Friends, there are a lot of people out there who know more about sugar alternatives than I do. Here are a few of them if you want to do more research:
My purpose in talking about alternative sweeteners is to cover the ones that work well in cocktails. So buckle up and read on:
Stevia is a natural sweetener, meaning that it’s made from plants we humans can eat. Stevia is a concentrated version of the stevia leaf. There is a lot of research out there saying Stevia is safe for humans, and it doesn’t spike insulin or blood sugar. It tastes fantastic in cocktails and comes in an easy-to-use liquid drop form, so I recommend it. It also comes in granulated form.
When my recipes call for a few drops of liquid sweetener, this is a good choice.
When my recipes call for sugar-free simple syrup, Stevia syrup is a good choice. If you don’t want to buy it, you can make your own.
Allulose is another natural sweetener found in certain fruits and some sweeteners, like brown sugar and maple syrup. We don’t know as much about the long-term effects of allulose on our bodies, but some studies have found that it can actually reduce blood sugar and insulin levels after we eat. Bonus! And double bonus: it tastes great and comes in a syrup form.
When my recipes call for sugar-free simple syrup, allulose syrup is a clear choice. If you don’t want to buy it, you can make your own.
Monk fruit is also a natural sweetener and has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a long time. It’s not as well-researched as other Keto-friendly sweeteners, but there is evidence that it’s safe and may even deliver some health benefits. It can have a slightly bitter aftertaste, but whenever I have used it in liquids I don’t really notice it. It comes in liquid drop and granulated forms.
When my recipes call for a few drops of liquid sweetener, this is a good one.
When my recipes call for sugar-free simple syrup, monk fruit syrup is a good choice, but you’ll need to make it yourself since it only seems to come prepared as maple syrup.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol commonly found in fruits and veg. Sugar alcohols are a combination of sugar and alcohol molecules, but they won’t add to the stupefying effect of your cocktails. Erythritol has been thoroughly studied; it’s safe for us to consume and may prevent cavities and plaque. That’s why you see it a lot in chewing gum. It tastes good, too, and is less likely to cause stomach upset than Xylitol (see below). It typically comes in granulated form, although I’ve seen some fruit-flavored syrups online.
When I tried making Erythritol syrup myself, it crystallized as soon as it cooled down. I found this recipe to prevent the crystallization but it’s not as sweet as other syrups. You can either add liquid sweetener to your syrup after you make it or add a few drops to the cocktail itself.
I even tried using a monk fruit/erythritol blend, but it crystallized again.
Xylitol is another sugar alcohol. Some research has found that it prevents cavities and plaque, although it’s not as widely studied as erythritol. Xylitol one can sometimes cause tummy trouble, so use something else if you find yourself in that boat. And keep it away from your pets! It’s really toxic for dogs, cats, and other friends. I find that it tastes really good; it comes in liquid drop, syrup, and granulated forms, so take your pick. It generally comes in granulated form.
When my recipes call for a few drops of liquid sweetener, this one is good.
When my recipes call for sugar-free simple syrup, this is also a rock-solid choice. If you don’t want to buy the xylitol syrup, you can make your own.
For making delicious cocktails like a Bee’s Knees, you’re going to need a honey substitute. My favorite is sweetened with Xylitol and I think it tastes great. It’s a little runnier than regular honey, so it mixes into liquids nicely, too.
My dears, if you don’t see your favorite alternative sweetener here, feel free to try it out anyway. Let me know how it works for you, and you may see it here in the future!