All vodkas are gluten-free unless gluten containing flavors have been added to them. Vodkas made from corn, soy, potatoes and even wheat are gluten-free. This is true of all distilled spirits. Unfortunately for many years, scientists didn’t understand that the gluten protein is removed in the distillation process so people were told they had to avoid all alcohols that were distilled from gluten grains.
While it’s very unfortunate that rumors abound that most alcohols contain gluten, most of them actually don’t. Unless specifically made to be gluten-free, beers contain gluten because they are brewed, not distilled. Several gluten-free beers are now available in the U.S. The most widely distributed brand being Redbridge by Anheiser- Busch. One of the most popular domestic brands is Bard’s Tale and Green’s from Belgium ranks as one of the favorite imports.
Some of the most popular distilled spirits that are gluten-free (as long as no gluten flavors have been added to them) are:
Some people report that they react to alcohols made with gluten grains so they might choose to avoid consuming them. Even though the science that proves distilled alcohols are gluten-free has been in evidence for several years, the old information about them won’t seem to go away. There is not a problem with anyone avoiding anything they choose to. The problem arises when people share inaccurate information with others.
According to every celiac specialist in the world and Shelley Case, the foremost authority on the gluten-free diet in North America, the gluten protein is not present in grain alcohols once they have been distilled, period. People can choose to believe scare mongers on the internet or they can believe the experts on the subject. There is enough to worry about when on the gluten-free diet without worrying about items that are actually safe to consume.
Pure distilled alcohols with no flavorings added are gluten-free. Many flavored alcohols are gluten-free as well, but you need to check with the manufacturer of such drinks regarding their gluten-free status. There is a helpful website, GlutenFreeDrinks, that lists specific brands and their statements regarding gluten. Clan Thompson sells a gluten-free alcohol guide and The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide lists quite a few flavored drink mixers as well.
Wine is also gluten-free, though there is also a lot of misinformation floating around about wine as well. Wine that is made from just grapes is considered gluten-free. The exception for wine is wine coolers. Most of those are made with barley malt and therefore they are NOT gluten-free. So, this holiday season have some champagne (yes, it’s gluten-free) to celebrate the many recreational beverages that are absolutely gluten-free!
- Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource
- Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic
Have a question about the gluten-free diet which we haven’t covered yet? You can now submit your questions here! (Note: All medical questions should be directed to your physician)