The Best Booze Options If You're Cutting Back On Sugar

New York Times bestselling author By Sarah Wilson
New York Times bestselling author
Sarah Wilson is a journalist, entrepreneur, and the New York Times best-selling author.

When I first quit sugar, I treated it as an invitation to try out a new way of living, just to — you know — see how it went. But what started out as an experiment became something more. Now, one of the most common questions people ask me when they’re contemplating quitting sugar is this: “Am I allowed to drink alcohol?”

The assumption, of course, is that booze is full of sugar. Which is correct. Sort of. But there's good news here for those who like the occasional drink.

So here's the dirt on some of your favorite drinks:



Wine contains minimal fructose. How so? It’s the fructose in the grapes that ferments to become alcohol, leaving wine low in sugar. Red wine is lower in fructose than white wine and is definitely the better option.


Dry spirits like gin, vodka and whiskey are very low in fructose, and generally are one of the better options. But keep in mind that mixers are loaded with sugar.


Doesn’t contain fructose. The sugar in beer and stout is maltose, which we metabolize well.


Champagne and Sparkling Wine

As above, but Champagne does tend to retain quite a lot of the sugar (fructose). Not a great option.

Dessert Wine

A lot of sugar remains unfermented in dessert wine. Don’t touch the stuff.

Please remember that there are a multitude of metabolism and health issues that come with excessive consumption (not to mention, the dangers of addiction).

A few more things to keep in mind about alcohol consumption when you're watching your sugar intake:

  • Only ever drink spirits with seltzer, or neat. Mixers, including tonic water, are full of sugar, with about eight to 10 teaspoons in one tall glass. Same with fruit juices.
  • While quitting sugar, your liver is under a little strain as you detox. Drinking any more than one glass of alcohol with a meal per day will tax your system.
  • You may also find, once you cut out sugar, that your tolerance for alcohol is much lower and wish to avoid it completely.
  • Although alcohol is low in fructose, it is still very high in empty calories.
  • A beer is equivalent to a sausage roll. It may not be loaded with sugar, but it packs a caloric punch.

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