While following a keto diet, you may be able to enjoy alcoholic drinks that are low in carbs, like hard liquor and light beer. But those containing carbs and sugar, including many cocktails, may not align with a keto diet.

The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low carb, high fat diet that many adopt to lose weight and improve their health.

You typically have to plan your meals carefully so that you stick to your daily carb allotment and keep your body in ketosis. This may mean giving up sweets, snacks, and other high carb indulgences like soft drinks and alcohol.

However, there are plenty of low carb alcoholic beverages that you can enjoy in moderation — even on a keto diet.

This article suggests the best and worst alcoholic drinks to choose while on the keto diet.

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Many low carb alcohol options are available if you follow a keto diet.

For instance, pure forms of alcohol like whiskey, gin, tequila, rum, and vodka are all completely free of carbs.

You can drink them straight or combine them with low carb mixers for more flavor.

Wine and light varieties of beer are also relatively low in carbs — usually containing under 6 grams (g) per serving.

Here’s how the top keto-friendly drinks stack up (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12):

Type of drinkServing size (in ounces and milliliters)Carb content (in grams)
rum1.5 oz (44 mL)0 g
vodka1.5 oz (44 mL)0 g
gin1.5 oz (44 mL)0 g
tequila1.5 oz (44 mL)0 g
whiskey1.5 oz (44 mL)0 g
flavored martini or cosmopolitan3.3 oz (100 mL)6.66 g
bloody Mary5 oz (150 mL)5.70 g
red wine5 oz (150 mL)3.92 g
white wine5 oz (150 mL)3.90 g
light beer12 oz (360 mL)2.63 g–5.90 g

Pure alcohol like rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey contains no carbs. In addition, wine, light beer, and some cocktails can be relatively low in carbs.

Keto-friendly mixers are just as important as the alcohol itself.

Watch for common mixers like regular soda, juice, sweeteners, and energy drinks. They can quickly turn a carb-free drink into a high calorie carb bomb.

Instead, opt for low carb mixers like diet soda, seltzer, diet tonic water, and powdered flavor packets. These mixers can keep your carb intake low while boosting your beverage’s taste.

Here’s the carb content of a few keto-friendly mixers (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18):

Type of mixerServing sizeCarb content (in grams)
diet cola12 oz (360 mL)1.04 g
diet ginger ale12 oz (360 mL)0 g
plain carbonated water, like seltzer12 oz (360 mL)0 g
sweetened carbonated water, like diet tonic water12 oz (360 mL)0 g
powdered drink mixes, like Crystal Light or Wyler’s Light1 packet (2 g)1.75 g


Low carb mixers like diet soda, carbonated water, and powdered flavor packets can help keep the carb content of your drink to a minimum.

Many alcoholic beverages are loaded with carbs, with some varieties packing over 30 g in a single serving.

For example, cocktails and mixed drinks usually rely on high carb, sugary ingredients like soda, juice, sweeteners, or syrups.

Meanwhile, regular beer is produced from starch and can contain upward of 12 g of carbs in just 1 can.

Here’s a comparison of the carb content of several popular alcoholic beverages. Avoid them if you’re on a keto diet (8, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23):

Type of drinkServing size (in ounces and milliliters)Carb content (in grams)
whiskey sour3 oz (90 mL)14.49 g
margarita4 oz (120 mL)19.32 g
piña colada4.3 oz (130 mL)25.35 g
red sangria7.6 oz (228 mL)18.80 g
regular beer12 oz (355 mL)12.80 g

Also, keep in mind that the drinks you might get at a bar or restaurant may be much larger than the recommended serving sizes above.


Cocktails, mixed drinks, and regular beer are often high in carbs, providing over 10 g per serving. These are best avoided if you’re on a keto diet.

Although plenty of low carb, keto-friendly alcoholic beverages are available, that doesn’t mean they should become a regular part of your routine.

Even low carb varieties of alcohol are still rich in “empty” calories. They supply many calories with little to no essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

Not only can overindulging in alcohol increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies over time, but it may also contribute to gradual weight gain.

In fact, in one 8-year study involving 49,324 women, consuming at least two drinks per day was associated with an increased risk of significant weight gain, compared to light or moderate drinking (24).

Alcohol can also suppress fat burning and increase body fat by causing your body to store extra calories as fat tissue (25).

Excessive drinking may also contribute to other serious health conditions, including liver problems, cancer, and heart disease (26, 27, 28, 29).

For this reason, it’s best to keep alcohol intake moderate — defined as one drink per day for women and two per day for men (30).


Even low carb varieties of alcohol can contribute to weight gain, nutritional deficiencies, and serious health conditions. This is why it’s important to moderate your intake.

Even on a keto diet, there are plenty of low carb alcoholic beverages to choose from.

Wine, light beer, and pure alcohol offer little to no carbs per serving. In addition, you can easily pair them with low carb mixers like diet soda, seltzer, and diet tonic water.

However, regardless of your diet, it’s best to keep your consumption of alcohol in check to avoid adverse health effects.