low sugar alcohol beverages – the naughty to nice list

We're approaching the summer season! Time to have fun, let your hair down and celebrate the end of an amazing year and the start of an exciting new year ahead.

7min read
Saved to clipboard!
Low Sugar Alcohol Beverages – The Naughty to Nice List

How do you celebrate with your mates and loved ones?

If you’re like us, you probably invite everyone over for a barby. You crack open a cold refreshing alcoholic beverage or mix up a fruity cocktail on the hot summer day. You may even decide to pop open that bottle of bubbly you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

We are huge believers in relaxing and enjoying a tasty drink this time of the year. However, we also know it’s easy to overlook the amount sugar being consumed. We end up eating and drinking with our eyes as everything is beautifully displayed during the holiday season. Not much thought goes into the nutritional content, unless you are following a strict diet protocol.

"The sugar content often is not known in alcoholic beverages because it cannot easily be found!"

The alcohol industry has a different set of guidelines when it comes to labelling nutrition on the bottle or packaging compared to the food industry. When a nutrition label is visible it makes you think twice before having seconds.

The governing body known as Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) only require nutrition information to be provided when, “a nutrition content claim or health claim is made in relation to an alcoholic beverage that contains more than 1.15% alcohol by volume. “ In other words, if the drink is being marketed as “Low Carb, Low Calorie or Low Sugar”, it must have a nutritional label. This means many mixers, spirits, beers and wines only have to list the alcohol content percentage nothing else.

So, we did some research for you on the amount of sugar in your favourite holiday drinks. We spent time at our local bottle shops searching for nutrition labels and reviewing data from popular nutrition trackers like MyFitnessPal/ to compile the 25 ‘Naughty to Nice’ List based on sugar content.


1Which of your favourites made the ‘Naughty List’?

Beverage Standard Serve Calories Sugar (g)
Cocktail: Bellini / 120ml 120 28
Mixer: Pimms / 330ml 175 25.3
Cocktail: Espresso Martini / 145ml 285 24
Cocktail: Baileys on the rocks / 100ml 350 20
Mixer: Aperol Spritz / 120ml 248 19
Cocktail: Mimosa / 125ml 92 16
Cocktail: Caipirinha / 175ml 161 13
Cocktail: Cosmopolitan / 120ml 213 11
Cider: Castaway Low Carb Apple Cider / 330ml 142 6.9
Cider: Pure Blonde Organic Cider / 355ml 117 6.1

2Which alcoholic drinks made the “Nice List”

Beverage Calories Sugar (g)
Wine: White / 20ml 120 28
Cocktail: Gin& Tonic / 175ml 175 25.3
Beer: Tooheys TED / 330ml 285 24
Beer: Hahn Super Dry low carb / 330ml 350 20
Beer: Carlton Dry / 330ml 248 19
Mixer: Vodka Cruiser FREE Zero Sugar / 275ml 92 16
Too much of a good thing can still be bad, which makes us think of the popular saying by Oscar Wilde
everything in moderation, including moderation”.


3Which drinks can you enjoy in moderation?

Beverage Calories Sugar (g)
Cocktail: Margarita / 150ml 153 4.3
Cocktail: Mojito / 100ml 217 4.3
Beer: Miller Chill with Lime / 330ml 122 3.6
Champagne: Brut / 150ml 100 2
Wine: Red /120ml 125 1.5

4What are some Low Sugar refreshing alternatives?



Sugar (g)

Cocktail: Cape Cod

Vodka 30ml (64cal) + Ocean Spray Low Sugar Cranberry 250ml (10cal)

74 1.7

Cocktail: Cape Cod

Vodka 30ml (64cal) + Ocean Spray Low Sugar Cranberry 250ml (10cal)

76 0.5

Cocktail: Cuba Libre

Rum 30ml (64cal) + No Sugar Cola 250ml (1cal)

65 0

Cocktail: Vodka Spritz

Vodka 30ml (64cal) + Naturally Nexba Kombucha 250ml (5cal)

69 0


Most distilled alcoholic beverages use sugar at some stage when they are being produced, but the distillation process itself often dissolves the sugar. Overall, distilled liquor has low to no sugar content (that doesn’t mean calorie-free though)! You can create your own low sugar cocktail with simple spirits such as gin or vodka on the rocks, and mixing a soda water or naturally sweetened, sugar free mixers and a dash of fresh mint or lemon / lime juice.


Enjoy alcohol responsibly and may the spirits be with you!

you may also like

how to kick your child's sugar habit
How to cater for a Diabetic this Christmas