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The Best Alcoholic Drinks for People with Diabetes

Meeting friends for drinks? Keep your body healthy and blood sugar stable with these smart picks.

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Red wine with charcuterie assortment on the backgroundNatalia Van Doninck/Shutterstock

Red Wine

It’s time to break out the wine glasses; in moderation, red wine has heart-healthy benefits and antioxidants. Pour a glass of about 5 ounces and sip with dinner. If you’re craving something sweet with your wine, try roasting these mocha pumpkin seeds for a protein-packed treat.

Want more recipes and tips for people living with diabetes? You’ll love our weekly Diabetic Kitchen newsletter!

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Mojito cocktail in glass with sugar on wooden table5 second Studio/Shutterstock

Mojito

Having friends over for a summer barbecue? Mix up a pitcher of refreshing mojitos with a few diabetes-friendly tweaks. Cut the recipe’s sugar and opt for a no-calorie mixer like sparkling or seltzer water to keep carbs and calories low. Keep your serving to about 1.5 ounces of rum and make sure you’re eating a healthy snack like these chili lime roasted chickpeas.

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Dill bloody MaryTaste of Home

Bloody Mary

A 10-ounce Bloody Mary (like this one) can be a healthier choice when it comes to alcoholic drinks for diabetics. Look for low-sodium tomato juice and load yours up with veggies like fresh celery and peppers to keep your blood sugar stable. Serve it with a healthy breakfast like avocado toast on whole-grain bread or a veggie omelet.

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Couple beer cheersRanta Images/Shutterstock

Light Beer

A light beer (about 12 ounces) can be a crisp, refreshing treat after a long day. Opt for light beer because it has fewer calories and carbs than regular. Leave heavy beers and greasy pizza nights in your college days and indulge in lighter (and way more delicious) meals of grilled garden veggie pizza with a light beer and water.

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Martini cocktail with green olives on marble board.Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock

Martini

Martinis can be a good choice for people with diabetes because they contain no sugar or carbs. Just be mindful of sticking to one drink as they are higher in alcohol content. Limit your serving to 2.25 ounces (2 ounces vodka and 1/4 ounce vermouth) and help yourself to a healthy snack like this garden quinoa salad to keep your blood sugar stable.

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fresh lime margaritaBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Skinny Margarita

Ditch the sugary blended margaritas at your favorite Mexican restaurant and shake up your own to slash carbs and calories. Mix 1.5 ounces of tequila with a little low-sugar juice, simple syrup and fresh lime juice for a skinny margarita that everyone will be craving. Serve with a protein-rich snack like this black bean corn quinoa to keep your blood sugar balanced and stable.

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glasses of champagneShebeko/Shutterstock

Sparkling Wine

Celebrate any day of the week with sparkling wine. A 4-ounce serving contains just one carb and about 78 calories. You could even mix it with sparkling water to increase the volume without adding sugar or calories. If you’re celebrating over dessert, try a small portion of a diabetes-friendly treat like fresh berries or this chocolate-topped strawberry cheesecake.

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Rosemary Lemon Gin Fizz Alcoholic Cocktail on Bar with Ingredients; Shutterstock ID 362843429vienetta/Shutterstock

Vodka Soda

To save calories and sugar at the bar, order mixed drinks with calorie-free mixers like club soda or seltzer water. Shake up 1.5 ounces of clear liquor like vodka with sparkling or seltzer water for a low-calorie drink to sip all night.

The results are in: We tried 11 kinds of sparkling water to find the best one!

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Holiday EggnogTaste of Home

Light Eggnog

While regular eggnog can rack up the fat and calories, choosing a lighter version is a fun and festive way to celebrate the holidays. Light eggnog is lower in carbs and calories; it also still tastes sweet so one glass (about 4 ounces) will satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy a small glass with a chocolate pistachio biscotti and then switch to water or herbal tea.

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Dry French Sherry Dessert Wine in a GlassBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Sherry

Sherry is a sweet dessert wine, so the portion size is smaller than red wine. Because it’s so rich, you can slowly sip your 2 ounces and feel satisfied with one drink. Pair it with a protein-packed dessert like no-bake peanut butter treats or fresh berries.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.

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