Beers Booze & Beverages Gluten Free Alcohol

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

When a young adult transitions to eating gluten free, one of the first questions is: What alcohol can I drink? Which alcohols are gluten free?

Here is a comprehensive list of gluten free alcohols.

GLTUEN FREE AT THE BAR: Hard apple ciders and wine are gluten free. Shots of tequila and rum are gluten free.

GLUTEN FREE MIXED DRINKS: The Mojito and Caipirinha are gluten free cocktails. A Screwdriver is orange juice and vodka, but those vodkas are not gluten free at the bar, so ask for orange juice and tequila instead. When looking at a cocktail list of specialty drinks, select the drink that has rum or tequila as the alcohol ingredient, all the rest may be made from grains like wheat, barley, rye that have gluten.

Before I knew about eating gluten free, I had already started drinking hard alcohol instead of beer because regular beer wreaked the worst havoc on my stomach, causing great distress, pain, and gas.


Most stores now carry cider which is made from apples or pears, sometimes other fruits. Cider is a great alternative to beer and all brands taste pretty good. Do beware of its high sugar content.

My favorite casual beverage, refreshing like a soda on a hot day or night, not too sweet, not too strong, are the Fox Barrel pear ciders. They have a few different interesting flavors: blackberry, apricot, ginger and blackcurrant.

The Crispin and Ace apple ciders are much stronger tasting.

If you want gluten free beer, one good simple light tasting beer that I cover in depth is the Budweiser of gluten free beers, Redbridge.

If you like stronger tasting beers, you should try one of each gluten free beer to see what you like. Pictured above is a sample of what gluten free alcohol beverages are carried at WholeFoods, although it is constantly changing, week to week, depending on what customers buy. I have tried other beers, but they are too strong flavored for my delicate taste buds.

Made from grapes, all wine is gluten free, red and white.

**Anything made from wheat, barley, or rye is NOT 100% gluten free. These are most beers and many alcohols.**

In the old days, vodka was made with potatoes, which is ok for Celiac Disease sufferers, but these days, most vodkas are made from grains like wheat, which is bad for gluten intolerant people.

My favorite vodka for price, taste, and being gluten free (made with potatoes) is Monopolowa sold at Trader Joe’s and BevMo. Monopolowa is so far the best gluten free vodka I have found. With it, we make Lemon Drops with fresh picked lemons from my tree, organic sugar, ice, and vodka. For a faster drink, we use fresh squeezed  orange juice, also available at Trader Joe’s. Pretty much any juice tastes great with this vodka, pomegranate, cranberry, or any mixed fruit juice.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and is gluten free. What’s also great about Tequila, I find, is that it is good ToKillA belly ache caused by gluten. If I don’t have Pepto Bismal, Tequila also helps to make my stomach feel better when I have ingested gluten, or at least my head thinks so.

With tequila, it seems the more money you spend, the better tasting the tequila. I prefer gold colored tequila, which I think is aged longer, than the clear tequila. Some good tequila brands are Jose Cuervo Tequila for the any man (or woman) on a budget or Patron Tequila is great and has all kinds of amazing flavors if you have some extra bucks to spend. I am constantly trying new and different tequilas; the tastes differ dramatically. I would guess Mexico (from where tequila comes) probably has some special tequilas, so if you are visiting there, you might want to stock up on that.

I find Tequila tastes best either straight, or with orange juice, or tropical juices like pineapple.

Gosh, this just keeps going on and on. And people say it is hard to go gluten free! Hmmff! No it’s not.

Rum is gluten free and is made from sugar. I don’t buy rum so I don’t have any recommendations on brands.

If I am out celebrating something at a restaurant or bar, rum is the ingredient in my favorite two lime juice cocktails: the Brazilian national drink Caipirinha made from cachaca (the Brazilian equivalent to rum) and the Cuban drink Mojito.  The Caipirinha has lime, sugar, and cachaca. The Mojito has lime, soda water, rum, sugar, and fresh crushed mint leaves!

** Although rice is gluten free, Japanese Rice Beers like are Asahi and Kirin are not gluten free because they are made with Barley which has gluten. Sake, Japanese wine is made from Rice, Water, Yeast, and Koji mold; in general, sake (or saki) should be gluten free, but sometimes it is made with Barley. **

With all that, I think you have a good start to understanding how you can enjoy your gluten free alcohol!

As always, drink in moderation and never drive or ride a bike.  😉


7 Responses to “Beers Booze & Beverages Gluten Free Alcohol”
  1. Stella says:

    You guys are awesome. I found out about celiac disease 10 months ago and was terrible thing for me. I use to eat a lot of bread and pastry and drink hard liquor . I stopped drinking scotch because of the gluten. Thank you for all this information. Love it.

  2. Kim T says:

    I was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease about 2 weeks ago. It’s 2 months before my wedding and we have to change everything about the wedding…the cake, food, and bar. This really helps me so much! Thank you!!!

    • admin says:

      DOUBLE CONGRATULATIONS KIM on your marriage and finding out about Celiac Disease!
      If you have more detailed questions about food and beverage for your wedding, I would be happy to help you through email. What an exciting time for you! Eating gluten free for your wedding and most importantly the week prior as well, you are going to be so much happier! Clearer in the mind, no pain in the belly (other than nerves!), and no embarrassing tooting!

  3. admin says:

    Hi Elisa — Before I knew I had Celiac, I felt like dying when I drank beer, and yes, I felt ok when drinking hard alcohol.

    The pain is so severe, that if I know there are wheat, barley, or rye ingredients, at any stage, in, near, or around the product, I prefer to avoid the product.

    Some products that claim to be Gluten Free still cause me problems. Crops grow next to each other, like corn and wheat. Gluten foods are processed in same places as gluten free. There are a lot of impossible-to-track reasons. So I just try to play it as safe as possible.

  4. Elisa says:

    Hey there — funny, I just wrote a blog about this same subject … — but I contend that vodka and other spirits, even when made with grains, ARE gluten free because they are distilled (not fermented like beer), which leaves only alcohol and no gluten (a protein). Have you had a gluten reaction from spirits? Sometimes manufacturers add barley AFTER distilling, which would of course be a problem … I’d love to hear your experience.

    • Jon says:

      Have to agree with Elise on this one. The majority of distilled spirits are void of gluten. Wiskey, vodka, you name it, I enjoy it as a gluten intolerant. Yes, they are created from glutenous grains, but the process does not foster gluten. Thank goodness, cause I love single malt scotch:). Cheers

      • admin says:

        Thanks for your input Jon.
        Each person’s sensitivity levels are also different, so everyone has to see what works for them individually.
        There is the difference of Celiac Disease auto-immune illness from being gluten intolerant too.
        You are lucky Jon, sounds like you can scotch it up. 😉 I think scotch did not bother me either… been a while.

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