Ketosis & Imbibing

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Are there Keto Friendly Alcoholic Beverages?

The simple answer is …YES.

Can drink anything you want? The answer is …. No.

Keto Friendly Alcoholic Beverages

Most beer is a hard no. But there are plenty of low carb cocktails to choose from. There are also some side effects that you might want to consider as well.

The Dangers of Over Drinking on Keto:

So, I’ll get the side effects out of the way so that I can quit being a party pooper and get on with the list…

You can drink while you’re on a Ketogenic Diet and stay in Ketosis the whole time but it might inhibit your weight loss goals for a couple of reasons:

Alcohol Lowers Inhibitions

  • That’s part of the fun, but when your inhibitions are lowered you are more likely to eat high carb foods and kick your body right out of Ketosis. (Think Denny’s after a night of clubbing)

This is no big deal if it’s for a special occasion or once in a while. But if you find yourself doing this every weekend you may want to cut booze out for a while.

Alcohol contains a bunch of empty calories (80 proof liquor is about 96 calories per 1.5 oz shot) so you’ll need to keep track of those because even on Keto calories still matter.

It’s a drag to ruin something you have been working hard towards with a few nights of debauchery.

It’s better to think of Keto as a lifestyle change with the long haul in mind but if you have an event coming up quickly…ditch the drinks until you goals have been completed.

Alcohol Stops Ketone Production

  • When your body is metabolizing alcohol, it stops the fat burning in favor of processing the alcohol.
  • Alcohol is processed primarily in your liver, and while your liver is busy with alcohol, it doesn’t make ketones.
  • Your body tries to get rid of alcohol as quickly as possible because it reacts like a toxin.

This means that any carbs that you haven’t burned that day will be stored as fat. You won’t be able to burn any more fat until the alcohol is processed all the way out of your system. If you have one glass of wine with dinner you will be fine but any more than that stops fat burning in it’s tracks.

Alcohol Tolerance is Diminished on Keto

This may sound like a good thing but it’s not for a couple of reasons.

I’m not going into the peril and legal problem overimbibing can lead to but if you are new to Ketosis and not sure how your body reacts to booze in this state, you should take it easy so you don’t end up in trouble.

You might also end up with a hellacious hangover.

  • Your liver is already working hard to produce fat burning ketones.
  • If your liver has been compromised in the past due to alcohol misuse, hepatitis or ketoacidosis due to diabetes you should avoid alcohol and talk to your doctor before you start the Keto Diet.

Liver failure isn’t funny and can be life threatening.

Keto Friendly Alcoholic Beverages

Keto Friendly Alcoholic Beverages: The Basics

The alcohol that we all love to drink is ethanol.  

Traditional hard liquors

Vodka, whiskey, tequila, rum, brandy, and gin. contain nothing but ethanol (alcohol) and water, neither of which create any kind of insulin response.

So, drink them if you want to.  They have absolutely no nutrition except 96 calories per 1.5 ounce shot.

We even have a list of the best Keto Cocktail recipes right here.

This means that if you like these liquors straight or mixed with water or club soda then you have your Keto friendly adult beverage… no problem.

A dry martini or vodka and soda are definitely Keto friendly. Even tequila shots are Keto friendly – they may be unfriendly in so many other ways, but keto-wise, they are okay.


Liqueurs are the really sweet things like Cointreau (11 carbs per shot), Triple Sec (17 carbs per shot), Grand Marnier (11 carbs per shot).  They are not so Keto friendly.

I know that the best margaritas have Grand Marnier or triple sec but there are ways around that if you just gotta have your Keto friendly margaritas.


What about wine?  I love wine, I may even be a wine snob.  I have a wine cellar so this is a big one for me.

Surprisingly, dry champagne or sparkling wine – it has to be dry wine, not sweet – is the most Keto friendly. It has 1 carb per 5 ounce serving.

Dry red or white wine, Cabernet and Chiantis, Merlot and the likes have about  2-4 carbs per 5 ounce serving.

Sadly, you are going to want to stay away from the sweet wines, White Zinfandel has nearly 9 carbs per 5 ounce serving. And, a 3.5 ounce serving of port wine has 14 carbs.


Beer? That is the question? What about beer? I know, I love beer too.

But an IPA can have up to 20 carbs per 12 ounces.  Regular beers – amber ales and lagers – have 9 to 16 carbs.

Light beers have 5 to 8 carbs.

And there are some ultra light beers that have 0.5 to 2 carbs.

The problem I have found with beer is that less carbs also tends to mean less flavor.

If I find a Keto beer that tastes like beer, I will be telling the world. In the meantime I will be going with the vodka soda with a twist of lime.

Cocktails and Keto…

The problem with most cocktails is they are full of sugar. Those cutesy little drinks with pink umbrellas might as well be boozy Kool-Aid.

I know that a vodka martini counts as a cocktail, but it is essentially straight vodka with a little vermouth and olive flavor.

When most of us think of a cocktail we think of a Rum and Coke, Margarita or a Mojito.

But fear not.  There are sugar-free mixers and recipes galore. Just look at all these sugar free mixer choices….

Check out my all of my Keto Cocktail recipes…I bet you’ll find one that you love!

Keto Friendly Cocktail Recipes that We Love:

Winter Cocktails:

Mulled Wine
This heart warming holiday tradition, is naturally keto if you use a dry wine only 3 carb per serving.
Check out this recipe
Keto Holiday Mulled Wine Recipe
Hot Buttered Rum
Ahh, Hot Buttered Rum – Let the weather outside be as frightful as it wants.  This will warm you to the core. And, it will do it with no carbs.
Check out this recipe
Hot Buttered Rum Recipe Keto Low Carb Gluten free

Summer Cocktails:

This post contains four refreshing Keto Friendly Alcoholic Beverages:

The drink recipes in this post scream SUMMER AFTERNOON to me!!! And, if you are wondering if you are actually in Ketosis, check out this post.

Keto Friendly Alcoholic BeveragesKeto Cocktails



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  1. 5 stars
    Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in our community in the same niche.
    Your article about the effects of alcohol on ketosis have provided us useful information to work on. You have done
    a wonderful job! Thanks!

  2. Hey Clare,

    I wouldn’t stress over it too much. We’ve all been there. Any time spent burning fat is good so don’t worry about undoing all of the effort.
    It’s hard to say how long it will take to get back into Ketosis the second time (you may already have achieved it) but I can tell you that as time goes on it will get easier. The whole point of getting healthy (besides looking like a rockstar) is to feel good. It’s okay to have fun and blow your carbs once in a while. Thanks for commenting lovely lady!

  3. Dear Brenna,
    I love this post! I also love a drink or two at the weekend, so thanks for the advice. I have a question for you, this last weekend on Remembrance I over indulged a little and had one too many gin and sodas. This sadly resulted in my binging on 3 medium slices of ham and pineapple pizza with my fiancé as we waited for our taxi home.

    I have been in Ketosis for just under 2 weeks; am I undoing all of the good and cleansing work that Ketosis has done to my body or will I be able to slip back into it after the past 2days back on my appointed macros?

    Thanks for your help,