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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Great News for Gluten-free Gin, Whiskey and Vodka Lovers

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 02/20/2015 - Most all gins and whiskeys, and many vodkas, are distilled from grain. While many people with celiac disease and gluten-intolerance can drink them with no adverse effects, many others cannot.

    Photo: CC--Steve CoreyThese brands of gin, whiskey and vodka are made with gluten-free ingredients, and safe for people with celiac disease and wheat sensitivity.

    So anyone with celiac disease who has been missing their gin or whiskey can now happily indulge. Cheers!

    GLUTEN-FREE GIN

    • Cold River Gin is distilled from potatoes. The company’s website says that, like their world-famous vodkas, their gluten-free gin is made with whole Maine potatoes and the pure water of Maine's Cold River.
    • Cold River uses a recipe that “dates back to the early days of British gin,” and contains their own “secret blend of seven traditional botanicals that are steeped for the perfect amount of time to infuse the essential flavors.”

    GLUTEN-FREE WHISKEY

    • Queen Jennie Whiskey, by Old Sugar Distillery is made entirely from sorghumThe idea of a whiskey made from gluten-free grains is sure to excite anyone with celiac disease who longs for a wee dram.
    • The company’s web page says that Queen Jennie is made with 100% Wisconsin Sorghum, and is “Less sour than a bourbon and less harsh than a rye.”

    GLUTEN-FREE VODKA

    • Corn Vodka—Deep Eddy, Nikolai, Rain, Tito’s, UV
    • Potato Vodka—Boyd & Blair, Cirrus, Chase, Chopin, Cold River Vodka, Cracovia, Grand Teton, Karlsson’s, Luksusowa, Monopolowa, Schramm Organic, Zodiac
    • Monopolowa is one of my favorites, and is usually available at Trader Joe’s.
    • Cold River gluten-free vodka is triple-distilled in a copper pot still, from Maine potatoes and water from Maine's Cold River.
    • Tito’s award winning vodka is six times distilled from corn in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs. Tito’s is certified Gluten-free.

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    Caprock Gin out of Colorado is made from Apples and is certified Organic. It's a little too strong of botanical tastes for me (I used to love Saphire for G&Ts). In the UK there is William Chase Gin which is made from Apples as well and it's amazing.

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    It's fine that these brands are available to those who want to buy them, but there is no brand of distilled spirit of any kind that has anything other that the most minute amount of gluten in it. To say otherwise is to suppose that the vapor generated during distillation contains significant amounts of proteins. That's pure voodoo.

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    Gin and vodka have always been gluten free. Gin is made from juniper berries and vodka from potatoes . However it is good news about the Scotch--the bad news is it would be far too expensive to buy in Australia.

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    Gin and vodka have always been gluten free. Gin is made from juniper berries and vodka from potatoes . However it is good news about the Scotch--the bad news is it would be far too expensive to buy in Australia.

    Gin is not traditionally distilled from juniper berries. It is traditionally flavored with juniper berries. Distilled gin is made from any neutral spirit of agricultural origin, which often includes barley and other grains, then flavored with botanicals.

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    It's fine that these brands are available to those who want to buy them, but there is no brand of distilled spirit of any kind that has anything other that the most minute amount of gluten in it. To say otherwise is to suppose that the vapor generated during distillation contains significant amounts of proteins. That's pure voodoo.

    You are correct that all distilled alcoholic beverages are free of gluten unless it is added after distillation. However, some folks feel better knowing that there is no gluten anywhere in the production process, and that the products are labeled as "gluten-free."

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    @R.Sosinski. You are correct. All distilled spirits are gluten-free. That is a fact that is simply beyond dispute. What, if you buy some kind of rum or vodka that has been altered with some flavoring agent, there is at least the theoretical possibility that the manufacturer cluelessly introduced some kind of gluten-containing ingredient. Other than that, if you drank it and got sick, that's what's known as a hangover. I do take gluten-free foods seriously, have had 3-4 years when I was extremely gluten-sensitive (NOT self-diagnosed, by the way) with symptoms I'll politely not describe here. I just wish that spirits producers did not put "Gluten Free" on their labels. It's exploitative. They are playing those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity for suckers, and you are utterly gullible if you take their "we're the safe choice" schtick seriously.

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    @R.Sosinski. You are correct. All distilled spirits are gluten-free. That is a fact that is simply beyond dispute. What, if you buy some kind of rum or vodka that has been altered with some flavoring agent, there is at least the theoretical possibility that the manufacturer cluelessly introduced some kind of gluten-containing ingredient. Other than that, if you drank it and got sick, that's what's known as a hangover. I do take gluten-free foods seriously, have had 3-4 years when I was extremely gluten-sensitive (NOT self-diagnosed, by the way) with symptoms I'll politely not describe here. I just wish that spirits producers did not put "Gluten Free" on their labels. It's exploitative. They are playing those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity for suckers, and you are utterly gullible if you take their "we're the safe choice" schtick seriously.

    saying all distilled spirits are gluten free is like saying all medicine is gluten free. I , myself do not think that my reaction to drinking the spirit was a hang over. Many spirits have added ingredients added after the distilling process including the addition of extra wheat, barley, or malt, hence the double malt process of some whiskeys. As I have been an avid consumer of distilled spirits for 30+ years, and diagnosed celiac sprue for 10 years. As always read labels , watch for cross contamination, the labeling is not for suckers its to help determine whether there is gluten containing ingredients during the making & bottling process , and in that aspect the glue that holds the labeling on to the bottle contains gluten. this is life for me not a fad diet what irritates me is the government saying gluten free is 20 ppm or less. I happen to react to less than 5 ppm.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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