best alcohol for diabetics
Food & Drinks

11 Best Alcohol for Diabetics: What You Need to Know

For many, drinking alcohol is the norm — a habit to cap off the day and relax. But diabetics have to be careful of what they eat and drink. While not all types of alcohol are high in carbs and sugar, there are certain drinks that are best avoided. Sweet wine, for example, can have up to 33.75 grams of residual sugar per bottle.

In addition, alcohol can work against some medications that are intended to control blood sugar levels, possibly leading to complications. The good news is there are drinks you can enjoy as long as you consume them moderately. Here are the safest and best alcohol for diabetics.

11 Best Alcoholic Drinks for Diabetics

From white wine to sugar-free mojitos, we review the 11 best alcoholic drinks for diabetics.

#1. White Wine

White Wine

White wines are often believed to have a high sugar content with carbohydrates that are similar to reds.

Based on the US Department of Agriculture, a standard 150-milliliter glass of white wine contains 3.8 grams of carbs which is acceptable for people diagnosed with diabetes. This diabetic-friendly drink has many types. But if you want to keep your carb consumption to a minimum, you can switch to champagne.

Champagne is a great option as long as you only drink in moderation and not on an empty stomach to avoid your blood sugar levels from spiking. It’s also best to go for brut, extra-brut, and dry varieties of champagne because they have lower sugar content.

#2. Low-Carb Beer

Beer

Low-carb beers have fewer calories and carbohydrates than regular beers, making them one of the recommended and safer alcohol choices for people with diabetes. This is because beer is primarily made of ethanol and water without the unnecessary sugars.

An example of a beer that diabetics can occasionally indulge in is Miller Lite. The American-style beer’s main ingredients are barley malt with corn syrup.

Barley malt has a high maltose content, a form of sugar that’s almost the same as fructose. It also contains mineral salts like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and amino acids. It has a high water content, making it less sweet than your usual beverages.

This ingredient is not just ideal for those with diabetes but also for those with high cholesterol, heart problems, cancer, and obesity.

Overall, Miller Lite is one of the best beers because of its flavor and aroma. When chilled, it’s the perfect drink for summer.

#3. Martini

Martini

There’s an ongoing debate on whether a martini is a type of gin or vodka. Regardless of its classification, nobody can dispute the fact that the best martinis are made up of two ingredients: vodka or gin and vermouth. It follows a two-to-one ratio of the respective ingredients and is usually topped off with a lemon peel or olive garnish.

Since martinis have controlled ingredients and no mixers or juicers, a 4-ounce cocktail or about 120 milliliters only has 0.2 grams of carbs, so drinking it in moderation should be OK even if you’re monitoring your sugar levels. Of all the martinis, the dry martini with a small splash of vermouth is the friendliest option for people with diabetes.

#4. Red Wine

Red Wine

Doesn’t it feel good to end your day with a glass of red wine and then head off to sleep? For people with no medical conditions, you can undoubtedly get spoiled by this nightly routine, but not when you have diabetes.

Don’t despair though because red wine and even the widely popular grape blends are alcoholic drinks that you can still enjoy. From pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, malbec, and Sangiovese, you can have an occasional drink or two before you call it a day.

You can rest easy knowing that the sugar in red wine, especially dry red wines, is lower than other alcoholic beverages without compromising on aroma and taste. The sugar level is roughly a maximum of 3 grams per liter, making it the best alcohol for diabetics.

#5. Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

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You don’t need to worry about your sugar with a Bloody Mary. According to stories, this cocktail was named after a server girl who worked at a saloon called the Bucket of Blood somewhere in Chicago. Despite its somewhat unappetizing backstory, it’s one of your best options as a diabetic.

Bloody Mary is made by combining tomato juice with vodka, spices, and sauces before being topped off with a celery stick. Many consider this alcoholic beverage a healthy cocktail primarily because of its vegetable content.

There might be some truth to this because the tomato component of the Bloody Mary is a good source of lycopene, which has anti-diabetes compounds. It also has antioxidants that can help people with heart problems.

If you’re mixing your own cocktail, make sure to use tomato juice sans the salt so you can minimize the sodium content of the drink. Though salt won’t cause your blood sugar levels to rise, it could adversely affect your blood pressure.

#6. Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

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If you’re feeling under the weather, your mother might have given you something warm to make you feel better. Now that you’re older, you may not have your mom’s chicken soup, but you can certainly have a hot toddy.

Served hot, this cocktail has soothing properties that can make you feel better without triggering your blood sugar levels. This drink has been made for centuries for its medical benefits, and surprisingly, it’s not too bad on the palate, either.

Today’s hot toddy has many versions, but the base ingredients to make it are bourbon or scotch, lemon, honey, cinnamon, and hot water.

#7. Vodka

Vodka

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Vodka may not be your go-to alcoholic drink, but you’ll learn to love it when you have diabetes. Vodka is alcohol in one of its purest forms with minimal sugar added to it. It is an alcoholic beverage produced from fermented potatoes and grains. It goes through the distillation process, causing its overall carbohydrate and calorie content to be drastically reduced.

Vodka can be consumed on its own, but it’s usually added to cocktails because it lacks a strong and distinct flavor. Given that it has lower calories and carbs, indulging in a shot of vodka occasionally shouldn’t significantly impact your blood sugar.

#8. Vodka Soda

Vodka Soda

As the name suggests, this alcoholic beverage is made of vodka and club soda. As previously mentioned, vodka is safe for those with diabetes, but then again, plain vodka can be a little bland, so to make it more pleasurable to drink, you can add seltzer or club soda.

Adding seltzer or club soda won’t affect the carb content of your beverage, keeping it at zero grams. The only time the carb content increases is when you opt for tonic water instead of club soda because every 12 ounces can contain 32 grams of carbs.

Another option for a more flavorful vodka variation is flavored sparkling water. So, you can enjoy a tang of sweetness courtesy of the syrup. Enjoy your vodka with a squeeze of lime, and for a play of flavors, you can also add orange and grapefruit.

#9. Diet Gin and Tonic

Gin and Tonic

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This is another alcoholic drink that you can enjoy even if you have diabetes: diet gin and tonic. This zesty drink has minimal sugar and calories compared to other regular alcoholic beverages, making it a safe indulgence without causing your sugar levels to shoot up.

Diet gin and tonic is a pleasant drink, but adding a slice of grapefruit and rosemary can also make it more flavorful. This spirit also has zero carbs, so you can enjoy it without worrying about your health.

#10. Scotch

Scotch

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Scotch has a lower amount of carbs, making it another alcoholic drink that you can enjoy. For the longest time, Scotch whiskey has been made from malted barley, but eventually, commercial distilleries started making this beverage from rye and wheat.

#11. Sugar-Free Mojito Cocktail

Mojito Cocktail

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A regular mojito is a no-no, but a low-carb version is an acceptable alternative for people with diabetes. It retains its refreshing taste thanks to the mint leaves and lime added to the white rum and soda water. A practical tip is to use either liquid stevia or powdered stevia instead of syrup for that dose of sweetness.

A Few Parting Words

Learning that you’re a diabetic can feel like a life sentence but it doesn’t have to be. With a little research and study, you’ll find that there is still a wide range of food and drinks that you can enjoy.

With this list of the best alcohol for diabetics, you can indulge once in a while with a few carefully chosen drinks. Diabetic or not, it’s best to practice moderation anyway regardless of what you’re eating or drinking.

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