Gluten-Free Liquor

23014177_sI’ve had a lot of questions lately from clients about gluten in alcoholic drinks. Many common forms of alcohol are made from grains, and most of the grains used for alcohol production contain gluten. If you’re avoiding gluten in your diet, you will be completely safe with wine/beer/spirits that have been fermented and/or distilled from gluten-free ingredients like corn, potatoes, grapes, honey, rice and sorghum. However, many celiac authorities maintain that the gluten molecule doesn’t make it through the alcohol distillation process, and even those spirits made from gluten-containing grains are safe to consume. (This does not include beer as beer isn’t distilled, so for all types, including ales, lagers, etc., you would need to choose a gluten-free brand.)

Depending on your sensitivity level, you may or may not want to experiment to see if you’re personally reactive to grain-based distilled alcohols, such as scotch/whiskey (made from different grains, including barley, wheat, rye, corn, etc.); bourbon (made primarily from corn, but can include other mixed grains); grain-based vodka (some specialty vodka is safe – see list below); and gin (made from multiple sources, including barley).

If you don’t want to play Russian roulette, stick to these safe drinks:

100% Gluten-Free Alcohol:
• All wine, champagne, mead, hard cider and brandy (fermented from fruits, honey, flowers, etc. Grain-free)
• Pure rice sake (such as Junmai, made only from rice– other types of sake may have added barley mash or grain-based distilled alcohol)
• Gluten-free beer (try Bard’s, Green’s Amber Ale, Brunehaut Bio Blonde, Glutenator, etc., brewed from various ingredients including sorghum, millet, etc.)
• 100% agave tequila (made only from agave – avoid brands labeled “mixto” as they may contain additional grain-based alcohols)
• Vodka made from corn, potatoes or grapes (such as Blue Ice potato-based vodka, Smirnoff, DiVine, Devotion [carries a full line of gluten-free flavored vodkas], etc. Avoid traditional vodka made from wheat, barley, rye, etc.)

Hope this helps you with reaction-free celebrations 🙂

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