15 Best Diabetes Friendly Alcohol Drinks

When you have diabetes, one of the things you’re told is to be careful about what you drink; especially alcohol.

However, for some people, staying completely free from alcohol can be challenging.

Besides, alcohol consumption does have its health advantages like it could help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and increase good cholesterol levels (HDL).

You’ll only be endangering your health when you consume alcohol excessively.

Some alcoholic drinks are safer to drink as a diabetic than others. Let me show you the 15 best alcoholic beverages for diabetics.

Best Alcoholic Drinks For Diabetics

1. Bloody Mary

Bloody Marys contain high carbs that could be problematic for a diabetic.

However, you can consume it by opting for the virgin drink; this is the non-alcoholic version of a Bloody Mary.

Nevertheless, it’s still enjoyable as it has this spicy and refreshing taste.

You can make this drink yourself without hassles. All you should do is take out the Vodka.

Furthermore, make use of low-sodium tomato juice and include lots of vegetables.

Bloody Marys can be consumed on their own or taken along with any meal.

2. Vodka Soda

A Vodka Soda is a mixture of vodka and soda water or club soda. Soda doesn’t have sugar, carbs, or calories which is why it is ideal for diabetic patients.

When preparing the mixture, there should be more soda than Vodka. For instance, you can mix up to six ounces of soda water or club soda with just one shot of vodka.

The result is a low-calorie drink you can enjoy.

Other ingredients you can add include lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit; any taste you are comfortable with.

3. Dry Red Wine

Your regular red wine is described as “sweet” because it contains sugar. On the other hand, dry red wine has no residual sugar.

Although it isn’t sweet, it is very safe for diabetics. Nevertheless, you’re still going to taste the grapefruit when you consume this wine.

Drinking regular red wine moderately is also not bad. There are studies that prove that drinking red wine about 3 or 4 times a week can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

You should, however, consult with your physician before drinking sweet red wine.

4. Dry White Wine

Just like the dry red wine previously mentioned, dry white wine is a white wine that isn’t “sweet”. This wine has high acidity and a moderate alcohol level.

There are different varieties of dry white wine; the best are those with less than 4g/l of residual sugar.

Mostly, dry white wine is used for cooking as a pantry stable because it is very versatile. Nevertheless, you can still sip on it.

Generally, dry white wine is considered very healthy as it contains antioxidants that can help prevent aging and contribute to losing weight.

5. Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine undergoes a secondary fermentation process, unlike most wines. It doesn’t contain too many calories and carbs; hence, you can consume it moderately.

Take champagne for instance; champagne contains just 80 calories per serving compared to red wine and white wine that contain up to 120 each.

Also, champagne is usually served in very small servings; 4-ounce. Nevertheless, the sparkling wine doesn’t have to be champagne; there are other sparkling wines you go for like American sparkling wines. You can also mix your sparkling wine with sparkling water.

6. Light Beer

If you’re a diabetic and you want to drink a beer, having a light beer is the best choice. These light beers are low in alcohol; just 2.7% compared to standard beers that contain up to 4.6%.

Although light beers have about the same carb content as a standard beer, they do have fewer kilojoules like a low-carb beer.

As a result, such beers won’t give you much energy compared to standard beers; there’s about a 30% reduction.

Nevertheless, don’t have more than 3 or 4 drinks per day of 12-ounce servings.

7. Sherry

Sherry is a Spanish fortified wine. It’s safe for non-insulin-dependent diabetics. However, it still should be consumed moderately.

A 50 ml glass of sherry contains up to 20 percent alcohol by volume. Taking multiple shots of this drink per day is unsafe.

At a time, you shouldn’t consume more than a 2-ounce serving; this serving contains just 74 calories and 2 carbs.

Furthermore, avoid drinking sweet sherry; this contains up to 7 carbs. You can also substitute sherry for any other fortified wine you like.

8. Mojito

A Virgin Mojito is one of the best alcoholic drinks for diabetics. It’s a traditional Cuban drink and very delicious.

It contains low sugar which makes it a low-carb drink but that doesn’t affect the taste in any way.

A standard mojito would consist of these five ingredients: lime juice, sugar, white rum, mint, and soda water.

For a virgin mojito, you just need to take out the sugar and white rum. To make the taste even greater, you can use flavored diet soda, ideally a lemon-flavored one.

9. Martini

A martini may contain high amounts of alcohol, but the drink doesn’t contain carbs or sugars.

However, since a martini still contains high alcohol levels, you should watch your intake.

Don’t consume more than 2.25 ounces at a time; this serving contains 156 calories but very few carbs.

The calorie content is relatively high due to the syrups and juices used.

Instead of using these juices and syrups to prepare your martini, you can opt for fresh watermelon as watermelon contains fewer calories.

Apple is another great substitute to go with.

10. Light Eggnog

A Light Eggnog drink contains less alcohol than a regular one; some are completely non-alcoholic.

It is healthy and non-diary so aside from diabetes, it’s generally beneficial to your health. Light eggnog is very enjoyable as it is smooth, thick, and creamy.

In preparation, healthy ingredients like nutmeg, cinnamon, egg yolks, honey, almond milk, etc. are used.

These ingredients are relatively safe for diabetic patients.

Regular Eggnog on the other hand is usually prepared with sweetened condensed milk and refined sugar which diabetic patients should avoid.

11. Skinny Margarita

This is an alcoholic drink you can describe as light and refreshing. Recipes used only include agave, fresh juices, and liquor.

Ideal juices to go with include fresh lime juice and fresh orange juice.

You can prepare your Skinny Margarita with as many of these ingredients as you want.

However, adding more lime is ideal to keep the sugar on the low-side. When made right, you’ll have a Skinny Margarita drink with just 106 calories and 0.3 grams of sugar.

Plus, you get only 1 gram of carbs per 4-ounce serving.

12. Old-fashioned Cocktail

To prepare an old-fashioned cocktail, you’ll need just whiskey, bitters, sugar, and water. Ideally, you should use Angostura bitters with Bourbon or Rye whiskey.

For a diabetic, you can choose to add just very little sugar or completely exempt it.

Interestingly, an old-fashioned cocktail is one of the lowest-calorie cocktails you can take which makes it safe for diabetics.

A serving of standard old-fashioned cocktails would contain just 156 calories. When you add less sugar and perhaps, more bitters, you get even fewer calories.

13. Whiskey

Can diabetics drink Whiskey? The answer is Yes; whiskey is one of the best alcoholic drinks for diabetics.

As a diabetic patient, it’s best if you consume whiskey along with regular food without skipping any meals. Furthermore, you should avoid Whiskey Sours.

A 3.5-ounce Whiskey Sour contains as much as 14g carbs with 162 calories. Generally, you should avoid Whiskey in a mixed drink as it could be very high in calories.

To make things safer, you can drink your whiskey with water.

14. Straight Tequila

Diabetics can drink straight tequila; it offers some notable health benefits.

Straight tequila is pure agave tequila that doesn’t contain carbs and has few calories.

However, it does contain sugar but it’s safe as the sugars contained in agave are natural and not refined.

These sugars are non-digestible so when consumed they don’t swell up the blood sugar levels.

On the contrary, it could help increase insulin production to help type 2 diabetic patients and lower glucose levels.

This is why tequila is mostly considered to be the healthiest alcohol.

15. Sugar-free Kahlua

Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that contains 20.0% ABV; 37 ml of Kahlua contains up to 15 grams of carbs. Diabetic patients can opt for a sugar-free Kahlua or keto Kahlua; it’s an effective zero-carb drink.

This type of Kahlua still tastes as great as the standard drink if not better. When preparing your sugar-free Kahlua, vodka and rum are the recommended alcohols to use.

Also, you can use vanilla extract as a natural sweetener.

Conclusion

As a diabetic, one way to avoid worsening your condition is by avoiding sugary drinks.

Most alcoholic drinks you’ll find contain carbohydrates which can raise blood sugar and cause more complications.

If you must drink alcohol as a diabetic, opt for safe drinks with less sugar and carbohydrates like the 15 listed in this article.

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Diana is a certified nutritionist and writer at health and wellness blog - superfoodliving.com. Her work is focused on helping people transform life blocks into opportunities for growth and happiness. She is based in NYC, and holds seminars on ways to increase your health and wellbeing.

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