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Essential Spirits and Mixers for Low-Carb Cocktails

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Back in 2020, a survey showed that 17% of Americans are either on a keto diet or are planning to go on it. Just a year prior, only 4.4% of the respondents said they were following a keto diet. Now, keto is still on the upward trend. Restaurants have added offers to their food menus that will fit into this low-carb dietary plan. Bars have also begun to offer low-carb drinks.

Business owners need to pay attention to such shifts in people’s behavior. This is an opportunity for your hospitality business that you should not miss! Work on your food and beverage menu and add low-carb cocktails, meals, and other options to appeal to a larger customer base. 

If you are currently wondering whether it would make business sense or you don’t know what kind of products from your beverage inventory you can use to create low-carb cocktails, we will help you. In this article, we will go through all of the essential spirits (even spicy spirits) that are appropriate to drink when you are on keto. We will also discuss drink mixers with low carbohydrate content. 

When you have a list of both types of alcohol and mixers, your bartenders will be able to create great cocktails easily. So let’s jump right into it!

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Essential Low-Carb Spirits for Your Beverage Inventory

Creating low-carb cocktails requires careful planning of the ingredients. You need to choose both spirits and mixers with low-carb content to achieve the desired results. There are many different mixers nowadays you can use, but the alcohol variety is not as big. That’s why we first want to talk about the essential spirits to get. 

Key Takeaway: Low-carb cocktails are great to have on your menu and will appeal to people following a keto diet. They can be made by using naturally carb-free spirits or low on carbohydrates. There are also plenty of drink mixers that are low on carbs that can be used.

These are spirits that you should have in your offers anyway because they can be used to make all kinds of drinks. People also enjoy them neat throughout the year. However, if a customer comes in and says they are on a keto diet, your waiters should know what to recommend. 


Vodka is a spirit that’s typically low on carbohydrates. It’s also very versatile and you can make numerous vodka cocktails. However, be careful with the craft vodkas because some of them may have ingredients that will increase the carbohydrate content. For customers on keto, always recommend vodka without added sugars or special flavors. 


Gin is another low-carb option, especially if it's made with traditional botanicals and doesn't contain added sugars or syrups. There are plenty of low-carb cocktails you can make with gin as a base. You can look through the best gin cocktails for inspiration. If you want to avoid adding carbs through the garnishes, use gin spices for added flavor and visual interest.


Pure tequila made from 100% agave is naturally low in carbohydrates. There are different types of tequila and you should be careful when choosing one to use for low-carb cocktails. Once you have the right type, you can make all kinds of delicious tequila cocktails.


Opt for a light or silver rum, which tends to have fewer carbohydrates compared to flavored or spiced rums. When you choose an appropriate mixer, you can make great drinks with rum for people following a keto diet plan. 


Whiskey is generally carb-free. No matter if it’s rye, bourbon, or Scotch, you can make low-carb cocktails with it. Many people on keto also like to drink their whiskey neat. If you are running a restaurant, it’s worth looking into food and whiskey pairings. This knowledge will help you improve the customer experience

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Essential Drink Mixers for Low-Carb Cocktails

To make the best possible low-carb cocktails, you need quality drink mixers. To help you choose the right low-carb mixers for your keto cocktails, we created this comprehensive list. Keep reading so you can step up your low-carb drinks game!

Soda Water

Soda water or club soda is carb-free and adds fizz to cocktails without adding extra sugars or calories. This makes it a perfect mixer for low-carb cocktails. When you choose a low-carb cocktail garnish, you will get the perfect drink for any person following a keto diet!

Diet Tonic Water

Diet tonic water is a low-calorie and low-carb alternative to regular tonic water, which contains added sugars. If you want to offer more keto-friendly drinks at your bar or restaurant, make sure you stock up on diet tonic water and use it to make great cocktails! 

Diet Ginger Ale

Diet ginger ale is another low-calorie mixer. It adds a spicy kick to cocktails without the carbs found in regular ginger ale. With it, you will be able to make a low-carb version of the popular Moscow Mule!

Lemon or Lime Juice

Fresh lime or lemon juice adds acidity and flavor to cocktails without adding significant amounts of carbohydrates. Avoid pre-made sour mixes, which often contain added sugars. Squeeze the juice yourself for the best results. 

Unsweetened Coconut Water

Unsweetened coconut water can add a tropical twist to cocktails while keeping the carb count low. Be sure to choose unsweetened coconut water to avoid added sugars. Cocktails with this drink mixer would be perfect for your summer cocktails list! 


Bitters have an intense flavor and are very aromatic. However, they are usually carb-free, which makes them perfect to use for low-carb cocktails. They will add depth and complexity to your drinks if you use small amounts. 

Building a Keto-Friendly Beverage Inventory

If you want the drinks you serve at your bar or restaurant to fit the lifestyle of as many people as possible, you need to have lots of options. In this day and age, you can’t ignore keto and gluten-free diets. Low-carb drinks need to be present on any seasonal menu and your year-round offers. 

The same goes for gluten-free drinks, low-calorie wine, and other drinks that will fit different dietary plans. Having this variety will allow you to create better drink and food pairings and increase customer satisfaction rates. You may even get better chances of earning a Michelin Star when you have a well-rounded beverage menu.

All you have to do is work on building a beverage inventory that allows you to create drinks for all kinds of occasions and customers. Make sure you always have on hand enough spirits with low-carb content, as well as drink mixers. 

To count bottles with ease and follow customer behavior, use BinWise! Our platform will allow you to save time when taking inventory, prevent losses, and analyze data with ease. Learn more about these and the other great features, by booking a demo today!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Low-Carb Cocktails

Have additional questions about low-carb cocktails? We have answered some of them in the paragraphs below, so just keep on reading!

Which Are the Most Popular Low-Carb Cocktails?

Lots of cocktails can be recreated using low-carb ingredients. However, the most popular low-carb cocktails are: 

  • Vodka Soda with Lime
  • Gin and Tonic (with diet tonic water)
  • Tequila and Soda
  • Rum and Diet Coke
  • Whiskey Sour
  • Mojito (made with a sugar-free sweetener)
  • Paloma
  • Margarita (made with a sugar-free sweetener)

Can I Still Enjoy Cocktails While on a Low-Carb Diet?

Yes! With careful ingredient selection, you can still enjoy cocktails while following a low-carb diet. Stick to spirits with minimal carbohydrates and choose mixers that are carb-free or low in sugars.

Can I Use Artificial Sweeteners in Low-Carb Cocktails?

Artificial sweeteners like stevia or erythritol can be used sparingly in low-carb cocktails. With them, you will add sweetness without adding extra carbs or calories. Make sure you are using them in moderation. 

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