Low-Carb Sugar-Free Sweet and Sour Cocktail Mixer Recipe

Glass of Gin and Tonic with Ice and Lime
Steve Lupton/Getty Images
Total Time 10 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 0 min
Yield 1 1/2 cups Sweet and Sour Mix

This low-carb sugar-free sweet and sour mix recipe is really a starting place for your cocktails.

You can vary the concentrations of the juices and sweetener depending on your taste, the particular juices you use, and how much ice you are adding to the drink.

You can use this mix to make whiskey sours, daiquiris, margaritas, etc. (Try it with Jack Daniel's Whiskey -- yum!) Fresh lemon and lime juices taste best, but bottled works OK.

Contrary to simple syrups, the building blocks of many cocktails, this sweet-sour mixture doesn't need to be boiled. Just stir the ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup equivalent artificial sweetener (liquid preferred)


  1. In a small nonmetallic bowl, combine 1 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1/4 cup equivalent artificial sweetener (liquid preferred).
  2. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Carbohydrate Information: This whole recipe, almost 1 and 1/2 cups of the mixer, has 6 grams of carbohydrate. Each tablespoon of lemon or lime juice has 1 gram of carb if bottled, and slightly more if fresh.

Sneaky Secret: In a pinch, you can use Crystal Light lemonade mix. But it won't necessarily have less carbohydrate.

How to Make a Low-Carb Cocktail

Other than from the alcohol, almost all of the calories in cocktails and mixed drinks come from sugar. If we can concoct sugar-free versions, we can relieve much of that burden. Here are some of the best low-carb spirits, mixers, and cocktails to make with them:

  • Distilled Spirits: Gin, vodka, tequila, whiskey, and rum are distilled spirits that by definition have no carbohydrate. 
  • Carbonated Mixers: Carbonated mixers are either naturally carb-free and calorie-free (club soda, sparkling water, plain water) or come in diet versions (tonic water, ginger ale, cola, lemon-lime soda such as 7-Up or Sprite). Note that tonic water does contain sugar unless it is a diet-type. 

Good Low-Carb Cocktail Choices: 

  • Gin and tonic (or vodka tonic)
  • Jack and Coke (made with diet cola)
  • Scotch and soda
  • Seven and Seven (Seagram's 7 and Diet 7-Up)
  • Rum and diet cola
  • Rye and ginger (rye whiskey and diet ginger ale)

Read more tips for enjoying a social drink while keeping true to your low-carbohydrate, low-sugar lifestyle in this Low-Calorie Cocktail Guide.

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