Are you drinking gluten free alcohol? I get asked all the time whether alcohol is safe for those who are gluten sensitive. The truth is, it’s not an easy answer and many times it’s best to avoid if you really don’t know what you could be drinking.
However, if you make yourself aware of what options you have, having a drink isn’t nearly as treacherous as eating food.
Gluten Free Alcohol & Drinks Guide
Q::: Is it ridiculous to say one of my biggest challenges is not enjoying a cold pint of beer here and there with friends? I tire of wine and just want to kick back and not be concerned about the gluten in an alcoholic beverage but the gluten-free beers I’ve tried (when I can find them!) taste strangely sweet and ‘off’. What do you suggest? Going with a cocktail instead?
No, it’s totally not ridiculous to feel like having a ‘cold one’ and relaxing with friends is something that really challenges you. Though I don’t drink often, I do understand wanting to partake.
So here are my suggestions… and I’m going to include more than you asked for so that others reading this will get the info that they need. I do have a warning though for you… alcohol generally increases the permeability of the intestines so if you come into contact with gluten-contaminated foods or cheat (as some of you have admitted that you do which is not advisable), your reaction may be worse than normal.
I used to think that wine was safe until I initially learned that the wine-making process can include certain proteins to which many of us are sensitive. Most importantly, winemakers can use gluten paste to seal the barrels in which the wine is made. Check out this excellent article by Rachel Begun, MS, RD from The Gluten Free RD for the questions you need to ask about your wine to make sure it’s gluten-free.
Additionally, when wine goes through processing to create a finished product that you enjoy, winemakers use different ingredients in the ‘fining process’ to make a clear wine. Some of those ingredients can be proteins such as egg white and casein (the protein found in all dairy) making these wines contaminated with them.
Generally made from Sorghum and should be clearly marked gluten-free. I’d recommend avoiding all beers which were made with glutenous grains to then have the gluten removed. There are serious concerns that these types of beers are not really gluten-free.
Typically made from apples, here’s a list you could check out and verify that these companies definitely offer gluten-free hard cider before making your purchase.
There’s a lot of debate about how safe hard alcohol is.
Certain hard alcohol is made from gluten-containing grains like rye and wheat. Supposedly, the process of distilling the alcohol should remove the proteins that trigger a reaction.
However, there are folks who say they’ve gotten sick from them.
And from my understanding, current processes to test gluten content in fermented foods isn’t accurate.
If I drink hard alcohol, I try to stick to pure Tequila, Brandy, and pure Rum as all are made from non-gluten ingredients. Tequila is made from the agave plant. Brandy is distilled from wine or not-so-great vinegar (made from grapes or fruit). Rum is made from sugar cane.
As always, you’ll want to double check that there are no flavors or additives in your choice of alcohol that may contain gluten.
Though I’m sure you’d love a list here of safe options, I won’t provide one since at any point a manufacturer could change their recipe making my list obsolete.
Do your homework and contact the companies directly for your choice of alcohol and stick with those.
Champagne is also an option for you as it’s a type of wine. Again, I’d just double check that your brand of choice is gluten-free.
Another very low alcohol choice is Kombucha. It’s a fermented tea that is effervescent and is very low in alcohol.
It can be purchased at places like Whole Foods or made at home and is actually very good for gut health. My family actually drinks a home-brewed blend of made from Rooibos Chai at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Mead is another option that you might not have heard of. It’s an alcoholic beverage made from honey!
I never tried it until more recently and was pleasantly delighted by its flavor and lightness. Thanks to Golden Coast Mead for broadening my world of gluten-free possibilities!
NEED MORE HELP?
If you feel like you’re at your wits’ end and fed up knowing what to eat…
Or you feel like food is your enemy now that you’ve gone gluten-free because you don’t know what’s safe…
And you’re feeling deeply overwhelmed with the process of ridding your life of gluten…
I have a really neat opportunity for you so keep on reading!
I’m hosting a special webinar (that’s totally free) where I’m going to talk about the process how to simplify going gluten-free as well as how I (and my clients) have gotten to a place where the lifestyle and diet are a piece of gluten-free cake.
If you’ve been GF for less than 2 years, are still struggling to “stay on the wagon,” or haven’t even started going GF yet… this is for you.
Today and tomorrow, I’m hosting an exclusive webinar called…
There’s no cost to attend and I’m going to cover some of the biggest questions you have!
Think of it like you and I sit down for a cup of tea (or coffee)… let’s talk. Plus I’ll have a special surprise for you at the end! BUT please be aware that I will not record this event so if you miss it, then you’ve missed out.