Does Whiskey Have Sugar?

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes and want to know whether you can drink whiskey or not? Or do you generally want to know whether whiskey has sugar or not? In each case, we have got you covered.

Whiskey does not usually have sugar due to its production process. It usually contains around 0.1 g of sugar in 100 ml. Here we will explain its production procedure in detail to help you understand how it is free from sugar.

Going through this article will clear up all your doubts about whiskey and sugar. Moreover, remember to take a look at the tips to control your sugar intake at the end as well.

How is whiskey made?

To understand whether whiskey has sugar or not, you must first understand its production procedure. It depends on several factors, like its ingredients, production process, etc. Its most common ingredients include water, yeast, and grain. The first process to make whiskey starts with malting. Let’s take a look at it in detail.


The first step in the production of whiskey. It starts with grains undergoing transformation to prepare them for mashing. It starts by soaking barley in water to stimulate germination. It is kept like that for several days. Then it is transferred to a kiln for drying. This stops germination and preserves the enzymes. Now it’s ready for the next step, mashing.


Mashing is the second and most important step in whiskey production. It starts by mixing malted barley with hot water to extract fermentable sugars. It takes place in a vessel called a mash tun. The grist is mixed with hot water. It breaks down starches into sugars. After that, the mash is carefully stirred to ensure thorough sugar extraction. Now the wort is separated from the spent grains, and the third step of whiskey production starts.


The third step is fermentation. Here, the wort is cooled and transferred to fermentation tanks. The yeast is added to them to start the fermentation process. The yeast consumes the sugars and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. It takes several days to undergo this process. Temperature and the whole process are closely monitored for a good taste. .


The next step we have to take is distillation. This process starts by heating the fermented product. The alcohol is vaporized here to separate it from water and grain. Moreover, this process also removes any kind of smell or taste.

Aging Whiskey and Sugars

The last step is aging. The liquid is placed in wooden barrels to age. As you may have heard, “the older the better” when it comes to alcohol. Sugars are other sweeteners and are also added to some whiskeys, like bourbon, by charring the barrels.

That’s how you get your whiskey. Now you would have understood how it’s made from sugar, and there is a very minor amount of it due to the last step.

Is there sugar in whiskey?

Usually, whiskey is free of sugar. It doesn’t contain any sugar, or a very small amount. Whiskeys usually have 40 to 6% ABV. A 43% ABV (86 proof) whiskey has only 0.1 gram of sugar in 100 ml. That means one shot only contains around 0.044 grams of sugar.

However, here we were talking only about whiskey. People often drink it with water and other additives. Drinking it by making a cocktail may increase its sugar content.

Do blended and flavored whiskies contain sugar?

Blended whiskeys are those that are made by mixing two or three types of whiskey together. As the name indicates, the flavors are the ones to which additional flavors are added.

Barrel aging, colorings, and other additives play a very important role in the increased amount of sugar in these whiskies. The amount of these flavors and additional ingredients determines the sugar content in them.

Tips to Control Your Sugar Intake

If you have diabetes or you generally want to take care of your sugar levels, Here are some practical lifestyle tips that will help you maintain these sugar levels.

  • Prioritize fresh fruits over sugary snacks for a healthier alternative.
  • Control portion sizes, especially with desserts and sugary treats.
  • Choose natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead of refined sugars.
  • Drink water instead of sugary beverages to stay hydrated and reduce sugar intake.
  • Read food labels carefully to identify hidden sugars in processed foods.
  • Incorporate protein, healthy fats, and fiber into meals to stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Plan balanced meals to reduce cravings for sugary snacks.
  • Experiment with reducing sugar amounts in recipes or using healthier alternatives.
  • Keep nuts, seeds, or homemade granola bars on hand for satisfying, low-sugar snacks.
  • Enjoy sugary treats occasionally, but in moderation, to maintain a balanced diet.

Final Words

Usually, whiskey doesn’t have any sugar. But it might contain a very small amount of sugar in some cases. Due to this very small amount, it is often claimed that whiskey is sugar-free. But remember, flavored or blended whiskey might contain a higher amount of sugar.

Moreover, be careful about mixing it with other sugary beverages or drinking it in cocktail form, which will increase your sugar intake. For further clarification, you can always consult your doctor before using it.