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Is Bourbon Keto-Friendly?

Bourbon on a kitchen counter

Is Bourbon Keto-Friendly? The short and sweet answer to that is — yes! In this article, we explore why this classic spirit, with its distinctive rich flavor, comfortably fits within the carb limits of a ketogenic diet.

We'll explore Bourbon's carb count, its glycemic index, and its potential place in your keto meal plan.

We'll also shed light on the health implications of including Bourbon in a keto diet and explore some creative ways to enjoy this beverage without knocking you out of ketosis.


  • Yes, Bourbon is keto-friendly as it contains zero carbs.
  • Bourbon brings along small quantities of several minerals and vitamins, contributing to its nutritional value.
  • Would you like to know how to incorporate Bourbon into your keto meal plan? Stay with us!

Is Bourbon Keto-Friendly?

Indeed, Bourbon is considered keto-friendly. The reason for this lies in its nutritional content. A standard shot of Bourbon (42g) contains 0.0 g of net carbs, making it suitable for a ketogenic diet that emphasizes low-carb consumption.

Can You Have Bourbon on a Strict Keto Diet?

Yes, Bourbon can certainly fit into even a strict keto diet. A rigorous ketogenic diet typically limits the daily carb intake to less than 20g. Given that a standard shot of Bourbon contains 0.0g net carbs, it fits comfortably within this tight carb limit.

Moreover, for those who are following a more lenient low-carb diet, often limiting their daily carb intake to 30-50g of net carbs, Bourbon can again easily be included. Its zero-carb content does not disrupt these somewhat relaxed carb limits.

Carbs In Bourbon

Bourbon contains 0.0 g of net carbs per standard serving size, which is one shot or 42g. Furthermore, Bourbon has a low glycemic index of 0 [source]. It's noteworthy to mention that foods with a low glycemic index (55 or less) are preferred in a keto diet as they cause a slower, lower increase in blood sugar levels.

Foods with a lower GI digest slowly, leading to a steady rise in blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a high GI are quickly digested, causing a rapid spike.

Bourbon Nutrition Facts

A 42g serving of Bourbon, approximately one shot, carries a distinct nutritional profile. With zero grams of protein, fiber, and sugar, its caloric content primarily comes from alcohol.

Specifically, each serving contains roughly 105 calories. These calories are derived from nearly 14g of alcohol, which is the only macronutrient present in Bourbon in a notable quantity.

Bourbon is low in sodium, with a modest 0.04mg per serving. It is virtually free of fat, including both saturated and unsaturated fats.

As for micronutrients, this spirit doesn't offer much. There are negligible traces of vitamins and minerals, making Bourbon not a significant source of these nutrients.
On a unique note, Bourbon stands out for its polyphenolic compounds. These compounds, though not classified as traditional nutrients, may contribute to the drink's antioxidant properties.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 1 shot (42g)
Net Carbs0.0g
Alcohol, ethyl14.028g
Iron, Fe0.0168mg
Phosphorus, P1.68mg
Potassium, K0.84mg
Sodium, Na0.42mg
Zinc, Zn0.0168mg
Copper, Cu0.0088mg
Vitamin B-60.0004mg

Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Bourbon on a Keto Diet

Bourbon, while being carb-free, also offers a few other nutritional benefits. It provides small amounts of several minerals, including iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc, as well as trace amounts of B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B-6.

While these nutrients support various bodily functions, it's important to note that the quantities provided by a single shot of Bourbon are relatively small.

Incorporating Bourbon into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Enjoy Bourbon as a Keto-Friendly Drink: Due to its zero-carb content, Bourbon can be a great choice for a keto-friendly drink. It can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as a part of a keto-friendly cocktail with low-carb mixers.
  2. Use Bourbon in Keto Recipes: Bourbon can also be incorporated into various keto recipes. For example, it can add a unique flavor to a marinade for meats or be used in low-carb Bourbon-glazed salmon.
  3. Mind Your Portions: Despite Bourbon being keto-friendly, it's important to practice portion control. Remember, a standard serving is one shot (42g), and this should be factored into your overall daily dietary intake.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Bourbon

  1. Whiskey: Like Bourbon, whiskey is a distilled spirit that is also low in carbs, making it a suitable alternative for a keto diet. It can be used in a similar manner to Bourbon, such as in keto-friendly cocktails or as a flavorful addition to marinades and sauces.
  2. Vodka: Another viable option is vodka, which is also carbohydrate-free. It's a versatile spirit that can be used in an array of keto-friendly cocktails or even in cooking, like in a flavorful, low-carb vodka sauce for zoodles (zucchini noodles).
  3. Rum: Rum is another distilled spirit with zero carbs, making it a good alternative to Bourbon. It can be used in a variety of keto-friendly recipes, such as a low-carb rum-infused barbecue sauce.

Concluding Thoughts on Bourbon and Keto

Bourbon, with its zero-carb content, is indeed a fitting option for those following a keto diet. Its nutritional profile, providing small amounts of several minerals and vitamins, reinforces its place as a viable addition to a keto-friendly meal plan.

However, remember, while Bourbon fits the carb requirements of a keto diet, it's important to consume it in moderation, considering its alcohol content.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can. Bourbon contains zero carbs, which makes it compatible with a keto diet. However, remember to consume in moderation.

Yes, there are, such as straight Bourbon, high rye bourbon, and small batch bourbon. All types of Bourbon are distilled from grain mixtures that are at least 51% corn, which doesn't affect the carb content, so they're also keto-friendly.

While Bourbon isn't a significant source of macronutrients, it does contain small quantities of several minerals and vitamins, such as iron, vitamin B6, and calcium.

Absolutely! Bourbon can be used in many keto-friendly recipes, adding a unique flavor to marinades or glazes. But remember to account for it in your daily dietary intake.