Sugar-Free Doesn't Mean Alcohol-Free

Sugar-Free Doesn't Mean Alcohol-Free

LWC Drinks

The past few years have seen our drinking as a nation reduce somewhat: we’re becoming more health conscious, sober curious and a 2018 study found 30 per cent of younger people never drink at all. Sobriety might not be the only factor here. Keeping the pounds off by reducing sugar or carbohydrates may well be a prime mover.

Many types of alcohol are high in carbohydrates — some packing in more carbs per serving than soft drinks, sweets and desserts. Powder sugar, granulated sugars, simple syrup and honey all play their parts behind the bar and that’s before fruit juices are added. For comparison sake, a serving of orange juice is equivalent in sugar content to a third of a can of Coke.

Low-carb diets have recently become increasingly popular as an effective way to lose weight and improve health. They typically involve cutting out carbohydrate rich foods like sugar, grains, fruits and starchy vegetables and focus instead on proteins and healthy fats. However, many dieters are uncertain about whether alcohol can be consumed on a low-carb diet, and recommendations on the subject can be conflicting.

Just because your customers are on a low-sugar diet doesn’t mean that they can’t indulge a little. Pure forms of alcohol like whiskey, gin, tequila, rum and vodka are all completely sugar-free whereas wines and light beer like Sapporo or Budvar have a minimal carb content. There are plenty of choices out there for those who like a drink and while moderation is key, it doesn’t mean alcohol intake needs to stop completely. So, if millennial customers are cutting out sugar, what can venue managers stock behind the bar?  Pickings might not be as slim as you think!

Here are a few classic cocktails that are basically sugar-free. You won’t have to ask for supplements or look through long ingredient lists with these ideas we’ve found.


Spicy Margarita

This Spicy Margarita is the perfect ratio of tart lime juice and a simple Powdered Erythritol syrup.


  •    60 ml tequila
  •    30 ml fresh lime juice
  •    30 ml low-carb simple syrup
  •    1 sliced jalapeño pepper, plus more for garnish
  •    Ice

Zero Calorie Syrup:

  •    100g granulated Erythritol
  •    120ml water


Make the simple syrup by combining the Powdered Erythritol with the water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer until reduced. Slice the jalapeño pepper.

  •    Squeeze the limes.
  •    Place the jalapeño into a cocktail shaker and muddle.
  •    Add in some ice, the freshly pressed lime juice, simple syrup, and tequila.
  •    Shake until combined and strain into a small glass over ice.
  •    Garnish with an extra slice of jalapeño and lime if desired.

Vodka Mojito

The recipe is straightforward and you’ll just need vodka, ice, lime juice, fresh mint, Erythritol and soda water. The fresh mint and lime combination is very refreshing, and the Erythritol sweetens it without spoiling your entire diet.


  •    4 leaves Mint fresh
  •    30 ml Lime Juice 2 Tablespoons
  •    2 g Granulated Erythritol
  •    Ice Cubed or Crushed
  •    1 shot Vodka
  •    1 splash Soda
  •    Lime Slice for Garnish


  •    Smash fresh mint leaves with lime and Erythritol.
  •    Fill glass with ice.
  •    Add vodka.
  •    Finish off with soda.
  •    Garnish with a lime slice and mint.

Peach Long Island Iced Tea

A refreshing cocktail that tastes like peach tea but with just 0 carbs.


  •    25ml Peach Schnapps
  •    50ml Vodka
  •    25ml Bourbon
  •    25ml White rum
  •    Soda water
  •    Ice


  •    Add the schnapps, vodka, bourbon and rum to a shaker.
  •    Fill with ice.
  •    Shake until well blended and strain into a glass.
  •    Add the Soda water
  •    Add ice if desired.

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