Hey Everybody – we get lots of questions about gluten in alcohol, and we’re here to set the record straight. Here’s our Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverage Guide, plus good information from those in the know. We’ve also added links to some of our articles about specific liquors, so you can really get the 411 on your favorite spirits.
First: the general opinion from doctors & Celiac specialists (and science) is that distilled spirits are gluten-free, as gluten proteins are left behind in the distillation process. This does not include flavored (Vanilla Vodka, Peach Schnapps) or blended spirits (X-Rated, Blackberry Merlot, Pre-made Margaritas) – you must check those out on a case-by-case basis (you hear us, Appletini drinkers?) And you know the rule at G-Free Foodie: “If you don’t know, then NO” – choose something else if you aren’t absolutely sure your libation is safe.
Here’s a little more info: The European Food Safety Authority considers distilled alcohol “unlikely to cause a severe reaction” in those with grain allergies and the Canadian Celiac Association allows distilled alcoholic beverages for celiacs even if they’re made with wheat, rye, or barley, since “the distillation process should remove the reaction-causing proteins”. However, the Celiac Sprue Foundation recommends no hard liquor from grains containing gluten during the early phases of a gluten-free diet to allow the gut to heal.
Liquors distilled from gluten-containing grains include: some Vodkas, Whiskey & Bourbon.
Here’s the list, with a few notes, of course:
- Beer – GLUTEN FREE only, check out our Gluten Free Beer list
- Fruit brandy – that’s FRUIT brandy, not flavored brandy
- Grand Marnier
- Jägermeister – good news, right? You can still have a Surfer on Acid when you need to revisit college days.
- Mead – honey wine
- Port Wine
- Southern Comfort
- Triple Sec
- Vodka – made from multiple sources, check out our Gluten Free Vodka Debate article
- Wine – not Wine Coolers or Wine drinks, Wine. Read Is Wine Gluten-Free? for the details
Cheers to you & your health, from the G-Free Foodie Team. Salute!