Can you drink green beer if you’re tracking carbohydrates? We have the answer. 
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St. Patrick’s Day is known for corned beef, cabbage, and plenty of green beer. But, when you’re following a low-carb diet, knowing what you can indulge in can be a bit tricky. With so many different options, it can be difficult to get a solid understanding of the carbohydrate count for most drinks — especially when you’re out at a bar or restaurant.

And, of course, you don’t want to spend your evening worried about upsetting your dietary goals. To save on the stress this St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve rounded up the best alcoholic drinks to enjoy on a low-carb diet. Slainte!

Beer

If you’re sticking to a low-carb diet, beer is not the best option for a St. Patrick’s Day drink. Beers are derived from grains, which means that they are often higher in carbs than other beverages. However, the carb count differs depending on the brand, so it’s worth a quick search before deciding which to drink.

A 12-ounce bottle of Guinness Draught, for example, contains about 10 grams of carbohydrates. The same amount of Guinness Extra Stout has 14 grams. 

As a general rule, light beers are lower in carbohydrates than standard beers. Michelob Ultra, Miller Light, and Coors Light range from about three to five grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce bottle. Bud Light contains about seven grams of carbs per 12-ounce bottle, while Budweiser has 11 grams of carbs.

As for green beer? It’s typically a light beer that’s dyed green with food coloring. The carbohydrate count will vary depending on the brand, so use the examples included here to get an estimate. 

Wine

Wine is generally lower in carbs than beer, making it a great choice for your St. Patrick’s Day drink. Dry wines are the lowest in carbohydrates, with the count going up as wines get sweeter (so skip super-sweet options like moscato and dessert wines). Wines with a higher ABV will also be higher in carbs, so steer clear of the overly boozy options (like zinfandel or grenache). 

While the carbohydrate count will vary depending on the brand, you can expect about three to five grams of carbohydrates per five-ounce serving in a dry sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. If you prefer red wine, you can expect the same amount of carbs from a merlot, pinot noir, or cabernet sauvignon. 

Spirits

Liquor is your best bet for a low-carb drink. Unsweetened spirits like vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, scotch, brandy, and cognac are all zero-carb options.

However, mixers are often very sugary and can really rack up the carb count. Options like margaritas, mojitos, and tequila sunrises can go up to about 30 grams of carbs per drink — not ideal on a low-carb diet.

For a zero-carb drink, try adding soda water and a squeeze of lime to your favorite spirit. Alternatively, you could mix vodka or rum with a diet cola, which is also carb-free.