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6 min read

A Crash Course on Alcohol and Diets

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Can you have vodka on keto? Whiskey on Whole30®? Peppermint Schnapps on Paleo? We get it–everyone's on a different dietary journey, and we're not here to judge which path is better, we're just here to be your spiritual advisors along the way. Whether you're keto, paleo, Whole30, low-carb, gluten-free, or vegan, there's a way to indulge in your favorite spirits without throwing your dietary goals or restrictions out the window.

So grab your glass, and let's toast to embracing diversity, both in diets and in drinks!

Alcoholic Keto Drinks

When it comes to a Keto diet, there’s not much wiggle room; however, fear not, keto warriors, you can still enjoy your favorite cocktails, but you'll need to rethink your mixers. To start, head straight for the liquor cabinet. Most of your 40% alcohol—think: vodka, whiskey, gin, scotch, brandy, rum, and tequila—contain zero carbs or sugars. And while you can feel free to mix your vodka with sparkling water water, steer clear of tonic which contains 32 grams of carbs per 12 oz.

Alcoholic Vegan Drinks

Unless you've got bacon stacked with other garnishes on your Bloody Mary, there aren't too many cocktails that typically include meat. However, if you look a little closer you’ll find animal protein popping up in the most unlikely of places, especially since the United States and other nations aren't required to list animal products that may be used in alcohol production. 

Additionally, some spirits and liqueurs use animal byproducts to filter, refine, color, or flavor the liquid. Case in point, the red dye in some drinks is made from cochineal extract which is made from insects. Here are some vegan delights guaranteed to help soothe your nerves and your conscience:  

  • English Garden Cocktail : This refreshing gin and fruit juice combo feels like a morning run through the roses.  
  • Mulled Blackberry Wine: The perfect antidote to cold windy days. We recommend using Tempranillo or Sangiovese as your base.
  • Lemon Drop: Simple and zesty, the Lemon Drop is a great way to enjoy a good vodka.
  • Mint Julep: Elevate this classic Southern cocktail with a bourbon that lives up to the hype.
  • Not all wine is vegan either due to egg whites, fish bladders, and milk proteins being used to filter out other particles. But have no fear, there is such a thing as vegan wine!

Alcoholic Paleo Drinks 

The staple of Paleo is nutrient-dense foods that human bodies have long been accustomed to, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, eggs, lean meats, and fish. Stick to Paleo-friendly mixers like natural citrus and sweeteners like honey or stevia, and avoid anything with processed material, dairy, or sugar bombs like soda.

Alcoholic Gluten-Free Drinks

Beer is probably the farthest thing from gluten-free which can be a bummer for some, but there are a ton of other drinks that go against the grain (pun intended). Most wines are gluten-free, as are ciders, rum, tequila, brandy, cognac, and more. Technically, distilled spirits (even from wheat, barley, or rye) are gluten-free after the distilling process, but the influence of these spirits can differ from person to person so trust your gut on what's best for you.

Alcoholic Low-Carb Drinks

Carbs help your body gain energy for things like walking, talking, and thinking (brains are hungry, too). To avoid letting those carbs turn into more body fat storage when they're not used in the short term, you can enjoy these low-carb drinks. The biggest suggestion we can offer with this: drink clear alcohol, and avoid beer and wine if you want to kick the carbs to the curb.

  • Rosemary Gin Fizz: It smells good, it looks good, it tastes good. The best part? It’s a low-carbohydrate drink! You might even have two.
  • Gin and Soda: Keep things simple and classic, but instead of tonic water, go for soda water to keep carbs low while getting loads of botanical flavor, depending on the gin you select.

Alcoholic Whole30® Drinks

You’ve probably seen that alcohol is cut out for the first 30 days of the Whole30® diet. Go ahead — stick to your plan and don’t cut corners if you know you’ll regret it later. Our suggestion? Non-alcoholic drinks are the perfect way to stick with it. Think of it as curbing your thirst for an interesting, refreshing cocktail or beverage, and these just happen to have zero alcohol. You can always add alcohol back into your diet plan later.

  • Strawberry Mango & Lime Sparkler: Strawberries, lime, sparkling water, and mango make this mocktail pop with fruity goodness.
  • La Paloma: A softer mocktail riff on the citrusy blast, sans alcohol, sans worries.

Whatever your dietary restriction(s), there are ways that you can enjoy an amazing cocktail or mocktail to wrap up your day or week. Cheers to your mental and physical health!

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