So – the stories on Gluten-Free Vodka are mixed as a 21-year old’s birthday cocktail. Many vodkas are distilled from grains that contain gluten, but experts (and science) say that the gluten is removed during the distillation process. I’ll provide you with the info, you make the decisions for your health.
Here’s a little more info from folks who know – it seems like they’re a little confused too:
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 people with Celiac even if they’re made with wheat, rye, or barley, since “the distillation process should remove the reaction-causing proteins”.
The U.S. FDA and TTB have ruled that distilled spirits with no additives (like flavors, so check your root beer-flavored vodka) are 100% safe, because the gluten protein is left behind in the distillation process.
Beyond Celiac says: “pure, distilled liquor, even if made from wheat, barley, or rye, is considered gluten-free. Most liquors are safe for people with celiac disease because of the distillation process.” However, the Celiac Sprue Foundation (now Celiac Disease Foundation) previously recommended no hard liquor from grains containing gluten, at least during the early phases of a gluten-free diet.
So, some of the experts say your Vodka Collins is fine no matter what, some advise waiting a few months after going gluten-free. I say: check the Collins mix to make sure it’s GF too.
Here’s a list of popular Vodkas & what they’re distilled from:
- Wheat: Stolichnaya/Stoli (blend), Grey Goose, Ketel One, Snow Queen, Pearl, Van Gogh (blend), La Chance, Vox, Polar Ice, Absolut, Trump, X-Rated (blend), Purity (blend), Three Olives (blend)
- Barley: Finlandia, Koskenkorva
- Rye: Belvedere
- Corn: Smirnoff, SF Vodka “Baker Beach”, Tito’s (Tito’s is certified GF)
- Potato: Chopin, Teton Glacier, Monopolowa, Vikingfjord, Luksosowa, Blue Ice
- Grape: Cîroc, Bombora, DiVine, SF Vodka “China Beach”
For the record, I’m with P.Diddy. I drink Ciroc at home and where I can find it, and wine the rest of the time. That’s what I use to mix up my pomegranate martinis.
PS: You can learn more about gluten in alcohol here. Wine is Gluten-Free, as are Cognac & Grappa. They’re all made from grapes. If you’re concerned about contamination from barrel paste (which I am NOT AT ALL concerned about for a number of reasons) then choose wines that are stainless-steel fermented or are not aged in new barrels.
Wine Coolers, Fruit Flavored Wines & other wine-based drinks that aren’t 100% wine can contain Barley Malt, colors & flavorings.