Keto Friendly Alcohol Drinks – Can I Have Alcohol Drinks on Keto?

Is there a difference between various alcohol drinks when I am on a ketogenic diet?not all of these are keto friendly alcohol drinks - ketogenic fitness club

Let’s first get one thing out of the way: Alcohol will not help you lose weight, in any way, shape or form. If you decide to have a drink or two, be sure to go for keto friendly alcohol drinks. But you should know that your body will prioritize burning alcohol over anything else.

Simply put – the more alcohol you drink, the slower the weight loss.

That being said, some alcoholic drinks are just fine to drink, while others are a huge mistake when on keto.

To simplify the message: Beer is higher in carbs than wine, this is the main reason most keto eating individuals prefer wine over beer. Note that whiskey and vodka for instance contain no carbs at all, but gin does. You can not always determine the sugar content by the color of the drink, and you should as a rule avoid all sweet drinks (and beer…).


Please see my complete keto friendly alcoholic drink guide on the bottom of this post 🙂


Beer vs. Wine

A glass of Champagne contains about 1g of sugar (carbohydrate), while one glass of draft beer contains about 13g. Wines, red or white, both contain about 2g per glass – so they should also be your choice over beer.

Comparing the two, beer and wine/champagne – beer contains 7-14 times the amount of carbs!



Champagne and Wine

When on keto, your goal is to be below 20-25g of carbs per day, so you should be able to have a glass of champagne or wine if you’d like to. It all comes down to your carb intake for the rest of your meals that day (math). Wine is normally not a problem when on a keto diet, wine is also considered a paleo friendly alcohol drink.

Bear in mind, the sugar levels per glass of dry wines is about 0.5g, the rest (1.5) are various fermentation residue and should not be of impact to your insulin or blood sugar levels. If we calculate 2g per glass when consuming dry wine, red or white, we are safe and in the ballpark of what is factual.

This means that if you enjoy the occasional glass of dry wine – good news: all dry wines are considered to be keto friendly, and more often than not, of course depending on the severity of your condition, dry wines are also said to be diabetic friendly alcohol drinks.



What about Beer?

Beer is to be avoided when on keto. Period. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression beer belly, and for good reason: beer contains a lot of fast carbs, i.e. rapidly digestible, and is often referred to as liquid bread. Beer is therefore somewhat of an enemy when trying to control one’s weight, and this is not a case where you keep your friends close and your enemies closer. No! 🙂

Again, stay away from beer when on keto. But if you “have to” have a beer, go for a “Lite” version with 1g of carbs per 100ml. That comes down to about 5g per pint (500ml), which is low for beer – but still a lot when comparing to a glass of wine, 5 times higher in fact.

Again, it all comes down to your food intake for the day, but never eat less to be able to drink beer – you are not doing yourself any favor!

You might also like: How to start on a Ketogenic Diet plan for free


What Spirits to Include in a Diet Friendly Alcohol Drink

Having a drink with spirits can often be the preferred drink of choice, and that’s fine. I was surprised to find out that my favorite spirit drink, was far from keto safe: Gin & Tonic. It is in fact full of sugar from the Gin, at about 16g per drink.

If you stick to the pure spirits like vodka, cognac (or brandy), tequila and whiskey – you are drinking a diet friendly alcohol drink, as they contain zero carbs 🙂

Also, sugar sweetened drinks should be avoided completely, as they can be filled with carbs – often as high as 20-40g per drink, depending on the bartender and raw materials used to mix the drink.

Remember, not two drinks are the same when they come from different bars…

And never mix a drink with soda or juice when on keto, those are sugar bombs and disastrous.


Alcoholic “Ready-made’s” / Wine Coolers

These are alcoholic drinks premixed in a bottle or can, often mixed with sodas and juice (in the same drink). They are really high in sugars and should be avoided by any individuals trying to keep their sugar intake to the minimum.

These are prime examples of non-friendly alcoholic drinks 🙁


My Top 5 Keto Friendly Alcohol Drinks

vodka and soda water with lime is a keto friendly alcohol drink1. Vodka, soda water & Lime – a great replacement for my all time favorite Gin & Tonic.

Contains 0g of carbs per drink.




cognac2. Cognac – this aged quality beverage is a great stand-alone drink.

Contains 0g of carbs per drink.




white wine3. Dry White Wine – this is one of my go-to-choices when in company of my lovely wife, we share a bottle and enjoy ourselves.

Contains 2g of carbs per glass.




red wine4. Dry Red Wine – this is my second go-to-choice when enjoying the company of my wife in everyday life. Works great with keto dishes of red meats.

Contains 2g of carbs per glass.


champagne or sparkling wine



5. Dry Champagne / sparkling wine – a truly great drink to celebrate milestones of your keto diet. Pop open one of these every 10 days to share with your significant other and/or your keto partner in crime.

Contains 1g of carbs per glass.



Careful Reminder: Don’t Over Do It

When you want to enjoy the occasional keto friendly alcohol drink, be sure to be careful: Alcohol levels seem to feel higher in the body when on keto, the reason for this is not quite established.

It could be because your liver is busy producing ketones instead of glucose, or it could be because your bloodstream is now rid of glucose all together.


The jury is still out on this one, but one thing is for sure – you will feel it sooner than you’re used to.


This can be considered a good thing, as you now require less alcohol to feel a buzz (if that is what you’re after). Non the less, it is cheaper to drink alcoholic drinks when on keto.

Be careful, and mind your intake – both in regard to carbs and units – and you can enjoy alcoholic drinks, even when on keto 🙂

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