Those living gluten-free lives rejoice! You’ll be happy to know that Malibu Rum does not use any gluten-containing products.
Those living with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance know the importance of avoiding exposure in products they use or food they eat, but what about with alcohol? It’s common knowledge that many beers contain wheat and barley (although, there are an increasing number of gluten-free choices expanding onto the market), but what is not as clear is its part in liquors.
Living gluten-free has improved the quality of life for many suffering from intolerances and has even shown benefits for those who just want to cut gluten out of their diets altogether. This article will go into a number of liquors and which ones are safe or not safe for those with gluten sensitivities.
Is Rum Gluten-Free?
Since rum is made from sugar cane molasses and/or juice, we are pleased to say that yes, pure distilled rum is considered gluten-free. It is important to keep an eye out, however, for added ingredients such as spices, flavourings or additives which may contain gluten. If there is a distillery that also produces gluten products, there is also the risk of cross-contamination.
Malibu Rum is a flavoured rum that is still considered gluten-free since the flavours they add do not have any gluten in them. Other well-known brands that steer away from adding gluten after distillation are Havana Club, Bacardi, Captain Morgan and Mount Gay.
Is Vodka Gluten-Free?
Vodka follows the same suit as rum. Since Vodka is just water and ethanol, as long as the vodka is pure and distilled, it should not contain any traces of gluten. Even vodka made with barley, rye or wheat is still considered to be gluten-free after the distillation process is complete.
As with rum, however, flavoured vodkas may contain additives that have gluten in them, so it is always important to reference the label and check the ingredients before consumption.
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Is Gin Gluten-Free?
Gin can be added to the list of gluten-free liquors. When pure and distilled, even with gluten by-products, gin is considered gluten-free after distillation. Just avoid any flavourings or additives that could be present and contain gluten.
Some well-known gin brands that are gluten-free include Gordons, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Tanquery.
Is Tequila Gluten-Free?
Tequila is made with Blue Agave, and when pure and distilled as with the others above, is listed as gluten-free. Mixtos is the term for when tequila is only 51% agave and the rest sugar, but even then there should be no gluten present after distillation, so order those margaritas with confidence (fresh lime juice and triple sec are also gluten-free)!
Okay so, the pattern is showing that many liquors, when pure and properly distilled without additives, are gluten-free. The reason for this is because these products do not contain prolamins, which are the proteins that cause issues for the small intestines for those with celiac disease.
Another reason that proper distillation removes gluten has to do with the boiling points. Gluten has a high boiling point, and the process of distillation separates the low and high boiling properties, making them easy to filter out.
So what does contain gluten?
Avoid Fermented Alcohols
There are two ways to produce alcohol: distilled and fermented. Fermentation is the process when starches, yeast and/or sugars are added to a product to break it down. These organic molecules are then set to rest or “ferment” over time where they then become alcohol.
Examples of Fermented Alcohol
This is where it can get a bit tricky. Not all fermented alcohols contain gluten. Wine, for example, goes through the fermentation process but can be found gluten-free, as well as hard ciders and gluten-free beer. Some other alcohols are not so easily out of the woods.
Regular processed beers, as well as sake and rice wine contain malt where the gluten cannot be drained out during the fermentation process. There are also some ciders and wine coolers that contain malt which would negatively affect someone with gluten sensitivity.
Some non-alcoholic drinks for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance should avoid are kombucha, ginger beer, and kefir.
Read More >> Is Ginger Beer Gluten-Free?
Liquor is generally a safe bet to drink when you are living with gluten intolerance, it is just important that you choose the right ones to drink. Focus on liquors that are pure and distilled without any flavouring or additives which could contain gluten post-distillation process. There is also the risk of cross-contamination if it is being produced in a factory that handles gluten products.
Also, avoid fermented alcohol and beverages, especially those containing malts, such as beer, malt ciders and seltzers and wine coolers. Skincare products containing beer or malt can also have an adverse reaction on the skin, such as dermatitis. It is important to always check the label and make sure gluten keywords are not present, such as barley, malt, oat and rye.