Low-Carb Tequila Highballs are a Sugar-Free Summer Treat

Is The Spring/Summer of 2022 Hot enough for you?

Low-Carb Tequila Highballs are a Sugar-Free Summer Treat
As I write this, it is 90 muggy degrees here in Bloomington, Indiana. It has so far been a particularly hot and muggy summer, and–assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere–I’m guessing it’s pretty warm where you are, too. A long, cool drink would be good about now, huh?

Low-Carb Tequila Highballs are a Sugar-Free Summer Treat

For a long time, my tipple of choice has been dry red wine–Cabernet, Shiraz, Malbec, and the like, the dryer the better. Also, the occasional quality tequila sipped slowly. However, pleasant though they may be, neither of these falls into the “long, cool drink” category. I have, as the weather warmed up, found myself drawn back to the good, old-fashioned highball–a shot of liquor and a mixer over ice. I have come up with a few I enjoy tremendously, and thought I would share.

Low-Carb Tequila Highballs are a Sugar-Free Summer Treat

As mentioned, I am a tequila girl. It is not surprising, then, that it is the base liquor for three favorite highballs. These are all the same drink, really, but with a different flavor of sparkling water–and that makes all the difference. Call them variations on a theme.

Low-Carb Paloma Fizz Sugar-Free Highball Recipe

Low-Carb Paloma Fizz Sugar-Free Highball Recipe

Low-Carb Margarita Fizz Sugar-Free Highball Recipe

Low-Carb Margarita Fizz Sugar-Free Highball Recipe

Low-Carb Pink Flamingo Fizz Sugar-Free Highball Recipe

Low-Carb Pink Flamingo Fizz Sugar-Free Highball Recipe

Just this week there’s been an addition to my highball repertoire: The classic gin and tonic. It was my parents’ summer drink of choice and has a venerable history of preventing malaria among English people who lived in the tropical regions of the Empire. Sadly, tonic, aka quinine water, is remarkably sugary, with 30 grams of carbohydrate in 12 fluid ounces, almost as much as cola.

So I was excited to learn over the weekend that the nice folks at Zevia have added tonic water to their line of all-natural sugar-free sodas. I ran out and bought a six-pack and a bottle of gin, and have already gone through all but two cans (TNBIM helped). I’ll be buying more.

Do I need to elaborate on the recipe for a gin and tonic? It involves a shot of gin, ice, tonic water, and a wedge of lime. That’s it. Once again, I keep topping up my drink from the can of tonic.

Which leads to a couple of useful points: First of all, with any of these drinks I’m getting a full 12 ounces of a non-alcoholic mixer, thus staying hydrated. This is no small thing when it’s hotter than an oven on clean cycle out there. Secondly, because of all that fluid, these drinks take a while to go down; I can sip on one for the best part of an hour. I can go through a glass of wine in a fraction of that time. Automatic moderation!

One more summer beverage happiness has recently entered my life: My eye doctor, who has cut way back on carbs and knocked out the gluten, and feels far better for it, told me just the other day that Corona and Corona Light are legally gluten free, containing less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. That might not be gluten free enough for a person with celiac, but for those of us who simply feel that gluten is a bad idea, it should do fine.

I have always loved beer, but long ago despaired of finding a beer that was both low carb and gluten free. There were beers with 5 grams of carb or fewer per bottle (the average beer has 12-18 g), and there were gluten free beers, but I hadn’t found a gluten free beer with a carb count low enough to fit into my lifestyle. I am pleased to announce that Corona Light has 5 grams per bottle. That’s the top of my limit, so I won’t be drinking a lot of Corona Light, but it is very nice to once again have the occasional cold beer on a hot summer evening.

More Low Carb Recipes & Articles by Dana Carpender.

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  1. I have to say how disappointed I am in low carb recipes which contain so much salt that I had to move away from them.
    My body retaliated finally, that now I have to concentrate on very low sodium due to blood pressure issues. Words cannot describe how let down I am feeling.
    I have reverted to increasing my potassium rich foods significantly because I have run out of options with low carb and low weight…..for blood pressure , not happening , including exercising.
    The no gluten does not help with heart issues from high BP.
    I am making pita pockets with vital wheat gluten which are low carb. I am using very low sodium Swiss cheese…….my DH was always concerned about the high did jump in low carb foods to get the taste! He was right all along. Before low carb I never even added the highly appraised pink salts etc.
    I am actually adding back some beans to my diet to get some potassium into my foods while still the same time watching my daily sodium intake. I have to admit it is tasting hood and the BP is gradually coming down.
    I don’t want to blame low carb, but when I take a good look at what I was eating…..according to my DH it is tempting! ..”….”.the potassium balancing with sodium seems to be a key factor…….I spite of higher K2 supplements etc and adding hibiscus tea daily made with stevia!
    Curious if others have those issues???
    Many unnamed low carb gurus have made the argument about the all popular Ketogenic helping to release liquids from the liver, but I have tried to no avail.
    Food for thought?

    • Hi Jo, thank you for your awesome comment.

      I totally understand how you can be concerned with the sodium count of the recipes you find here at CarbSmart as well as on other sites.

      It ends up that in general, most low carbers are not as concerned with their sodium content because since they are less likely to consume pre-packaged foods or eat at fast food restaurants, they actually do not consume “too much” sodium. Of course it sounds like you have to be more careful with most of the ingredients you choose which is OK. No one recipe can address every health concern so it sounds like you will need to find substitute ingredients for the recipes you make at home.

      Hopefully the recipes we present are a good base for you to start with. Sounds like you may have a “Low-Carb, Low Sodium” cookbook in you!

      Keep us informed of how you adapt them for your lower sodium lifestyle.


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