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,