Is Bourbon Keto-Friendly?

bourbon is keto-friendlyThere are plenty of foods and drinks that you’ll need to give up when following a low-carb, high-fat keto diet, but alcohol doesn’t necessarily have to be one of them.

The object of the game is to limit – or completely cut out – sugar in order to maintain a state of ketosis. But many alcoholic beverages are typically loaded in sugars, particularly mixed drinks with sodas and fruit juices.

And beer is typically off the table.

But many spirits and liquors tend to be extremely low in carbs and even void of them altogether, but is bourbon one of them?

What is Bourbon?

Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that’s barrel-aged distilled and made primarily from corn, malt, or rye.

Nutritional Makeup of Bourbon

One ounce of bourbon whiskey has the following nutritional makeup:

Calories: 64

Carbs: 0g

Protein: 0g

Fats: 0g

Is Bourbon Keto-Friendly?

As already mentioned, many alcohol options are low-carb and available for those following a keto diet. Pure forms of alcohol – like bourbon whiskey – are completely free of carbs. As such, this beverage is absolutely keto-friendly.

Having said that, bourbon is only free of carbs if you drink it straight up. If, however, you use it create a mixed drink, you could be inadvertently spiking both the carb and calorie content of your bourbon.

For instance, many mixed drinks that call for the use of sodas and juices can send the carb and calorie content of the beverage soaring. Whiskey Sour, for example, can increase the carbs and calories to 13.6g and 162, respectively.

The key is to mix your bourbon with sugar-free ingredients so you can keep it keto-friendly.

Keto Bourbon Recipes to Try

If you’re a fan of bourbon but not necessarily a fan of carbs and sugars, try any one of these keto-friendly bourbon recipes.

1. Sugar-Free Whisky Sour


  • 1.5 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1.5 oz lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz water
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 wedge lemon to garnish


Half-fill a cocktail shaker.

Place all ingredients in the cocktail shaker and shake well.

Strain into a glass.

Garnish with lemon wedges.

2. Keto Strawberry Basil Bourbon Smash


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 tsp powdered erythritol
  • A pinch of ground black pepper


Fill a cocktail glass with ice.

Mix the bourbon, strawberries, basil, and erythritol in a cocktail shaker until the juice from the strawberries and basil are released.

Add the lemon juice and pepper.

Add ice to the shaker and shake well.

Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass with ice.

Garnish with a strawberry slice and a basil leaf.

3. Low-Carb Bourbon Whiskey


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 bitters
  • 1 oz orange-flavored soda water
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 maraschino cherry


Pour the bourbon, bitters, and club soda into a cocktail glass and stir.

Add ice and orange slice and cherry to garnish.

4. Low-Carb Bourbon Balls



  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1/4 cup powdered erythritol
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


  • 3 oz stevia-sweetened chocolate
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered erythritol


Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.

Make the mix into balls using about 1/2 a tablespoon of batter each.

Chill overnight or freeze for half an hour until very firm.

For the coating, melt the butter and chocolate.

Dip the balls into the melted chocolate.

Place dipped balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and let set.

Chill in the fridge until the chocolate is hard.

Roll the balls in the powdered sweetener if desired.

Final Thoughts

Is bourbon keto-friendly? Absolutely. But is every bourbon drink or recipe keto? Not always. As usual, it’s important to understand what you’re mixing your bourbon with. Otherwise, you could be unnecessarily adding a ton of carbs and sugars to a drink that’s otherwise free of carbs.

6 thoughts on “Is Bourbon Keto-Friendly?”

  1. Lorenzo Zabala

    I don’t drink or very minimal. If brandy is made from corn, etc, corn turns to sugar I think. Also most of such has GMOs which may be worse than a little carbs? Yes/no?

    1. Great question!!! I hope that they respond.

      Also, I’d love if they made list of “possibly” ketogenic alcoholic beverages.

    2. Brandy is made from grapes. The corn in bourbon, the grapes in brandy, and all the sugar ingredients of hard alcohol, are not sugar when you drink them, as the yeast has consumed it all to form the alcohol, that’s why they are strong. Weaker drinks the yeast has consumed less sugar so more remains, spirits take it to the maximum and no sugar remains.

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