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bozco

Distilled Liquors?

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I have been doing gluten free for five years now and recently noticed that distilled liquors, i.e Vodka are now classified as gluten-free. Are there any that I should stay away from or even better any vodkas besides Chopin that are guaranteed to be gluten-free? I don't want to get sick from having a vodka tonic or a marini.

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It is now generally accepted that gluten does not pass into the distallate. It is understood that the molecule is too large to become vapor at the temperature of the boiler. Even if it did, it would then also have to become liquid at the temperature of the condenser. So, almost everyone agrees that the distillate contains no gluten.

The molecule of interest to the distillery is ethyl alcohol, C2H5OH, and it is quite small. Other things do pass into the distillate, otherwise all distilled spirits would taste and look the same. There is evidence that a small minority of celiacs react to these components. Not all of us, not even most of us, but a few of us react to something that remains in the distillate.

So, you should consider distilled spirits to be gluten free, regardless of the original source, unless something is added after distillation that contains gluten. I have heard that there are some single malt scotch whiskeys that are alleged to have mash added back to the distillate as flavor, but I have never seen specific information about a particular whiskey. None of the whisky made in Canada or the US has mash added back into the distillate.

FWIW, as explanation, in Ireland and Scotland, they make whiskey. Everywhere else in the world, is it whisky that is produced.

If you are one of the few who do have a reaction to grain based distilled spirits, rum, tequila, brandy and most vodka and gin is derived from non-grain sources. Corn based whisky (bourbon) should also be okay if the mash is 100% corn.

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