiskey (Jack Daniel’s, etc.)
  • Scotch
  • Brandy
  • Cognac (Hennessy, etc.)

Please note that these are for the original, unflavored versions. For flavored spirits (including flavored vodkas and some dark/coconut rums), always check up on nutritional information before consuming as they often contain carbohydrates.

My spirit of choice is generally a nice gin (with soda water and lime) or cognac (with diet cola).

Low Carb Beer

I’m going to be up front. It’s really hard to find good beers that are low carb and keto friendly.  Craft beef and IPAs are usually too high in carbohydrates. While they generally leave me wanting more, your main options will be low carb light beers. Be sure to avoid anything red, amber or dark.

Some low carb beer picks include (per 12 oz/bottle):

Lowest Carb Beers

  • Bud Select 55: 55 calories, 1.9 carbs
  • MGD 64: 64 calories, 2.4 carbs
  • Rolling Rock Green Light: 92 calories, 2.4 carbs
  • Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 2.6 carbs
  • Bud Select: 99 calories, 3.1 carbs
  • Miller Lite: 96 calories, 3.2 carbs
  • Natural Light: 95 calories, 3.2 carbs
  • Michelob Ultra Amber: 114 calories, 3.7 carbs
  • Coors Light: 102 calories, 5 carbs
  • Amstel Light: 95 calories, 5 carbs
  • Bud Light: 110 calories, 6.6 carbs

Low Carb Wine

I was extremely excited to find out that wine can fit into a low carb, keto diet! I had always figured that since it was made from grapes it would be crawling in sugar, but luckily this isn’t the case!  These numbers are based on 5 oz servings.

Red wines to enjoy:

  • Merlot: 120 calories, 3.7 carbs
  • Pinot Noir: 121 calories, 3.4 carbs
  • Cabernet: 120 calories, 3.8 carbs
  • Syrah: 130 calories, 3.9 carbs
  • Zinfandel: 130 calories, 4.2 carbs

White wines to enjoy:

  • Champagne/Sparking whites: 96 calories, 1.5 carbs
  • Pinot Gris/Grigio: 122 calories, 3.2 carbs
  • Chardonnay: 118 calories, 3.7 carbs
  • Riesling: 118 calories, 5.5 carbs

Chasers and Mixers

For mixing or chasing, you have many no sugar, zero calorie options:

  • Diet soda (Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Ginger Ale)
  • Soda water
  • Diet tonic water
  • Seltzer water
  • Sugar-free energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster, etc.)
  • Sparkling water (Perrier, LaCroix)
  • Sugar-free drink mixes

Keto Alcohol Tips, tricks and what to avoid

  • Be wary of food choices while under the influence. You can still get the cheeseburger that is high in fat from your favorite fast food place, just avoid the bun and French fries.
  • Staying in? Keep one of my keto recipes prepared and on hand when the munchies strike!
  • Avoid fruit juice, shots with fruity tastes (peach schnapps, blue curacao, etc.) as they are generally concentrated sources of sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Be aware that when consuming alcohol, it is burned first before fat in the body. For some people, this causes a stall. In others, it jumpstarts weight loss. Test it for yourself and see how your body handles it!
  • Make sure your electrolytes are in check. Failure to do so could result in a nasty hangover or keto flu symptoms.
  • Some notice more water weight after a night of drinking while others are more dehydrated.
  • Follow this keto alcohol guide and make smart choices!
  •  #1 Rule – After a few weeks of a low carb diet, you will notice your alcohol tolerance is dramatically lower. Take caution! One or two drinks should be more than enough.

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