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I've been confussed by what alcohol i can and can't have and i've been getting gluten reactions from vodka etc so i found the following article interesting. I've posted it as it might help others......

Written by Dr Rodney Ford

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

The gluten content of alcoholic drinks will depend upon the primary source of the beverage and how much it has been distilled. And of course, the gluten content will also depend upon any additives.

Gluten-free alcohol includes those made from grapes and berries: wine, champagne, brandy, rum, tequila, sherry and port.

Many spirits and liquors are made from fermentation of grains: wheat, rye and barley. But the distillation process removes just about all of the gluten proteins. However, residual amounts of gluten will add to the flavour. So such drinks must be suspect.

Avoid Beer! The basic ingredients of beer are water, malt, hops, and yeast. This is brewed with malt (from barley) which contains gluten. Beer is a fermented, hop flavoured, malt sugared, liquid. The major variation in beer is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process. Gluten proteins remain in the beer. There are some gluten-free beers now available.

Generally, there are insignificant amounts of gluten in distilled alcohols. However, those who are super-sensitive to gluten do report bad reactions to these grain-based spirits. So


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There has been much discussion on this board (and elsewhere) about this topic.

In Canada and the United States, most experts consider distilled alcohol to be gluten-free, regardless of the original source of the mash. It is believed that the gluten does not pass through the process of distillation. Others disagree, and do not consider alcohol safe if the original source is a gluten-containing grain. Personally, I am in the first group, that is, I do believe that distilled alcohol is safe.

A similar controversy exists about vinegar. Most experts consider, and most celiacs accept, that distilled vinegar is safe. This includes all vinegar of all sources, except that specifically labelled as "malt vinegar." Malt vinegar is not distilled and is derived from barley.

There are many alcoholic beverages that are not derived from grain sources with gluten.

Beer is usually made from barley malt, and is forbidden. There are a few exceptions. Search for beer on this site to find information. Where I live, the only gluten-free beer available is La Messagere, made by a microbrewery in Quebec.

Rum is not made from grains that contain gluten. Smirnoff vodka is made from corn. There are others, but I don't recall specifics--search this board for "alcohol" for more.


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Thanks Peter, that was informative. It's good to know that smirnoff is made from corn. I went out last night and had vodka lemon and lime and today i feel fine. Maybe it was the brand of vodka i had (not sure which one the bar used) or maybe my gut has healed (it used to give me a bad reaction) since the last time i had vodka but it seems to be better than drinking red wine which makes me feel awful the next day.

A work colleague forwarded me a link regarding gluten in red wine which was worrying and could explain a lot, Does anyone think this is possible?

I'll paste the article over:

Nancy says:


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Interesting about the wine - I never would have thought about the barrel. Is there a list of vineyards that use the flour paste?

As far as vodka goes - Chopin is distilled from potatoes. It's a bit pricey for mixing with tonic or juices, but it makes a tasty martini.


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    • Ahh good point! She is 13 and has been miserable for over two years. It started with chronic hives. We have been to a dermatologist, and a allergist and they brushed it off to her seasonal allergies and now she has joint pain,bloating,constipation,fatigue,headaches just all around miserable. I just want answers quick. she is getting depressed and says she hates her life cause she doesn't think anyone believes her. It's heart breaking . I hope we get answer soon. Thanks for the advice I will keep her on gluten. She is just miserable and I figured the sooner she is off gluten the sooner she will feel better. 
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