One of the most requested low-carb options I am asked about is what to order when you’re out at the bar. As a type 1 diabetic, and a person who is terrible at estimating insulin based on sugary drinks, I generally prefer to not consume my carbohydrates in liquid form (unless I have low blood sugar, of course). This means that my go-to options at any bar are the ones with lower carbohydrates.
Yeah, it’s easy to stick with beer and wine (make sure it’s a dry red, white, or rosé, and not the dessert options), but sometimes you’re looking for something a little more fun while you’re out. That’s where this blog post comes into play. These options are easier on your sugars, a bit more wordy to order, but should allow you to have a little more fun.
Please note: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice in any way, shape, or ~form~. Everyone’s body is different. Drinking with type 1 diabetes is doable, but requires an extra level of care. Make sure that you have ample low blood sugar snacks, supplies, wearing your medical alert, and communicating to the people who you are hanging out with that you have diabetes and it would be very nice if they would keep an eye on you just in case. Alcohol lowers blood sugar levels, which is why it’s important to monitor your blood sugars throughout. I personally always eat before I plan on drinking to provide a solid base to stabilize my sugars prior.
Low Carb Cocktails to Order At the Bar
Vodka Soda with Two limes (Choose your favorite liquor)
You can also easily swap this combo out for your alcohol of choice. Could work nicely with Tequila or Gin. You can also browse their flavor-infused liquors for an added kick without adding a significant amount of carbohydrates.
Tequila Soda with a splash of grapefruit
Similar to the vodka soda ingredients, this allows for a bit more flavor by adding a splash of grapefruit. It’s a low carb Paloma that shouldn’t impact your blood sugars the way a regular Paloma would. I also like to add (the juice of) two slices of lime to this cocktail as well.
Skinny Margarita w/ Muddled Cucumber and Jalapeno
This is my absolute favorite cocktail option when I am out at a bar or restaurant that serves margaritas. They almost always have a skinny option that involves using agave and lime juice instead of a margarita mix. ALWAYS opt for this option. I don’t normally find my blood sugar spiking with these. If you’re really looking for lower carb, ask for half to no agave. I also ask for muddled cucumber and or jalapeno because it adds no-carb flavor. I also always ask for a tajin rim because it’s fun.
Jack + Diet Coke
Pretty self-explanatory but wanted to add the option just in case you didn’t think of it!
Whiskey SODA With lemon juice and a splash of ginger beer
My own version of a whiskey ginger/whiskey sour hybrid. I would also ask if they have diet ginger beer first, and stick with this if they don’t.
Gin Soda with lemon juice and a splash of tonic
Tonic water is packed with carbohydrates. I would first ask if they carry diet tonic water. If they don’t, order a Gin Soda with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a SPLASH of tonic water.
Order a dry martini if you’re feeling saucy. With only gin (or vodka) and vermouth, you have the perfect no-carb cocktail to enjoy — just make sure they don’t add any added fruit or sweet liqueurs. My tip: Make it a dirty martini w/ extra olives hehe
Ingredients to Avoid In Large amounts
- Simple Syrup (14g of carbohydrates in 1 fl oz)
- Tonic Water (~32g of carbohydrates for a 12oz can)
- Ginger Beer (~36g of carbohydrates for a bottle)
- Pineapple, Cranberry, Orange Juice (unless you ask for just a splash) (~25-32g of carbohydrates in a cup)
- Any type of premade mixes: Pina Colada, Margarita Sweet/Sour, Daquari, Etc. (~40-45g per serving)
Low Carb Ingredients to ASK FOR
- Lemon or lime juice
- Vegetables including jalapeno, cucumber, etc.
- Herbs including basil, rosemary, mint
- Diet Ginger Beer (I don’t believe a lot of bars carry this but its worth an ask)
- Diet Tonic (I don’t believe a lot of bars carry this but its worth an ask)
- Diet Soda – Ask what kind they have and let your imagination run wild!
One Final Note About Ordering Low Carb Cocktails At The Bar
Don’t be afraid to let the bartender know that you are ordering a specific cocktail for medical reasons and that your goal is to order something with low sugar. They might even have a better suggestion for you! Also, don’t forget to always tip your bartenders, especially when they take the time to make your low-carb custom ~creations~.
Enjoy! ~ Discover all of my monthly low-carb cocktail recipes and stay tuned for low-carb cocktails posted every month. Follow me on Instagram for type 1 diabetes lifestyle insight, low carb cocktails, and more!