The 9 Best No & Low Sugar Cocktails

The 9 Best No & Low Sugar Cocktails

Most alcohol is frustratingly caloric and mixed drinks are often surprisingly high in added sugars. It’s hard to know what hidden sugars to look out for and which low sugar solutions work as substitutes. While most cocktails average 65 calories per ounce, there are ones inherently healthier. Thankfully, there are also sugar-free and low calorie alternatives, so flavor need not be sacrificed.

Hidden Sugars

Spirits: Spirits like cognac, some gins and rums have a few grams of sugar per liter.
Fruit Juices: Most bottled juices contain added sugars and some naturally have more sugar than others.
Sparkling Wine: Sparkling wine like prosecco will have higher sugar content than a dry brut Cava or Champagne, which still have sugar but will be less.
Bitters: Aromatic bitters often contain small amounts of sugar or caramel, though there are only trace amounts in a few dashes.
Natural Sweeteners: While healthier than processed sugars, natural syrups like honey and agave still contain sugar.


Spirits: Spirits like tequila, unflavored vodka and whiskey have no carbohydrates and are reliable, sugar-free options.
Fresh Juices: Freshly squeezed or unsweetened juices will ensure no added sugars.
Diet Soda: Opt for diet tonic water or diet soda. While most are sweetened with artificial sugars, there are some which use natural sweeteners that lack the negative side effects associated with artificial sweeteners.
Sugar-Free Sweeteners: These are virtually calorie free and preserve the true flavor of the drink.
No Syrup: There are 20g of sugar per ounce of simple syrup, it’s found in many cocktails and can be easily be omitted by the bartender.

1. Martini

Photo by @MykolaSenyuk

There should be no surprise here as the classic Martini recipe contains no fruit juices, syrups, and no sugar. A single Martini has less that 1g of sugar and if you prefer a dry Martini, the extra dry vermouth will increase it to 50g. It’s no wonder this is the drink of choice for so many.

Get the recipe

2. Paloma

Paloma Grapefruit Juice Lime Juice Simple Syrup Bitters Soda Water Iced Cocktail
Photo by @bhofack2

The Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail and, when adjusted, can easily become a low sugar cocktail. Traditionally made with tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, grapefruit bitters (optional), and soda water. Tequila, a no sugar spirit, is a great base to build a low carb drink on. Opt for fresh lime juice, fresh grapefruit juice, and scrap the simple syrup (or use a sugar-free sweetener). These substitutes will drastically lower the all over sugar content to 2g of this flavorful cocktail.

Get the recipe

3. Americano

Americano Red Campari Amaro Red Sweet Vermouth Soda Water Iced Cocktail
Photo by @Bhofack2

This Italian aperitivo is both low proof and low sugar. The Americano is simply composed of the bitter Italian amaro Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water. The sugar count from the liqueurs is limited to 15g and its total calories amount to 80.

Get the recipe

4. Dark ‘N’ Stormy

Dark And Stormy
Photo by @Bhofack2

This dark rum-based cocktail can easily be made low-carb by using substitutes. When made with diet ginger beer and fresh lime juice, the total sugar count is just 1.5g. To reduce the overall sweet flavor of the drink, we recommend cutting the ginger beer with soda water.

Get the recipe

5. Gin Rickey

The 9 Best No &Amp; Low Sugar Cocktails &Mdash; The Shaken Cocktail
Photo by @Bhofack2

This cocktail was named after the Washington D.C lobbyist Joe Rickey, who favored zero-sugar drinks. This variation is dry and tart but surprisingly balanced and refreshing. While similar to the Gimlet and Tom Collins the Gin Rickey stands on its own with no added sugar and only 2g of carbs.

Get the recipe

6. Old Pal

Old Pal Rye Whiskey Dry Vermouth Bitter Italian Amaro Liqueur Cocktail
Photo by @cceee

The Old Pal, essentially a dry Boulevardier, uses rye whiskey, dry vermouth, and Campari. Rye is drier and spicier in flavor than bourbon and the use of dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth lowers the caloric content from 150 in a Boulevardier to 115 in this drink with just 6g of sugar.

Get the recipe

7. Ranch Water

Ranch Water With Tequila Soda Water And Limes
Photo by @Katerryna

Ranch Water is a refreshing drink that combines the invigorating flavors of tequila, lime juice, and soda water. Creating a delightful blend that quenches your thirst like no other. It’s a delightful fusion of a Tom Collins and a Margarita, resulting in a drink that is both simple and customizable to suit your preferences. Plus, with its low sugar content of less than 1g, Ranch Water is the smart and guilt-free choice for those watching their carb intake.

Get the recipe

8. Bicicletta

Bicicletta Bitter Italian Amaro Liqueur White Wine Soda Water Cocktail
Photo by @pinarimsi

The Bicicletta is both dry and bitter, composed of Campari, white wine, and soda water. It’s part of the spritz family but it swaps out the sugary sparkling wine with soda water and white wine. It has 10g of sugar and 43 calories; compared to an Aperol Spritz at 279 calories, the Biciletta is a great low sugar alternative.

Get the recipe

9. Tom Collins

Tom Collins
Photo by @Bhofack2

The Tom Collins is a light and refreshing cocktail. Traditionally, it calls for Old Tom gin; this type of gin often contains added sugar depending on the brand, so choose carefully. Other ingredients in a Collins include lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water. Opt instead for fresh squeezed lemon juice and a sugar-free sweetener (or none at all) and this drink drops from 176 calories to 101 and less than 1g of sugar.

Get the recipe

These adjustments are an excellent reminder that you don’t have to endure a dry bitter drink in order to be mindful of a cocktails sugar content. Consider low sugar substitutes with drinks like the Mojito, Daiquiri, or Mint Julep for lighter and cleaner cocktails.

Did you enjoy the article? Let us know your thoughts and leave a comment.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *