As an adult, there may come a time when you wish to learn about gluten-free alcohol options. Like it or not, alcohol is part of the social fabric of America. Without gluten-free choices, the celiac patient may feel deprived, yet again, when it comes to living a normal life. Fortunately, gluten-free alcohol products are widely available.
Among the choices for gluten-free alcohol are several safe bets simply because grains are not part of the manufacturing process. Gluten is therefore, not an issue. With others, you will need to follow up like you probably already do with gluten-free foods and contact the manufacturer for more information.
Oftentimes, you may find product label offer little to no information. Unless a manufacturer is targeting the celiac disease market, you will unlikely find alcohol products labeled gluten-free.
Distilled spirits are made by distilling fermented liquid. The base can be grains, fruits, or fruit juice. The process involves heating the fermented base and collecting the purified vapor. The choice of the base determines whether or not the product is wheat and gluten-free. Several distilled spirits or hard liquors can be considered gluten-free. They include:
Some alcohol beverages use distilled wine to create the finished product. The absence of grains also makes these drinks safe. They include:
All wines are gluten-free since their base is grapes. However, not all wine coolers are gluten-free. Some cooking wines such as Spice Islands can safely be included in your gluten-free menu. Check the label's ingredients before using.
Liquors are a gray area when it comes to their gluten-free status. Many products are blends of a variety of ingredients. A few safe beverages include:
- Rumple Minze Peppermint Schnapps
- Black Haus Blackberry Schnapps
If straight drinks are not your style, there are some mixers which you can add to your home bar. Again, ingredients will vary amongst the manufacturers. Be aware that the ingredients may change without notice. Some safe choices include:
- Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix
- Mr. & Mrs. T Margarita Mix
- Coco Casa Cream of Coconut
- Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
- TGI Friday's Blenders
- Clamato Brand Tomato Cocktail
- Dimond Jim's Bloody Mary Mystery
Other Alcoholic Beverages
Specialty drinks and liquors vary regarding their gluten content. All malt-based beverages are not safe. Many manufacturers produce bottled drinks which are not gluten-free. These products include:
- Smirnoff FMB's
- Smirnoff Twisted V beverages
- Smirnoff Ice
- Bartle and James malt beverages
- Mike's Hard Lemonade
- Most beers
While most beers are unsafe for celiac patients, there are several brands which are gluten-free. These products are brewed with some familiar safe alternative grains including sorghum and millet. Many of these beers also contain hops. Hops are naturally gluten-free. They include:
- Anheuser-Busch Redbridge
- Bard's Tale Beer Dragon's Gold
- Lakefront Brewery New Grist
- Sprecher Brewery Mbege and Shakparo brews
- Green's Mission, Quest, Pathfinder, Discovery, Endeavour , Herald, Pioneer, and Trailblazer brews
Cautions for the Gluten Intolerant
There are several considerations to further bear in mind before you indulge. As with food, alcoholic beverages may contain other ingredients to enhance taste or appearance of the product. Ingredients such as caramel coloring may make the beverage unsafe for the gluten intolerant individual.
Some manufacturers produce several product lines. Even if one product is gluten-free, it is not a guarantee all products are safe, especially if the manufacturer produces other gluten-containing products. The customer service department will be happy to address any concerns you have regarding their beverages.
The day-to-day life of the celiac disease patient revolves around making wise, informed choices. These choices may include gluten-free alcohol as part of your diet. With many gluten-free options available, there is no reason why you cannot enjoy a cocktail with your family or friends.