Keto is a lifestyle that doesn’t require eliminating alcohol, which is one reason this “diet” can be sustainable. You can still go out from time to time end enjoy a drink with your friends. Dry wines and straight spirits (liquors like vodka, tequila, whisky, gin, bourban) are all okay on Keto. You should avoid all beer (it’s just wheat/hops, which is not okay on keto) and anything that is a “liqueur” which is usually just a sugar-fest.

However, do be aware that while alcohol will not knock you out of ketosis, it will temporarily stall fat-burning, as the alcohol will be processed by your body first as it tries to eliminate it from your body ASAP. This means you’re burning alcohol (the 4th macronutrient) in priority to fat (another macronutrient). Therefore, for those trying to lose fat still, alcohol should be limited to special occasions in order to maximize fat loss.

A Dirty Martini is a great choice while on Keto, as it is simply vodka and olive juice, which are both keto -friendly. Olive juice is salty, but that is preferred on a ketogenic diet (you need more sodium since your kidneys release it quickly in the absence of carbs). It also is a great sipping drink, and is filling and satiating.

You will need:

  • A Martini glass, placed in freezer for 5 minutes to chill
  • A Martini/cocktail shaker (you need a shaker with a fine strainer to prevent ice chunks from getting into your drink; because of this protein drink shakers are not recommended.)
  • 3 ounces of Vodka (note a standard jigger is 1.5 fluid ounces for a “shot” so this is just a double shot**)
  • 1.5 to 3 ounces* of Olive Brine  (just the liquid olives are stored in, or you can buy a dirty martini mix but check the ingredients. Avoid sugar and just get one that is basically olive juice, salt and water). If you choose to use the liquid your olives are stored in, make sure it’s an oil free one or your drink will be oily.
  • 2 Blue-cheese stuffed olives, or just green-olives (with or without pimentos) (optional). The fresh ones stored in fridge sections of grocery stores have a much better taste than ones in jars)
  • A splash of dry vermouth (optional, to make it “dry”)
  • Fill the rest of the cocktail shaker up with crushed ice
  1. Put vodka, olive brine, vermouth and ice in the shaker. Close lid tightly, and hold both ends as you shake it vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  2. Strain into a martini glass, fresh out of the freezer
  3. Poke the 2 olives onto a toothpick and drop into the drink

*Note that I’ve seen pretty much every ratio of vodka to olive brine claiming to be the standard dirty martini. However, the general rule of thumb for most martini recipes is 2 of the larger jigger side of the main alcohol (e.g. 2 x 1.5 ounces = 3 ounces), and 2 of the smaller jigger side for the non-alcohol or complementary liquid (e.g. 2 x 0.75 ounces = 1.5 ounces). I prefer a 1:1 ratio (so 3 ounces of vodka and 3 ounces of olive juice) but feel free to adjust the ratio based on your own taste preference. 1:1 gives a very salty olivey taste, which in my opinion is easier to sip and drink vs one that is mostly vodka.

I prefer Kettle One vodka as it’s a high quality, has a great taste, and doesn’t really cause hangovers (for me at least). I avoid budget vodkas such as Smirnoff as they usually leave my mouth dry all night long and give me a headache in the morning.

I also like to store my vodka in the freezer. That way it is already chilled and the martini or drink you are making uses less ice to water it down just to chill it. However, note that the entire reason you shake a martini, vs. stirring it (as Bond said, “shaken, not stirred”), is to melt ice into it which makes the drink a little more mellow to handle vs. straight vodka. Alcohol melts ice rather quickly. If you want a more mellow martini, use room temperature vodka because the shaking step will basically water it down a little.

Some Martini terms/notes:

  • A Dry martini means that there is dry vermouth (a dry wine) in it. A very dry means there is a splash of vermouth, or sometimes none at all. “Very dry” is actually LESS dry vermouth than “dry”. A wet martini has extra vermouth. Vermouth is historically served with Gin Martinis, however.
  • A Dirty martini just means it’s made with olive juice/brine and usually garnished with olives. Extra dirty means extra olive juice.
  • A Filthy martini uses capers juice and capers instead of olives

**Avoid using shot glasses for measuring alcohol since they can range anywhere between 1 oz (which is 1/2 ounce less than a real shot) to 3 oz (a double shot). Buy a jigger instead which is a standard measurement.

Looking for Keto-friendly drink mixers? Try Be Mixed! or Sqwincher Zero!