World's 1st Carnivore App

The 10 Best Low-Carb Cocktails for Diabetics

Controlling sugar, carbohydrates, and weight is super important for diabetic patients as they must have blood sugar and insulin levels under control. To manage these factors, you need to drink alcohol minimally by choosing from these 10 best low-carb cocktails for diabetics.

The 10 Best Low-Carb Cocktails for Diabetics
  • Diabetic patients can consume low-carb cocktails in moderation.
  • While low-carb cocktails are healthier for diabetics, they can cause disorders in fat metabolism, nerve damage, eye disease, impotence, peripheral neuropathy, and retinopathy.
  • Vodka soda, gin and tonic, pickle juice vodka, and skinny margarita are among the best low-carb cocktails for diabetics.
  • Although 1 or 2 drinks daily are considered moderate use, diabetics need to consult healthcare professionals to ensure a safe amount of alcohol consumption.

Can People with Diabetes Drink Low-Carb Cocktails?

As we know, diabetic patients need to control their sugar intake and avoid too sweet foods and drinks. So, low-carb cocktails are generally better than regular cocktails for people with diabetes since they contain lower carbohydrates and sugar [1].

Cocktails are alcoholic drinks consisting of a spirit or spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice or cream.

Although low-carb cocktails have less sugar and fewer carbs, you need to consume alcohol even in low-carb cocktails in moderation and based on your specific diet, especially if it is advised by your healthcare professional.

If you consume the best low-carb cocktails for diabetics in moderation, you can even benefit from the nutrients found in these drinks.

Learn More: The 20 Best Low-Carb Beers: Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Options

Cocktails Nutritional Value

Different cocktails have various ingredients hence varying nutrients. Cocktails can include sugar, carbohydrates, and calories.

For example, a standard margarita (225 g) can have between 200 and 300 calories per serving, with 30-40 grams of sugar [2]. A piña colada may pack up to 400 calories with 40 grams of sugar [3].

However, low-carb cocktails like vodka soda have about 130 calories and virtually no sugar or carbohydrates, which can bring about different health benefits for diabetic patients [4].

Dr. Sarah Hallberg, Medical Director at Virta Health:

"Low-carb diets can be very effective in managing blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. While alcohol can be included in a low-carb diet, it's important to choose wisely and consume in moderation."

The Benefits of Low-Carb Cocktails for Diabetics

Low-carb cocktails are often preferred by diabetic individuals as they usually contain fewer sugars and carbohydrates, which can help in managing blood sugar levels more effectively compared to regular cocktails.

Regular cocktails often contain high amounts of sugars and syrups that can cause rapid spikes in blood glucose levels, posing a risk for diabetic people [5].

Low-carb cocktails use ingredients like sugar-free mixers, club soda, and fresh herbs, providing a healthier alternative without compromising on taste. Additionally, low-carb cocktails can be made with spirits like vodka, gin, or tequila, which have minimal carbs, making them a safer option for those managing diabetes.

By choosing low-carb options, diabetic individuals can enjoy social drinking while keeping their blood sugar levels in check and maintaining overall health.

However, consuming alcohol, even low-carb, may cause some negative health effects.

Learn More: 20 Best Zero-Calorie Drinks: Are They Healthy for Weight Loss?

The Risks of Low-Carb Cocktails for Diabetics

The intake of alcohol can significantly affect blood glucose and react to the present diabetes medications, leading to hypoglycemia and insulin resistance [6].

Also, long-term alcohol use in well-nourished diabetics can increase blood sugar levels but it can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels in diabetics not adequately nourished.

Additionally, heavy drinking by diabetics can lead to the accumulation of certain acids in the blood that negatively affect their health.

Alcohol consumption can also worsen diabetes-related medical problems like disorders in fat metabolism, nerve damage, and eye disease [7] [8].

In addition, consuming low-carb cocktails regularly, i.e., 2-4 drinks a day interferes with diabetic blood sugar control and increases the risk of impotence, peripheral neuropathy, and retinopathy [9].

Amy Gorin, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist:

"For people with diabetes, low-carb cocktails might be a better option to help manage blood sugar levels. However, it's crucial to be aware of the potential effects of alcohol on blood glucose and to monitor levels closely."

How Often Can Diabetics Have Low-Carb Cocktails?

People with diabetes should drink only moderately. The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans define moderate alcohol consumption as up to 1 drink a day for women and up to 2 drinks daily for men [10].

One standard drink can be

  • 12 fluid ounces (360 mL) of regular beer (5% alcohol)
  • 5 fluid ounces (150 mL) of wine (12% alcohol)
  • 1.5 fluid ounces (45 mL) of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol)

Still, it does not mean that a person should consume alcohol every single day. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should drink in moderation and always with food to avoid hypoglycemia [11].

Classic cocktails vary in levels of alcohol, calories, and sugar. Still, many classic cocktails contain high levels of sugar per serving and a day's worth of sugar that could go over the average recommended daily intake for diabetics (which, according to the American Heart Association, is generally no more than 25 grams of sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men) [12].

So, it’s best to drink minimally and only from the best low-carb cocktails for diabetics listed below.

Learn More: Low-Carb Wine: The 10 Best Red and White Wines

The Best Low-Carb Cocktails for Diabetics

The best low-carb cocktails for diabetics contain fewer carbohydrates and less sugar, which, therefore goes a long way in regulating the blood sugar levels effectively.

Moreover, they tend to be lower in calories, which can help maintain body weight, another critical step for controlling diabetes.

Here is the list of the best low-carb cocktails for diabetics:

  1. Vodka Soda
  2. Gin and Tonic with a Twist
  3. Pickle Juice Vodka Shot
  4. Skinny Margarita
  5. Low-Carb Sangria
  6. Champagne: Most dry Champagnes, such as Brut or Extra Brut
  7. Light Beer
  8. Dry Martini
  9. Whiskey Sour with a Twist
  10. Low-Carb Bloody Mary
Diabetes Prevalence and Alcohol Consumption:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2020, about 34.2 million Americans have diabetes (10.5% of the US population).

Vodka Soda

This simple and popular cocktail is one of the best low-carb cocktails for diabetics as it contains almost zero sugar and carbohydrates, which don’t cause blood sugar spikes.

1 drink (225 g) of vodka soda only contains vodka, club soda, and a lime wedge, which results in about [13]

  • 133 kcal calories
  • 0 g carbohydrates
  • 0 g sugar
  • 19.1 g alcohol, ethyl

Gin and Tonic with a Twist

Mixing gin, diet tonic water, and lemon or lime twist creates a popular low-carb drink, as diet tonic water reduces sugar content significantly.

1 glass (63 g) of this drink provides about [14]

  • 189 kcal calories
  • 0 g carbohydrates (with diet tonic)
  • 0 g sugar (with diet tonic)
  • 21 g alcohol, ethyl

Learn More: Can You Drink Diet Soda While Fasting?

Pickle Juice Vodka

Shots of straight hard liquors usually contain minimum sugars you can drink safely. However, sometimes you want to try diluted alcohol or add some flavor without adding sugar.

In this case, you can try a shot of pickle juice vodka or dill pickle martini, which contains almost zero sugar but a surprisingly tangy taste.

1 serving of pickle juice vodka contains about

  • 146 kcal calories
  • 0 g carbohydrates
  • 0 g sugar
  • 31 g alcohol, ethyl

Skinny Margarita

To make one serving of skinny margarita, you need tequila, fresh lime juice, orange extract, and stevia or another sugar substitute.

Using sugar substitutes makes this drink one of the best low-carb cocktails for diabetics, which causes no blood glucose spike.

100 MLT (3 g) of Skinny Margarita provides about [15]

  • 19 kcal calories
  • 2 g carbohydrates
  • 0 g sugar
  • 14 g alcohol

Low-Carb Sangria

Low-Carb Sangria is made with dry white or red wine, club soda, fresh fruit (berries, citrus), and stevia sweetener. This version of Sangria has a lower sugar content than traditional Sangria.

1 drink (225 g) of low-carb Sangria with white wine contains about [16]

  • 217 kcal calories
  • 4 g carbohydrates
  • 1 g sugar
  • 20.3 g alcohol, ethyl

Dry Champagne

Dry Champagne (Brut) is a low-sugar variation of champagne, which is made with only one ingredient, champagne. Each glass (180 g) of champagne contains about [17]

  • 148 kcal calories
  • 4 g carbohydrates
  • 1 g sugar
  • 18.5 g alcohol, ethyl

Light Beer

As its name suggests, light beer is a light version of regular beer, with lower sugar, carbohydrates, and calories. Each can or bottle (360 g) of light beer contains about [18]

  • 104 kcal calories
  • 5 g carbohydrates
  • 0.3 g sugar
  • 11.2 g alcohol, ethyl
Impact of Low-Carb Diets on Diabetes:

A study published in the journal Diabetes Therapy (2020) found that low-carb diets can significantly improve glycemic control and reduce the need for diabetes medication in people with type 2 diabetes.

Dry Martini

A glass of Dry Martini usually contains gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and garnishes like olives, lemons, and baby onions. To manage blood sugar levels, you can also try Dirty Martinis as they contain minimum sugar content.

However, please note that most of the martinis made in bars contain high levels of sugar, so you need to communicate what ingredients you need or make Martinis at home.

1 drink of Martini (120 g) contains about [19]

  • 241 kcal calories
  • 0.18 g carbohydrates
  • 0.18 g sugar
  • 34.8 g alcohol, ethyl

Whiskey Sour with a Twist

This low-carb, low-sugar drink is made with whiskey (bourbon or rye), fresh lemon juice, simple syrup (or sugar syrup), and a twist of lemon peel (for garnish).

One portion (106 g) of Whiskey Sour contains about [20]

  • 158 kcal calories
  • 4 g carbohydrates
  • 1 g sugar
  • 14.9 g alcohol, ethyl

Low-Carb Bloody Mary

A Bloody Mary is a good drink for diabetics avoiding blood sugar spikes, as it contains low levels of sugar. You can make a Bloody Mary using vodka, unsweetened tomato juice, hot sauce, garlic, and other spices and flavorings.

1 drink of Bloody Mary (225 g) contains about [21]

  • 164 kcal
  • 8.55 g carbohydrates
  • 5.08 g sugar
  • 17.6 g alcohol, ethyl


The best low-carb cocktails for diabetics contain minimal levels of carbohydrates and sugar and low levels of calories to manage blood sugar levels and weight.

Although low-carb cocktails can be safe for most diabetics, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional first to ensure your favorite cocktails align with your specific diet and medications.

Similar posts

Recent Recipes

Prep Time
20 mins

These Carnivore diet deviled eggs are among the easiest and yummiest Carnivore breakfast and brunch ideas. Click here to learn how to make these delicious eggs.

Read more
Prep Time
10 mins

This Carnivore chicken liver recipe gives you a yummy and high-protein dish in only 10 minutes. Click here to learn how to make this delicious and healthy meal.

Read more
Prep Time
20 mins

This Carnivore pork belly recipe gives you crispy cracks suitable for all meals, especially lunch and dinner. Click here to learn how to make this yummy dish.

Read more