No sugar hangovers here.
Whether you prefer vodka, tequila, wine, or gin, there’s nothing better than winding down with a cocktail at the end of the day. However, once you start adding mixers, such as soda, fruit juice, and flavored syrups, the sugar content of your cocktail can skyrocket. Luckily, by utilizing slightly different ingredients and cutting back on things like simple syrups, it’s actually very easy to whip up a bevy of low-sugar cocktails at home.
Using less sugar isn’t just healthier for you, but in many instances it makes the cocktail taste even better because the other ingredients aren’t drowned out by sweetness. Plus, alcoholic beverages made with less sugar are less likely to leave you feeling groggy and sluggish the next day. Need some low-sugar cocktail inspiration? Scroll down for 15 easy recipes you can make tonight!
Paloma With Fresh Grapefruit Juice
While some palomas are made with grapefruit soda, using fresh grapefruit juice makes for a punchier, less sweet drink. You might need a little bit of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the grapefruit juice, so opt for agave nectar, which has a much lower glycemic index than simple syrup. If you’d rather make a paloma without any added sugar, combine tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, and grapefruit-flavored seltzer.
Spritzes tend to be a great low-sugar drink option because they’re bubbly and made (in part) with soda water, which contains no sugar. This spritz combines elderflower liqueur, dry sparkling wine, club soda, and lime juice to yield a drink that’s floral and fruity, but not overly sweet.
This cocktail pairs limoncello—a lemon liqueur from southern Italy that’s commonly served after dinner as a digestivo—with dry sparkling wine, fresh lemon juice, and club soda. To make this libation even less sugary, use more sparkling wine and less limoncello.
This drink, which combines Lillet Blanc, dry sparkling rosé, and club soda, is bright and fruity with a floral, slightly sweet taste. Believe it or not, this cocktail contains just 5 grams of sugar, so garnish it with a fresh strawberry slice and sip away!
For a spritz with a boost, make this lighter take on the espresso martini that includes bourbon, cold brew coffee, coffee liqueur, a splash of orange juice, and effervescent club soda. The final result has just 8 grams of sugar.
Since martinis are made entirely from alcohol—in this case it’s gin, dry vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters—they’re a solid low-sugar option. Plus, since olive brine is famously savory and not sweet, go ahead and make your martini dirty without increasing your sugar intake.
This Shirley Temple lookalike is actually a boozy, bittersweet spritz made with Campari. Though this cherry Americano is a tad sweeter than some other options on this list, it still has less sugar than a peach. To lower this drink’s sugar content, simply omit the maraschino cherry juice.
Billed as a healthier alternative to a margarita, trendy ranch water is made with tequila, plenty of fresh lime juice, and seltzer, such as Topo Chico. Since ranch water noticeably doesn’t call for Triple Sec or Cointreau (both of which contain sugar), it’s a low-sugar option that can be made with ingredients you likely already have on-hand.
Speaking of margs, this recipe is as classic as it gets. While it does call for an orange liqueur such as Triple Sec or Cointreau, feel free to use agave instead. Plus, you can play with the proportions until you find the right balance.
Bloody Mary drinks aren’t sweetened, so the only sugar you’ll find here comes from the tomato juice. When shopping for said tomato juice, pick one without any added sugar for the best, least sugary results, or make it yourself.
Pickle Juice Bloody Mary
This is similar to the Bloody Mary recipe above, but includes briny pickle juice instead of lemon juice. For a zero-proof Bloody Mary, make this drink with non-alcoholic vodka or gin, which are rising in popularity and more widely available than ever.
Yes, this old fashioned is made with a sugar cube, as most are, but we promise it’s not overly sweet. To make an old fashioned that’s a bit more complex and not quite as sweet, replace that sugar cube with maple syrup.
Though not as savory as a typical martini, an espresso martini is a balanced combination of sweet and bitter notes. To make this cocktail more bitter than sweet, leave out the simple syrup.
White Wine Spritzer
Before Aperol and Hugo spritzes were all the rage, white wine spritzers got the job done. They’re light and easy to tailor to your taste, and can be made in a big batch if needed. The version mentioned here calls for pinot grigio, elderflower liqueur, club soda, and plenty of fresh citrus.
A Vesper is a drink that’s made with gin and vodka, as well as a little bit of Lillet Blanc. Since there’s no added fruit juice or simple syrup to speak of, this strong cocktail is a tasty low-sugar option. Just ask Vesper fan James Bond.
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