It’s becoming clearer and clearer that refined and processed sugar is the bane of our existence. There are too many studies singling out processed sugars these days to ignore. Some are calling it this generation’s cigarettes for the potential harm the sweet substance carries. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Candies, chocolate, Snickers bars, all the cake, doughnuts, and the vast majority of cocktails all have processed sugars.
In most of these cases, experts would call the exact amount contained a “shitload” of sugar. Which is too much for the ol’ body to handle.
Work in a cocktail bar for a week and you’ll be shocked by the amount of sugar used in a single shift. It’s staggering when you add up the powder sugar, the granulated sugars, the simple syrup in most drinks, the Grenadine, the specialty syrups, the Gomme, Agave, honey, and that’s all before you even get to the fruit juices. Brace yourself, kid: Four ounces of grapefruit juice as 11 grams of sugar. For comparison sake, the barspoon of sugar that goes into a single Old Fashioned has about 12.6 grams of sugar. That’s basically 1/3 of a can of Coke. Sigh.
This means that if you want to avoid sugars in your cocktails, pickings will be slim. Fear not. There are a few classic cocktails that are basically sugar-free. You won’t have to ask for supplements or look through tediously long ingredient lists with these picks. You can order them and rest easy… until the next donut craving strikes.
One quick note: We’ve included drinks with tiny amounts of lime juice and dry vermouth here. Lime juice has less than 0.5 grams of sugar per ounce. So a squeeze from half a lime means that the sugar content is so low that it’s basically non-existent. Dry Vermouth (the clear one) has a sugar content of 0.3 grams per ounce. Again, that is so low that unless you have an actual allergy, it won’t register.