So you never want to ask, but we all know you’re thinking it… “What alcohol is gluten free?” All you college kids out there, don’t fret. We’ve done some research so all of you know what you can and can’t drink at a frat party or bar. (Don’t worry, Sammy’s 21. We swear.)
So first no-no is BEER! It’s made from malted barley (double no). So at all those mixers and frats keep away from the beer bongs and beer pongs. However, if you want to experience “THE” college experience, there are some gluten free beers! Try Red Bridge, Bard’s, Estrella Damm Daura (we tried this in Italy, it’s great), and Green’s Endeavor. Although gluten free beer is slightly more expensive than your typical 6-pack, you definitely won’t feel left out guzzling down any of these. You can grow a beer belly your freshman year with all of your friends, don’t fret.

Another no-no is Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Silver because they are made from malt.

Unfortunately your roommates can never ice you Jersey Style, so I guess being gluten free has its perks. On the other hand, Mike’s Lite Hard Lemonade and Mike’s Lite Hard Cranberry are now gluten free, so you can sip on a pre-mixed drink without worrying about the malt and the tummy ache.

Now let’s talk about what’s SAFE, which is a lot more than you’d expect. You’re definitely in the clear with any of the following: champagne, gin, scotch, whiskey, vermouth, vodka, bourbon, Kahlua, Armagnac, cognac, brandy, schnapps, triple sec, and Jagermeister.

Facts you’ve wondered and might not know:
Vodka is made from wheat, but during the distilling process, all of the gluten is extracted and is therefore safe for Celiacs. Also try potato vodka if this freaks you out (although it shouldn’t, vodka’s totally okay). Try Svedka, Skyy, Absolut, Belvedere, Balinoff, Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Ciroc, etc.; they’re all okay.

Most rums are gluten free EXCLUDING Bacardi Silver products. Be careful when consuming flavored or spiced rums as they could contain gluten ingredients for flavoring. You’re fine with Captain Morgan, Malibu Rum, and Bacardi (when it’s not Silver).

Before looking into this, I thought ALL tequila was gluten free; however, Don Julio products are NOT gluten free. You’re safe with Patron, Jose Cuervo, and Avion if you want to be fly like Vinny Chase. Sake is tough. I’ve read in numerous places that sake is made from rice, but in other places that it is made from Koji enzymes, that grow on miso, which is usually made with barley. This is a very shady subject, and since those bottles come out in Japanese your best bet is to stay away. It’s okay, sake bombing is messy and so five years ago.

You'd think cider is gluten free since it's made from apples, but think again. Some ciders add barley for enzymes and flavor. One brand that's safe and in a bottle is Woodchuck's Hard Cider. All flavors are gluten free, so you can sip on your bottle while others have gluten full beer. 

I’d steer clear of flavored vodkas unless you have a confirmation from the company. For example, Smirnoff and Absolut state that all of their vodkas are gluten free, flavored or not. The easiest way to know if something’s gluten free before you drink it in a social setting is to grab your smartphone or your friend’s and google it. Better safe than sorry.

Hope this helps for you college Celiacs out there!

And one last note for all of you Skinny Girl Celiacs – Skinny Girl Margaritas and Sangrias are gluten free. Avoid that freshman 15 (or 50) pile on from binge drinking and keep it classy and light.

Just remember, be responsible, legal, and safe.

Peace, Love, Gluten Free,
Celiac Sisters

Noelle Donlon
3/3/2012 09:14:17 am

great info!!

5/16/2012 10:53:22 am

all Tequila is gluten free

5/14/2015 11:26:50 am

In order to be gf it has to be 100 % agave.

5/23/2012 02:51:33 am

Thanks for the info! However, I am one of the rare gluten-sensitive people who must make sure that even though the distillation process is supposed to remove the gluten, thus making it gluten free, the alcohol is NOT derived from grains.Otherwise I end up with the same problems. All gluten sensi-people are different, so it is still good to read labels. All others from potato, grapes, etc. are fine.

2/16/2013 01:51:02 am

That's interesting to hear. Unfortunately my celiac disease has made it almost impossible for me to drink anything alcoholic. Even liquors that claim to be gluten free leave me so terribly sick for says after drinking. Has anyone else experienced this? Apparently when it comes to alcohol I am totally intolerant.

5/19/2013 11:09:41 pm

Olivia I am the same, however my husband was on a mission for me to be able to have a couple drinks when we had company... SO you need to try this Vodka, called SCHRAMM VODKA. Its produced in BC from organic potatoes and pure mountain water and its the ONLY alcohol I can have!! Its def a bit more expensive BUT trust me, I cannot have any other liquor except this one brand! Cheers!

8/12/2013 02:17:03 pm

You might just be allergic to alcohol!

4/4/2014 05:56:52 pm

Thank you for saying this!! So many sites list it as gluten free because it has less parts then others. The distillation process DOES NOT! remove all traces. Only a majority of them.

8/9/2012 05:08:48 am

Beware certain wines and barreled liquors: sometimes wheat gluten is used to clarify vegan wines, etc. and also used to seal the barrel seams. So, anyone claiming "it's alcohol so there CAN'T be any gluten because of distilling, dummy!", is clearly not qualified to be making such assumptions.

Good luck!

10/2/2012 06:15:35 pm

Is flavored three olive vodka gluten free? Like three olive rootbeer vodka for example?

11/23/2012 09:13:19 am

I'm completely new to All this! I have only been gluten free for a week... so thanks a ton for the website! I was wondering about what category uv vodka would fall under?

12/2/2012 03:32:41 am

I'm in the same boat as Carla. Unless the vodka is made from potatoes I experience HORRIBLE side effects--stomach pain, sore throat, etc--the same side effects I get when ingesting gluten. So far, Smirnoff and Svedka are totally out for me. The pain just isn't worth it.

12/17/2012 09:38:14 pm

Your saying scotch, which is malted barley, is gluten free?
"Now let’s talk about what’s SAFE, which is a lot more than you’d expect. You’re definitely in the clear with any of the following: champagne, gin, scotch, whiskey, vermouth, vodka, bourbon, Kahlua, Armagnac, cognac, brandy, schnapps, triple sec, and Jagermeister.

12/4/2015 05:16:04 pm

u r fucking retard

12/29/2012 09:13:25 am

You say that Smirnoff Ice is not gluten free and then continue to say that ALL Smirnoff Vodkas are gluten free. Which one is actually correct....?

1/8/2013 10:26:11 am

Smirnoff ice is not made with vodka. It's a malt beverage. Yes. Like colt 45 and OE. Smirnoff vodka is a different product. Hope this helps

3/24/2013 02:01:05 pm

Smirnoff ice is a malted beverage and has gluten in it. Smirnoff vodka is gluten free it's made from potatoes. I'm not sure about flavors tho...

6/27/2017 03:15:55 pm

Smirnoff vodka is made from corn, not potatoes.

12/30/2012 04:10:53 pm

Jagermeister might have Gluten!!:
coloring may contain gluten, primarily if the ingredient is produced outside the USA, but not always. Thus, many on gluten-free diets may choose to avoid dark colored liquors because caramel coloring may be in the liquor and represent a potential source of gluten.
It is safest to avoid dark colored liquors because without food labels it is difficult, if not impossible, to know if caramel color is used in the liquor, and if so, if the caramel color is gluten-free. Individual consumers may be able to request this information from manufacturers, but most manufacturers are unlikely to promise the product gluten-free because manufacturers in mass-production environments are typically unaware of the source of an ingredient like caramel color.
If gluten-containing caramel color is present in a particular liquor, it is usually found in very small amounts, and people typically consume small amounts of liquor, so the amount of gluten in the alcohol may be negligible. Even so, I still recommend avoiding these suspect beverages as the safest long-term choice of action because there is no way to know how much gluten is in the drink.
MD Doctor

3/24/2013 02:03:07 pm

Jaegermeister is gluten free. It is my shot of choice and have never had a problem with it.

3/25/2013 07:40:31 am

It all depends more in the type of liquor, the more the natural the less the gluten inside. Great post by the way!

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There are very less gluten free beers which are worth drinking. My favorite is Dogfish Head Tweason’Ale.

3/21/2013 08:09:43 pm

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3/25/2013 08:12:14 am

Does anybody know of any good gluten free beers? Also, any 100% gluten free liquors? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

12/21/2013 12:18:49 am

Most GF beers I've seen are "sorghum" beers and not quite the same. I recently discovered "O'Mission" which is brewed from wheat and everything but has an enzyme added that "eats" the gluten! It has recently been given the FDA "GF" rating. Go to the "O'Mission" website for more info including a "store locater" feature. In Dallas the lager is at Kroger and the lager and pale ale is at Spec's.

5/12/2014 08:33:28 pm

BOTH are at Goody Goody!

3/29/2013 03:48:55 am

Check out our food blog for more gluten free and fabulous meals and ideas! We update it a lot more often than this one! Enjoy and thank you for all of your love!

5/31/2013 05:29:46 am

So tequila's safe in general?


I don't think that this "free alcohol opportunity" is a good idea. But maybe your right and it's the best way to earn more money on customers.

12/27/2013 03:36:04 am

If you are looking for beer, the best I've tasted is Perth brewers in Ontario Canada. It has less that 5 parts per million so it is not gluten free, but there are 12 flavours and tastes like the real thing.good luck

1/14/2014 11:00:48 pm

There is a lot of misinformation in this article and in the comments that follow it. Almost all spirits are based on cheap alcohol which is always grain based. They are trying to make a profit folks - that means cheap ingredients! Even if a spirit is, in theory, made from a non-grain-based alcohol, you can't guarantee that it is made that way in each specific case. Tequila is a classic example - only use tequila which states '100% Agave' on the bottle, which won't have a grain based alcohol in it, everything else will have a proportion of grain sourced alcohol - do not drink Jose Cuervo etc! All 'gluten free' beers have a few parts per million - which is actually too much to allow you gut lining to recover. Just don't drink beer. Also note that citric acid is mostly made from maize (believe it or not), and has similar properties (as far as your gut is concerned) to gluten, therefore most mixers (tonic water etc) are also no good for you. As can be seen from comments on topics like this, people still have problems with distilled grain-based alcohol, that's because the distillation process DOES NOT guarantee purity. Particles which have a higher vapour point than the alcohol can be carried over to the 'pure' side in two or three ways, so it is never completely free of the elements you seek to avoid. This is why people have symptoms of gluten ingestion but can't explain why when drinking distilled spirits (grain based). If in doubt, check the source (grain / sugar cane etc) of the alcohol with the manufacturer, if it is grain based, just avoid it, even if it is distilled.

4/21/2015 06:46:39 pm

Al, I'm interested to know more about citric acid not being good for you when celiac. I've been having reactions lately without being able to find the trigger until i came across your suggestion of citric acid - very quickly discovered that it's used as a preservative in the passata sauce which I have been using on a daily basis! Hopefully its elimination will see me fit again. Citric acid is also naturally occurring in citrus fruits though. Should these also be avoided too or is it only harmful when derived from corn?

Johnny Johnson
7/29/2016 11:36:48 am

Puzzled about the citric acid / maize comment. Maize is corn, which is unrelated to the glutenous grains.

9/7/2016 08:18:02 am

Corn has proteins in it similar to gluten that can also cause a reaction. It's called cross-reactive (similar to why about 50% of celiacs can't have dairy products since they are cross-reactive to casein protein).Not all celiacs cross-react to corn, but some do. Google it.

1/18/2014 09:21:53 am

Not all vodka products are gluten free. Not even close and suggesting they are can really hurt someone. Nit cool

3/28/2014 05:54:43 am

Do you know if skinny girl mojito and skinny girl white cranberry cosmo are gluten free?

4/8/2014 10:47:51 am

Whiskey is NOT gluten free. Neither is gin or scotch. You need to remove that immediately before you get somebody hurt.

3/13/2015 04:07:56 am

I agree! Same with tequila! Only 100% agave tequila is GF!

6/1/2014 03:43:48 pm

Is anything safe if you have Celiac, GERD, and a small haital hernia?

3/13/2015 04:06:44 am

No, tequila is not safe UNLESS it is 100% agave!

8/14/2015 12:07:57 am

Is Skinny Girl White Cranberry Cosmo gluten free?

11/14/2015 10:11:19 pm

I can not tell if this is a joke post... most posts on this website have been super helpful... but whiskey and scotch... how can they be gluten free? They are made from barley or a variety of grains such as rye, wheat, corn etc. Bourbon however is usually made from corn. Vodka is not gluten free in my books as I usually get stomach pains and a fuzzy head immediately after sipping, however, I have bacardi rum and I dont have a problem...

1/22/2016 02:51:27 pm

All Hangar 1 and or St Georges Spirits Alcohol is gluten free and made with all natural ingredients. You can find most of them at bevmo. Try the Eau Di Vie Pear Brandy...awesome or visit the distillery in Alameda CA!

2/21/2016 11:08:45 am

There is so much misinformation here!! If you care about your body, want to live a long life, and you have a problem with gluten, please get educated, see a registered dietitian who specializes in gluten intolerance, and stay away from anything derived from wheat, barley, or rye!!!
Whiskey and scotch are never ok, many tequilas and rums are not ok, and many vodka brands are not ok. If it's distilled from grain stay away.
Tito's vodka is great, Plain unflavored Smirnoff is ok, Strongbow Hard Cider and Angry Orchard Hard Ciders are great.
Don't believe everything you read in some random blog.

5/9/2016 06:49:53 pm

Any idea on flavored schnapps? Rootbeer Schnapps by Deykuper to be exact? I can drink most flavors but worried about the rootbeer.

5/10/2019 06:55:39 pm

Wait there's gluten in alcohol?!


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