Food & Drinks

What Liquor Has No Sugar? (Best Sugar-Free Drink Options)

What Liquor Has No Sugar?

When you’re following a low-carb or keto diet to lose weight or have health concerns, going out for drinks can become a minefield if you’re trying to avoid sugar. The problem lies in the calories found in liquor rather than it being sugar-free.

The so-called ’empty calories’ can cause you to gain body fat without providing nutritional value to your diet.

So, which liquor has no sugar?

The list of liquors that don’t contain sugar isn’t very long, but it at least offers a relatively wide range of choices. Most of the ‘big’ distilled liquor choices that do not contain sugar are:

  • Brandy
  • Cognac
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey

Each contains between 90 and 100 calories, so they won’t mess up your diet too much if you like imbibing from time to time. The secret to sugar-free drinking is your choice of the mixer—soda water and on the rocks are the two favorite choices.

Alternatively, you can enjoy your favorite tipple with a sugar-free or diet version of the mixer. Or, as a last resort, opt for pre-mixed sugar-free drinks.

We’ll first look at the liquors that do not contain sugar before going on a bit of discovery to see how alcohol can fit into a low-carb diet. Next, we’ll give you some tips on sugar-free syrups and mixers to help you keep your liquor and diet sugar-free. Lastly, we’ll look at sugar-free drink options so you won’t feel left out when you must adhere to your sugar-free commitment.

What Liquor Doesn’t Contain Sugar?

What Liquor Doesn't Contain Sugar?

Most spirits or hard liquors do not contain carbohydrates or sugar. If you’re following a low-carb or keto diet to lose weight or have health concerns, going out for drinks can become a minefield if you’re trying to avoid sugar. 

If you’ve got your physician’s approval to drink in moderation (as we all should), you can easily incorporate alcohol into a keto or low-carb diet.

Your best options are:

  • Brandy
  • Cognac
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey

You probably think it’s great, but straight shots of a spirit are not conducive to a great night out because you’ll get drunk exceptionally quickly. Fear not; we have some options we’ll share with you a bit later.

Low-Carb Diets and Alcohol

Low-Carb Diets And Alcohol

A low carbohydrate diet, also known as the ketogenic (keto) diet, is a specific diet some people adopt to lose weight or on the recommendation of their doctor or nutritionist.

The diet focuses on minimizing carbohydrate intake while pushing up the healthy fat intake to keep your body in ketosis. Typically you’d plan your meals to avoid carbohydrates such as starches, sugar, starchy vegetables, and sugary fruits to keep your body in a state of ketosis.

The three main food groups we need for survival can be categorized as follows: proteins, fats, and carbs.

Each has its function in our overall physical and mental well-being. All vegetables and fruits are carbs, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them or demonize them.

Here’s a list of low-carb foods to help you make healthy choices.

While the health benefits are great, you might feel a bit left out at a party and don’t know what to drink or avoid drinking alcohol altogether because you don’t want to derail your diet and progress.

But fear not. There are low-carb and sugar-free alcoholic beverages and mixers you can enjoy in moderation without crashing your diet.

Where Do the Calories and Sugar Come From?

Where Do The Calories And Sugar Come From?

The main culprit, even when the liquor is sugar-free, is calories. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the amount of energy a food or drink contains is measured in calories and will be released in your body when the body digests and absorbs food.

Simply put, when consuming more calories than you need, your body will store it as body fat.

A calorie is a scientific measurement that measures energy. One calorie of energy is required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.

But when it comes to food and the body, we’re talking about the energy our bodies can utilize from our food and drinks.

Without getting too technical, let’s just say the body wants to get rid of the alcohol because it sees it as a toxin (you can read more about this topic here).

The metabolism of alcohol is an intricate process, and your liver can only use so much alcohol for energy before the rest is dumped as acetic acid via urine. This may sound like good news, but moderate consumption of one to two drinks per day can result in slight weight gain.

So, distilled spirits like vodka, gin, whiskey, and tequila do not contain sugar. Why does sugar become the next culprit in weight gain?

Sugar contributes the most calories to a drink (after alcohol), and medical experts agree that excess sugar can result in weight gain and obesity over time.

But hang on… we just said certain spirits do not contain sugar? That’s true, but have you considered your mixer? The other liquor or even liqueurs that are used in your cocktail? Probably not.

To put it all in perspective: most straight spirits contain between 90 and 100 calories per 1.5-ounce shot. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but let’s consider one drink for argument’s sake.

A shot of whiskey contains 97 calories, which is not bad. However, when you mix it with 6 ounces of Coke, you suddenly add 68 calories, totaling 167 calories for one drink.

Knock back a few during a night out; you’ve probably consumed the next day’s calories. Do this for a few nights a week… you know where we’re heading with this all.

The mixer is usually the culprit for added calories in drinks.

Sugar-Free Alcohol Options

Sugar-Free Alcohol Options

We’ve promised you some sugar-free options, and here they are. We hope this little guide will help you the next time you head out to the bar to celebrate or just want to mix something nice to drink at home while you kick back and relax.

But first, let’s look at the basics—simple syrups and mixers that are sugar-free too.

Sugar-Free Syrups and Mixers

Sugar-Free Syrups And Mixers

Many cocktails call for simple syrup; if you’re trying to stay sugar-free, this can derail your efforts. Luckily, there are sugar-replacement sweeteners such as xylitol and the newer kid on the block, Erythritol.

Erythritol is an alcohol sugar when glucose derived from corn or wheat starch is fermented with a particular type of yeast. The final product is a white, fine crystal.

About 90% gets absorbed into the bloodstream, but it does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels and remains unchanged. Final excretion happens via urine, while the remaining 10% proceeds to the colon, where it remains intact and excreted.

To make simple syrup, you need 100 grams (3.5 oz) of erythritol and 120 ml (4 oz) water. Combine the ingredients over medium heat, and stir until everything is dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool, and store it in a sterilized bottle.

There’s an abundance of diet, lite, and sugar-free mixer options on the market. If you don’t like fancy mixers, you could always choose staples such as soda water or seltzer to mix with your drinks.

Sugar-Free Pre-Mixed Drinks

Sugar-Free Pre-Mixed Drinks

If you don’t want to spend hours tracking down sugar-free mixer options, why not consider pre-mixed drinks? We’ve collected some of the best options below for your convenience.

Truly’s Hard Seltzer

Just mixing fruit juice and seltzer is kind of boring. Enter Truly Hard Seltzer—they offer more than 30 flavors, and each can only contain 100 calories, zero sugar, and a mere 2 grams of carbs.

Crook & Marker Zero Sugar Cocktails

They offer spiked seltzers made from the cassava root, amaranth, quinoa, and millet and don’t contain artificial sweeteners or flavors. All their products are naturally colored and sweetened.

Moreover, their products are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and made from organic alcohol. Kick back and crack open a delicious cocktail from Crook & Marker.

White Claw Seltzer and Vodka

Most people associate White Claw with hard seltzer, but that’s changed! They’re now offering a filtered triple-filtered vodka, but with a twist. They filter their vodka three times using a pressure equal to a 30-foot wave.

Of course, they still offer the hard seltzer flavors, and their products range between 1 gram (Surf, Refreshr Lemonade, Iced Tea) and two grams of sugar (Hard Seltzer and Surge variants).

Kettle One Vodka, Botanicals, and Spritzes

Kettle One offers three vodka variants: Vodka, Citroen (with a citrus taste), and Oranje (with a hint of spice). A botanicals series (Grapefruit & Rose, Cucumber & Mint, and Peach and Orange Blossom).

They also produce a range of pre-mixed vodka spritzes that are sugar-free.

Smirnoff’s Zero Sugar Infusions

Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions are the way to go if you’re after full flavor without having to worry about your sugar intake.

It is available in four delicious infusions: Lemon & Elderflower, Cucumber & Lime, Strawberry & Rose, and Watermelon & Mint.

These naturally flavored infusions do not have any artificial flavors, carbs, gluten, or sugar and be enjoyed with ice-cold premium soda water.


We’ve been on a wild ride this time, won’t you say? From exploring which liquors do not contain sugar to where the sugar in your drink comes from, finally arrive at sugar-free options.

Remember, the higher the proof of the distilled product, the more calories it will contain; you should keep this in mind. Luckily, you can also buy sugar-free, pre-mixed drinks to make life a bit easier.

If you prefer mixing your cocktails, we have you covered with the simple sugar-free recipe. Go forth and celebrate sugar-free!