Drink Special: In Good Spirits

Drink Special: In Good Spirits

Mocktail drinks can be packed with carbs and calories along with heavy ingredients like sugar, soda, juice, and even cream. Plus, if someone else is making your cocktail, your drink could contain more alcohol than you’d expect. The good news is that healthful imbibing is possible—whether or not you choose to drink alcohol. These low-sugar recipes and tips provide a carb-smart way to toast the social distancing. 

A Note about Alcohol In some cases, drinking alcohol can lead to unexpected blood sugar lows up to 24 hours later, especially if you take insulin or an insulin-secreting medication. Use caution when drinking:

  • on an empty stomach
  • without having eaten enough carbohydrates
  • after exercising


Make your own.

Try this four-step strategy next time you want to raise a (lower-sugar) glass:

1. Start with a low-calorie, low- carb mixer, such as club soda, diet ginger, herbal tea, or coffee.

2. Sweeten with 1 to 2  tablespoons of juice, 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup, or 1 tablespoon of Sugar- Free Simple Syrup (see recipe, below).

3. Add a measured serving of alcohol, if you like (up to 5 ounces of wine or 1½ ounces of 80-proof spirits).

4. Top with a festive garnish.

Fizzy Rosemary  Cider Mocktail

64 CAL, 16G CARB


Combine in a highball glass:

  • 4 oz. apple cider
  • 4 oz. club soda or seltzer
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar-Free Rosemary
  • Simple Syrup (see recipe, below)
  • Garnish with 1 rosemary sprig


Sugar-Free Rosemary Simple Syrup



  • Combine ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar substitute
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary in a small saucepan.
  • Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar substitute is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the rosemary sprig. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Variation: Omit the rosemary to make an unflavoured simple syrup.

SERVES 6: 1 Tbsp. each


Pumpkin-Spice Toddy



Combine in a mug:

  • 6  oz. brewed decaf pumpkin spice tea (or another decaf or herbal tea)
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 1½ tsp. honey
  • 1½ tsp. lemon juice
  • Garnish with: 1 cinnamon stick & 1 strip lemon zest  



Cranberry Grand  Marnier Sparkler

135 CAL, 9G CARB


Combine in a Champagne flute:

  • 4  oz. Champagne or any other sparkling wine
  • 2 tsp. Grand Marnier 1 oz. cranberry juice cocktail
  • Garnish with: 2 fresh (or frozen) cranberries and 1 strip orange zest

Diabetic Living is the only lifestyle magazine that demonstrates how to live fully each and every day while managing diabetes.