I’m sure at some point those of us who have celiac or gluten intolerance have been out with friends at some bar wondering, “what the hell can I drink besides water?” Good question. I’m about to tell you.
Besides the obvious, like beer, not all alcohol is safe if you are gluten free. If you are fodmap, there is a limit. I have included other fodmap beverages you should limit, like tea, for informational purposes:
- Beer – if drinking more than one bottle ( I disagree here-it should be avoided completely unless it’s gluten free)
- Coconut water
- Cordial, apple and raspberry with 50-100% real juice
- Cordial, orange with 25-50% real juice
- Dandelion tea
- Fruit and herbal teas with apple added
- Fruit juices in large quantities
- Fruit juices made of apple, pear, mango
- Orange juice in quantities over 100ml
- Sodas containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
- Soy milk made with soy beans – commonly found in USA
- Sports drinks
- Tea, black with added soy milk
- Tea, chai, strong
- Tea, dandelion, strong
- Tea, fennel
- Tea, chamomile
- Tea, herbal, strong
- Tea, oolong
- Wine – if drinking more than one glass
I find one glass of wine gives me insomnia, and two gives me an upset stomach. So I drink one glass and take an aleve pm whenever I drink-which is infrequently. It seems to to work.
The fodmap list sometimes contradicts the gluten free list. Rum, which is made from sugar, is gluten free. But it is high in fructose. But everyone is different. You will have to find what works for you.
Ok, onto the list of alcohols which are safe, and which are not-this list courtesy of celiac.com. I have added my own notes in italics.
A number of premium and craft brewers now produce specialty grain gluten-free beers using non-gluten ingredients such as buckwheat, sorghum, rice, corn, etc.
Beers brewed from Gluten-free Grains include:
- Against the Grain by World Top Brewery
- Birra 76 Bi-Aglut by Heineken Italy
- Dragon’s Gold by Bard’s Tale
- Element Plasma
- Epic Glutenator
- G-Free, St. Peter’s Brewery
- Green’s—Discovery, Endeavour, Endeavour Dubble, Herald, Mission, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Quest, Trailblazer, and Tripel Blonde
- Joseph James Fox Tail
- New Grist by Lakefront Brewery
- Passover Honey Beer by Ramapo Valley
- RedBridge by Anheuser-Busch
- Sorghum Molasses Brown by Outer Banks
- Sprecher’s Gluten Free Beer
- St. Peter’s
- Toleration by Hambleton
- Tread Lightly Ale and 3R Raspberry Ale by New Planet
Beers Brewed from Traditional Grains and Treated to Reduce Gluten Below 20ppm include:
- Daura, Estrella Damm (Spain)
- Omission (USA)
Gluten-Free Hard Cider
Most ciders are fermented from apples or other fruits. Most are safe, however, some add barley for enzymes and flavor. Read labels!
Gluten-free hard cider brands include:
- Ace Pear Cider
- Angry Orchard
- Blue Mountain Cider Company
- Blackthorn Cider
- Bulmer’s Hard Cider
- Crispin Cider (including Fox Barrel products)
- Gaymer Cider Company
- Harpoon Craft Cider
- J.K. Scrumpy’s Organic Hard Cider
- Lazy Jack’s Cider
- Magner’s Cider
- Newton’s Folly Hard Cider
- Original Sin Hard Cider
- Spire Mountain Draft Cider
- Strongbow Cider
- Stella Artois Apple and Pear Hard Cidre
- Woodpecker Cider
All wines, including brandy, champagne, cognac, port wine, sherry, and vermouth are safe for celiacs. Yay!!!
Gluten-Free Wine Coolers
The majority of wine coolers are made from barley products.
Gluten-free versions include:
- Bartle & Jaymes – all EXCEPT malt beverages
- Boones – all EXCEPT their malt beverages
Other Gluten-Free Alcoholic Brews, Wines and Spirits Include
- Cognac—made from grapes
- Khalua Coffee Liquer (no good if you have IBS)
- Kirschwasser (cherry liqueur)
- Old Deadly Cider
Gluten-Free Distilled Alcohols
Unless gluten is added after distillation, all distilled alcohols are free of gluten. However, US labeling laws prohibit beverages that use cereal grains at any point in the manufacturing process from advertising themselves as ‘gluten-free.’
So, when you do see a ‘gluten-free’ label on a distilled beverage, it means that no gluten ingredients have been used at any point in the production process. No doubt we will start seeing this if it has not begun already. I am not a drinker of spirits so I haven’t checked on this.
Most gins are made with gluten-containing cereal grains. The final distilled product does not contain gluten, but cannot be advertised or labeled as gluten-free. Many people with celiac disease choose to avoid these beverages, while many others drink them with no adverse effects.
Gluten-free gin brands include:
- Cold River Gin—distilled from potatoes
Brands of standard gin include:
- Aviation American Gin
- Bombay Sapphire
- Boodles British Gin
- Booth’s Gin
- Leopolds Gin
- New Amsterdam Gin
Distilled from sugar cane, most rums are gluten-free and safe for celiacs. Beware of pre-made drink mixes, such as those intended for piña coladas — many of these contain gluten ingredients as flavoring. You can ask the bartender if their mix is pre-made for their pina coladas. If not, cream of coconut and pineapple juice are both ok.
Gluten-free rum brands include:
- Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum
- Bacardi—only Gold, Superior, 151, and flavored
- Bayou Rum
- Bundaberg Rum
- Captain Morgan Rum
- Cruzan Rum
- Malibu Rum
- Mount Gay Rum
- Meyer’s Rum
Fermented with rice and Koji enzymes. The Koji enzymes are grown on Miso, which is usually made with barley. The two-product separation from barley, and the manufacturing process should make it safe for celiacs. Again, intolerances vary.
Made from the agave cactus, all tequilas are gluten-free and safe for celiacs.
Gluten-free tequila brands include:
- 1519 Tequila
- 1800 Tequila
- Cabo Wabo
- Don Julio
- El Jimador
- Jose Cuervo
The following spirits are made with cereal grains (except where noted), but the final product does not contain gluten as the distilling process removes it(read here for more information). There is some debate as to whether it is all removed, and you may be sensitive enough for that small amount to bother you.
Vodkas distilled from potatoes, gluten-free grains or other gluten-free ingredients contain no gluten ingredients and can be labeled as gluten-free.
Gluten-free vodka brands include:
- Corn Vodka—Deep Eddy, Nikolai, Rain, Tito’s, UV
- Grape Vodka—Bombora, Cooranbong
- Potato Vodka—Boyd & Blair, Cirrus, Chase, Chopin, Cold River Vodka, Cracovia, Grand Teton, Karlsson’s, Luksusowa, Monopolowa, Schramm Organic, Zodiac
- Rice Vodka—Kissui
- Sugar Cane—Downunder, DOT AU
Vodkas distilled from cereal grains include:
Many vodkas made with gluten-containing cereal grains. The final product does not contain gluten, but cannot be advertised or labeled as gluten-free. Many people with celiac disease choose to avoid these beverages, while many others drink them with no adverse effects.
- Barley Vodka—Finlandia
- Grain Vodka—Absolwent, Blavod, Bowman’s, Fleischmann’s, Orloff, Polonaise, SKYY, Smirnoff, Stolichnaya,
- Wheat Vodka—Absolut, Bong Spirit, Danzka, Grey Goose, Hangar One, Ketel One, P.i.n.k Vodka
- Rye Vodka—Belvedere, Biała Dama, Platinka, Sobieski, Starka, Wisent, Wyborowa, Xellent Swiss, Żubrówka
Nearly all whiskeys are made with gluten-containing cereal grains. The final product does not contain gluten, but cannot be advertised or labeled as gluten-free. Many people with celiac disease choose to avoid whiskey, while many others drink it with no adverse effects.
Gluten-free whiskey brands include:
- Queen Jennie Whiskey, by Old Sugar Distillery is made entirely from sorghum
Whiskeys distilled from cereal grains include:
- Bourbon—Benjamin Prichard’s, Booker’s, Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Early Times, Ezra Brooks, George Dickel, Jefferson’s Bourbon, Knob Creek, Makers Mark, Old Crow, Old Forester, Old Grand-Dad
- Canadian Whiskey—Alberta Premium, Black Velvet, Canadian Club, Crown Royal,
- Irish Whiskey—Bushmills, Jameson, Kilbeggan, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew
- Japanese Blended Whiskey—Hibiki, Kakubin, Nikka,
- Japanese Single Malt Whiskey—Hakushu, Yamazaki, Yoichi
- Rye Whiskey—Alberta Premium, Bulleitt
- Scotch Whiskey Blends—Ballentine’s, Bell’s, Black Grouse, Chivas Regal, Cutty Sark, Dewar’s, Famous Grouse, Johnnie Walker, Teacher’s, Whitehorse
- Scotch Whiskey Single Malts—Bowmore, Glenfiddich, Glen Grant, The Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, Highland Park, Knockando, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Macallan, Monkey Shoulder, Singleton, Talisker
- Taiwanese Whiskey—Kavalan Classic
Gluten-Free Drink Mixes
- Club Extra Dry Martini (corn & grape)
- Club Vodka Martini (corn & grape)
- Coco Casa and Coco Lopez Brands: Cream of Coconut
- Jose Cuervo Brand: Margarita Mix and All Jose Cuervo Blenders
- Master of Mixes Brand: Tom Collins, Whiskey Sour, Strawberry Daiquiri, Sweet & Sour Mixer, and Margarita Mix
- Mr. & Mrs. T—Except Bloody Mary Mix
- TGI Friday’s Brand: On The Rocks, Long Island Ice Tea, Margarita, Mudslide, Pina Colada, and Strawberry Daiquiri.
- TGI Friday’s Club Cocktails including: Gin Martini, Manhattan, Screwdriver, Vodka Martini, and Whiskey Sour mix.
Other Gluten-free Beverages Mixes & Cooking Alcohol
- Club Tom Collins—made with corn
- Diamond Jims Bloody Mary Mystery
- Holland House – all EXCEPT Teriyaki Marinade and Smooth & Spicy Bloody Mary Mixes
- Mead—made from honey
- Mistico: Jose Cuervo Mistico—agave and cane
- Ouzo – made from grapes and anise
- Spice Islands – Cooking Wines – Burgundy, Sherry and White
- Also Godiva products contain gluten as do Smirnoff FMB’s, Twisted V, and Smirnoff Ice.
Agave and honey wreak havoc if you have IBS.
So the next time you find yourself at a bar, consider your options. Don’t be afraid to ask the bartender or waitress/waiter questions. But don’t expect they will know the answer. I usually only drink wine when I am out. On occasion I will have a mixed drink. I found out that rum really upsets my stomach on my cruise to Bermuda. I haven’t had whiskey, vodka or tequila in ages (the occasional margarita).
Even though this list will help you navigate your drink choices, proceed at your own risk.