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5 Worst Alcoholic Drinks for Keto According to Nutritionists

Doctor holding up a warning finger while holding a glass of beer

Embarking on the ketogenic diet requires dedication, commitment, and the right knowledge. While certain alcoholic beverages can seamlessly fit into a keto-friendly lifestyle, others are outright pitfalls.

Consuming the wrong drinks can not only push you out of ketosis but also hinder your progress and results. Drawing on both research and info provided by nutritionists, here are the five alcoholic drinks you should be wary of while on keto.

1. Beer

Often referred to as “liquid bread”, beer is brewed from cereal grains, which naturally contain a significant amount of carbohydrates.

  • Carbs: A standard 12-ounce serving of beer can contain anywhere from 10 to 20 grams of carbs, with craft beers and ales often being on the higher end.
  • Calories: 150-200, depending on the beer type.
  • Notes: While there are low-carb beer options available, they still contain more carbs than spirits. Regular consumption can quickly accumulate and disrupt ketosis.

2. Sweetened/Flavored Cocktails

Tropical cocktails, often served at resorts or beach vacations, are laden with sweet syrups, fruit juices, and other high-carb mixers.

  • Carbs: Depending on the drink, a single cocktail can pack 30-60 grams of carbs.
  • Calories: 250-500, primarily from sugars.
  • Notes: Pina coladas, margaritas, and mojitos, unless explicitly made keto-friendly, are common culprits.

Related The Sugar Content of Alcoholic Drinks | With Detailed Chart.

3. Sweet Wines

While dry wines can be keto-friendly in moderation, sweet wines are a different story altogether.

  • Carbs: Sweet wines can contain 10-20 grams of carbs in just a 5-ounce serving.
  • Calories: 150-250.
  • Notes: Dessert wines, certain Rieslings, and Moscatos are examples of wines that are higher in residual sugars.

4. Flavored or Spiced Rums

While plain, white rum can be considered keto-friendly, its flavored and spiced counterparts can be a trap.

  • Carbs: Flavored rums can have up to 5-15 grams of carbs per shot.
  • Calories: 75-150, depending on the added ingredients.
  • Notes: Always check the label and be cautious of rums with flavors like coconut, banana, or vanilla.

5. Liqueurs

Liqueurs are distilled spirits that have been sweetened and often flavored with fruits, herbs, or spices. Examples include Baileys, Kahlúa, and Amaretto.

  • Carbs: A mere 1.5-ounce serving can contain a whopping 20-40 grams of carbs.
  • Calories: 150-250, primarily from added sugars.
  • Notes: Liqueurs are often used in mixed drinks, so always inquire about the ingredients when ordering cocktails.

Keto-Friendly Drinks

Doctor or nutritionist holding up a drink and giving a thumbs up

While some drink disrupt keto diets, some are much better.

The top ten keto-friendly drinks are:

  1. Dry Red Wine: 3-4g carbs, 120-130 calories.
  2. Dry White Wine: 2-3g carbs, 110-120 calories.
  3. Champagne/Sparkling Wine: ~1g carb, 90-95 calories.
  4. Vodka: 0g carbs, 64 calories.
  5. Whiskey: 0g carbs, 70 calories.
  6. Tequila: 0g carbs, 69 calories.
  7. Gin: 0g carbs, 73 calories.
  8. Rum: 0g carbs, 64 calories.
  9. Brandy: 0g carbs, 64 calories.
  10. Cognac: Derived from specific French grapes.

Final Thoughts

Staying true to a ketogenic lifestyle means being vigilant about your dietary choices, including what you choose to drink.

Alcohol, especially in the wrong forms, can quickly add up in carbs, disrupting ketosis. While occasional indulgence is part of life, being informed about the worst culprits ensures you don’t unknowingly hinder your progress. Equip yourself with knowledge, make informed choices, and continue thriving on your keto journey.

Cheers to mindful sipping!


This article was written through research and verifying the result of that research with nutrition experts. Here are the online sources I used if you want to dive deeper into the topic.

For more, check out 10 Best Alcoholic Drinks for Keto (Recommended by Doctors).