It is not a mystery that many of our favourite cocktail recipes include a substantial amount of sugar in their ingredients. Unfortunately, many alcoholic drinks have a flavour that is harsh and unpleasant when there is no additional sugar; as a result, many home cocktail bars use the simple syrup as an ingredient.
But, fortunately, there are a few easy techniques that can be used to prepare cocktails that taste wonderful despite having a high sugar level.
What are some of the greatest drinks that are low in sugar? Martinis, margaritas, and mojitos are examples of some of the drinks with the least amount of sugar. Sugar consumption may be decreased by making ingredient swaps (ex. swapping simple syrup for natural stevia sweeteners). Make certain that the fruit juices you consume have not been sweetened in any way and have been freshly squeezed. Steer cautious of cocktail flavourings that have already been pre-blended.
Are you seeking some fresh, flavorful drinks that are less sugar intake? Continue reading because we have some wonderful ideas that may be adapted to fit any preference or circumstance!
Why is there usually a lot of sugar in mixed drinks?
If you go to any bar that specialises in mixed drinks, you’ll find a wide variety of coloured alcoholic spirits and mixers that are used to create a bevvy of mouthwatering cocktails.
These are used to make a flavorful mixture that has the ideal proportions of alcohol and sweets to satisfy and delight your tastes. The finished product will have a unique flavour.
But were you aware that a lot of different drinks have an extremely high sugar content?
Sugar is often added to beverages in order to mask disagreeable qualities such as bitterness or acidity, as well as to reduce the astringency of strong alcoholic drinks.
An excellent illustration of this is the timeless fruity Pimm’s drink, which is a summertime staple. Over four-fifths of the maximum amount of sugar that should be consumed in one day may be found in just one serving of Pimm’s!
However, where does all of the sugar that goes into mixed drinks originate from?
The solution most certainly is not to be found inside the booze itself, that much is certain. Spirits including vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whiskey are used to make the majority of different types of cocktails. If you try drinking them without adding anything to them, you will quickly find that they do not have any added sugars.
For example, vodka includes zero sugar and zero carbohydrates. There are some calories in vodka, however, they are derived from the alcohol itself. Depending on the roof level of the vodka, a 1.5-ounce shot of vodka includes as little as 85 calories.
Cocktails often get their sugar content from the wide variety of mixers and flavourings that are utilised in the blending process for these delectable drinks.
The following are some of the most common factors that contribute to an increase in the sugar content of mixed drinks:
Simple Syrup. This syrup is so delicious that it’s nearly as sweet as sugar by itself! Its purpose in mixed drinks is to restore harmony to the sweetness ratios.
Mixers. The majority of mixers, including soda, tonic, lemonade, and cola, include a significant amount of sugar.
Fruit Juices. Sugars that are present in fruit juices may originate either naturally, from the fruits themselves, or artificially, via the addition of sugar to concentrated fruit juice.
Hidden Sweeteners. A great number of cocktail recipes call for the use of alternative sweeteners, such as honey or agave syrup.
But is it really so dangerous to consume this much sugar?
At this time, professionals in the field of public health recommend that we restrict our consumption of added sugars to no more than 12 teaspoons per day. One can of cola has over ten teaspoons of sugar in it, which is more than three-quarters of the amount of sugar that is suggested to be consumed daily.
If, however, we are able to get rid of these additional sugars, our drinks will become a much healthier option. No matter how few calories there are in the beverage you choose to consume, alcohol should always be drunk in a responsible manner and in moderation.
When you go to a bar in search of low-sugar cocktail alternatives, you’ll often find that these drinks are referred to as “thin” cocktails.
How to Cut Back on the Sugar Content of Cocktails
We are in luck since we can concoct cocktails that are just as scrumptious in flavour but do not contain as much sugar thanks to some simple but ingenious swaps and replacements.
It all comes down to making sure you choose the right balance of components for the drink so that it tastes good even if you leave out the sweets that were originally in it.
Switching to freshly squeezed fruit juices, which often do not include any added sugar, is a simple modification that may be made. Although they still include sugars that occur naturally, fruit juices are a far better option for your health.
Steer wary of fruit juices manufactured from concentrate since they are often loaded with sugar that was added after production.
Alternating between different mixers is another strategy you may use to cut down on the amount of sugar in your mixed drinks. There are certain mixers that do not include any sugar at all, such as carbonated water and seltzers.
There are also diet variants of several mixers that have substantially less sugar than regular ones. These are often sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which is something that a lot of people would rather steer clear of.
On the other hand, natural sweeteners like stevia may be an excellent substitute for sugar.
There are certain sweet substances that you just can’t get away from, like simple syrup. However, you may cut down on the quantity you consume, and over time, your palate will become used to the new, lower-sugar version of your go-to drink.
After some time, you will probably decide that the choice with the full amount of sugar is simply too sickeningly sweet!
Alternatively, stevia, a natural sweetener, may be used to generate sugar-free simple syrup instead of sugar. This is a fantastic method for elevating the level of sweetness in your beverages without increasing the total amount of sugar.
The Most Delicious Drinks With Less Sugar
Are you ready to start preparing your go-to drinks using your favourite recipes? Your tastes are in for a treat with this collection of low-sugar versions of some of your all-time favourites as well as a few intriguing mixtures.
1. Martini with a dash of dirt
One of the possibilities available to you with the least amount of sugar is the well-known drink known as a “Dirty Martini.” One serving of these drinks has just 1.3% of the daily value for added sugar, despite the fact that none of the sugars in them are added.
Therefore, if you really wanted to (although we strongly advise against it! ), you could have more than 20 dirty martinis every day and still stay under your recommended sugar intake.
But can you tell me more about a dirty martini? Gin and vermouth are the two primary components of a martini, and the ratio of gin to vermouth in a standard martini is typically five parts gin to one part vermouth. A martini made using vodka rather than gin is called a vodka martini.
The “dirty” aspect of this drink is brought on by the addition of a splash of olive juice or brine from a jar of olives. This gives the drink its name. This results in a taste that is deliciously salty and olive-like, and it goes well with the combination of powerful spirits.
In order to enhance the taste of the drink, even more, the customary garnish consists of one or two olives skewered on a cocktail stick. Be careful that this is a potent cocktail, which means that you should drink it in moderation at the very most!
The margarita is one such time-honoured drink that often has little to no added sugar. If you’ve ever had a margarita, you know that despite the fact that it has a sour and acidic taste that makes your teeth hurt, the flavour is so delectable that you want more and more of it!
Tequila, triple sec, and lime juice that has been freshly squeezed are the three components that go into making a traditional margarita.
It is often presented in a margarita glass, which has a striking resemblance to the glasses that are used for the presentation of shrimp cocktails. In traditional preparation, the rim of the glass is first scraped with a slice of lime, and then it is dipped in salt.
The pleasure of drinking a margarita is that each gulp is like taking a shot of tequila all by itself. It provides you with the ideal combination of tequila, lime juice, and salt, all of which come together in your tongue to create an unforgettable flavour experience.
Triple sec and lime juice are the two ingredients that contribute to the sweetness of a margarita. There is a liqueur with an orange taste known as triple sec that contains a significant amount of sugar, but it is feasible to manufacture triple sec at home without using any sugar at all.
To reduce the quantity of sugar that is added to your margarita, another option is to reduce the amount of triple sec that is used to half the original amount.
When it comes to the lime juice that goes into your margarita, it is preferable to make it yourself by freshly squeezing limes rather than purchasing margarita mixes that have already been created. These often have a relatively high proportion of added sugars and will not have the same zingy and refreshing flavour as the others.
White rum, lime juice, mint, and soda water are the four main ingredients of a mojito, which is a classic punch beverage that is popular in Cuba. Instead of using manufactured sugars, the traditional preparation often makes use of sugar cane juice for its sweetening.
On a hot day in the summer, this unorthodox pairing yields a wonderful mixture of citrus and mint that is strong and refreshing all at once.
The delight of a mojito is that it has a wonderful flavour even if it does not include a lot of sugar. This indicates that you may reduce the amount of additional sugar syrup or even skip it entirely, and the drink will still have an excellent flavour.
You may also use sparkling water in place of the soda water, or you could convert to a diet or sugar-free version of the soda water. Stevia in liquid form is an excellent natural sweetener that you may experiment with if you feel that the drink does not have the right level of sweetness for you.
Avoid buying pre-mixed mojito drinks since they often include a lot of added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
4. Bloody Mary
The traditional recipe for Bloody Mary should not include any additional sweets; instead, it should rely only on the sweetness that comes from the tomato juice alone. In order to properly prepare this drink, you will need to get fresh tomato juice that does not include any additional sugars or sweets.
Steer wary of readymade Bloody Mary mixes, just as you should do with the other alcoholic beverages on our list since they are often loaded with extra sugars.
It is not necessary to add any more sugar to a good Bloody Mary if it is created with fresh ingredients since it should have a punchy, sharp, and powerful taste all on its own.
But what precisely are the components of a Bloody Mary drink? The classic recipe calls for vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, and celery salt all to be mixed together. Along with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of spicy sauce such as Tabasco and a dash of Worcestershire sauce are added.
Your Bloody Mary may be made whatever spicy you prefer by adding freshly ground black pepper and a little amount of horseradish sauce to the mix. This mixed drink is best enjoyed in a large glass over ice and is adorned with a celery stick for garnish.
The Cosmopolitan is one of those drinks that may have as much or as little sugar added to it as the individual like. When it comes to the components that go into making a Cosmopolitan, the two components that are responsible for the majority of the sugar are cranberry juice and triple sec.
Change the cranberry juice in a Cosmopolitan to an unsweetened or diet version to reduce the amount of sugar in the drink to the lowest possible level. To make up for the decreased amount of sugar, you might sprinkle in a little bit of a natural sweetener.
This time-honoured drink features a liqueur known as triple sec, which is loaded with sugar and imparts a robust orange taste. A pinch of orange extract may be used in its stead to get a flavour profile comparable to that of the ingredient but without the sugar load.
6. Strawberry Daiquiri
This refreshing take on the classic daiquiri may not be the first drink that comes to mind when considering a list of low-sugar cocktails due to the intense strawberry sweetness it possesses.
However, the natural sweetness of strawberries is ideal for reducing the amount of added sugar that is required in order to turn this rum-based cocktail into something that is absolutely divine.
The method that yields the best results consist of purchasing ripe strawberries in their entirety and then pulverising them. This is then combined with lime juice and rum to produce a cocktail that is creamy and fruity.
A drop or two of simple syrup made with stevia can be used in place of sugar if you find that the flavour is not sweet enough for your preferences.
7. Sex On The Beach
One of the first and still one of the best long cocktails, the Sex On The Beach is best enjoyed in a tall glass (and on a beach, if possible!). This delectable drink has the flavour of a reviving splash of summer and can be put together with only a small amount of added sugar.
The vodka-based cocktail known as “Sex On the Beach” is flavoured with a number of different fruit juices and syrups. Because the original contains cranberry juice, you should opt for a version that is freshly squeezed and does not contain any added sugars.
You’ll often discover that Sex On The Beach also has peach syrup, which is rich in additional sweets and may be found in many mixed drinks. In order to make a low-sugar version of this refreshing summer drink, just replace this ingredient with freshly squeezed peach juice or a splash of peach essence.
8. Whiskey Sour (optional)
You can very much tell just by looking at the name of this drink that it is not going to have a lot of sugar in it. However, what precisely is a whiskey sour, and how is one prepared?
In spite of the fact that whiskey sours are made in a wide variety of ways depending on where you are in the country, the standard recipe calls for equal parts bourbon, lemon juice, and an unspecified sweetener.
The first two components contain almost no sugar; the sweetener that you choose is the variable that will determine how much sugar there is in the final product.
If you want to make sure that your whiskey sour is a terrific low-carb drink that still has an excellent taste, swapping up the simple syrup with a sugar-free version of the sweetener may make all the difference.
9. Tequila Sunrise
A tall, fruity beverage that tastes like a beam of sunshine, the Tequila Sunrise is a popular choice.
This cocktail is made by mixing tequila and orange juice together and is served in a highball glass. The addition of grenadine syrup results in the formation of alternating layers of orange and red hue that are reminiscent of a stunning summer dawn.
Use freshly squeezed orange juice when making a Tequila Sunrise to reduce the amount of sugar in the drink. This will have sugars that are naturally occurring in it, but no added sugars. The next step is to replace the grenadine syrup, which is loaded with sugar, with a few drops of pomegranate essence, which has a strong taste.
Because pomegranate is the primary flavouring in grenadine, making this one simple change will bring the total amount of sugar in this well-known drink down by a significant amount.
It was never the intention for sangria to be a sweet beverage. If you’ve had enough of the sickeningly sweet pre-mixed versions of this traditional drink from the Iberian Peninsula, why not try your hand at making your own low-sugar version instead?
Sangria is created by combining red wine with chopped fruits like apples, peaches, pears, and nectarines. These fruits impart naturally sweet and fragrant flavours into the wine, which is then used to create sangria.
Sparkling water, orange juice, and brandy are three additional components that are frequently found in sangria recipes.
11. White Wine Spritzer
Unfortunately, the white wine spritzer is yet another beverage that has reached an unacceptable level of sweetness in recent years! Instead of being sweet and overpowering, a good white wine spritzer should have a dry and refreshing flavour.
One of the most effective strategies for achieving the lowest possible sugar content in a white wine spritzer is to pay close attention to the mixer that you employ.
This is a great illustration of how carbonated water can be utilised to great effect without adding an excessive amount of sugar to the beverage.
The harsh taste of the wine may be tamed by adding a dash of vanilla essence, which will result in a drink that is silky smooth and full of flavour.