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,
Sorry we haven’t blogged in FOREVER – we both have been settling in at school. But don’t worry; we will be back on track in no time!
Brooke here - just wanted to share some gluten free experiences I’ve had in St. Louis so far.
This year I brought my car to school in order to ease gluten free living in St. Louis, especially since gluten free isn’t all that familiarized in the Lou. Food shopping has been great and I’ve been getting by on Van’s Gluten Free Waffles, Edy’s Strawberry Frozen Fruit Bars, and Special K Protein Shakes, not to mention Wash U's amazing gluten free dining program; but I find that nothing compares to a fulfilling meal at a good restaurant.
One Sunday morning my friend Jacob and I decided to go for brunch. I wanted to go to First Watch
, a franchise diner that is great with gluten free, but Jacob insisted on me trying new restaurants in the area. He understands my frustrations with St. Louis gluten free and wants me to find restaurants where I can eat to break my typical restaurant cycle.
So he took me to Winslow’s Home, a St. Louis favorite, located at 7213 Delmar Blvd, only a few minutes from Wash U’s campus. I only agreed to go if they could make me eggs, even though secretly I was craving First Watch’s potatoes. When it was our turn to order, I asked for two eggs sunny side up, and decided to be daring and ask if the breakfast potatoes were gluten free or not; who could it hurt?
Instead of getting the reassuring answer I usually get at First Watch, the cashier looked over to the woman next to her and merely repeated the question I asked. The woman asked me, “No gluten…that’s no corn, or sugar, or something, right?” I remained calm, smiled, and said, “Gluten is wheat, rye, barley, oats, flour…” Both women blankly stared back at me. I didn’t feel good about this.
After a silent few seconds, I then asked, “Can you ask the chef or something? I have Celiac.” When they continued blankly staring at me, I then said, “I’m highly allergic to gluten.” Once they heard allergy they began taking me somewhat seriously, and finally asked the chef. The woman emerged from the kitchen very quickly and confirmed that the potatoes were gluten free. That seemed easy.
As I paid, feeling confident in my brunch choice, I noticed on the Winslow's menu
under sandwiches it said, “GLUTEN FREE ADD $2.00.” I was excited and confused at the same; excited because I could finally have a gluten free grilled cheese out of New York state, and confused as to why the women at the cash register didn’t know what gluten free was. But I didn’t care; I already told my roommates and myself that we had a date at Winslow’s for the next weekend. Gluten free grilled cheese was on my mind all week.
Friday couldn’t have rolled around slower, but Lexi, Julia, Emily, and I knew what we were in for: Winslow’s Home Gluten Free Grilled Cheese. I think my roommates were more excited than I was, so they let me order first. I ran up to the counter and proudly ordered, okay-ing the additional $2.00 for gluten free bread.
When I went to pay, I asked if the gluten free sandwiches were made separately, which was more of a rhetorical question just to ease my mind. Winslow’s has plenty of organic, farm fresh foods, I figured they’d know all the in’s and out’s of gluten free. I was wrong. Once again, the cashier looked over to the woman standing next to her (different staff this time) for an answer; they both looked at me as if I had nine heads. The woman then asked, “What do you mean?” I began explaining that gluten free needs to be made separately and she replied “We don’t think about those type of things.” I could not believe how patronizing her response was. I responded, calmly but firmly, that gluten free must be made separately due to the severity of Celiac Disease and cross-contamination. This explanation was lost on her. She once again responded, “We don’t think about those type of things.” I could not believe this. I then began explaining that they cannot advertise their food as gluten free if it is not gluten free. I continued explaining cross-contamination, the severity of my disease, and how sick I could be if I ate this sandwich because it was falsely advertised as gluten free. She did not care. She was neither understanding nor apologetic.
My inner Celiac advocate emerged, along with slight frustration, and I told this woman that they absolutely CANNOT advertise their sandwiches as gluten free when they are grilled in the same machine as gluten filled sandwiches; I said that I have a disease and ingesting even the slightest bit of gluten can make me extremely sick. I asked to speak to the manager, and she said she was the current manager. I asked her name and she told me it was Sara. I asked to speak to the owner, but Sara told me they were at the farm. Sara did not seem concerned, and continued patronizing me, probably hoping I’d back down. I would not. I asked for the owner’s contact, and she gave it to me. She, still, was neither understanding nor apologetic. She didn’t realize what gluten free actually meant, and tried excusing the miscommunication with the new introduction of gluten free bread in the restaurant. I wasn’t taking that.
Not only did I feel that I was being patronized due to my young appearance, but also due to my disease and eating restraints. Not only was I frustrated, but my roommates were also. They felt as if I was spoken down to, ignored, and blatantly disrespected. They agreed with my decision when I swore I would never step into Winslow’s again. They encouraged me to blog about it on Celiac Sisters.
I checked out the Winslow’s Home website
, and under the “About Us” tab, it states:
“At Winslow's Home, we strive to bring together warm, caring and intelligent people who are the best in their field. We believe in diversity, sustainability, and giving back to the community.”
The people helping me were not the best in their field. They did not even know what gluten free entailed. I did not feel cared for or welcomed. The food attempted to be diverse by offering gluten free, but it was not done so properly, so that statement was moot. I am a part of the St. Louis community being a Wash U student, but felt ostracized.
Under the “Food” tab, it states:
“Our goal at Winslow's Home is to provide you with local, seasonal, thoughtful food honestly prepared before your eyes.”
My food was not thoughtful. It was not prepared honestly.
“We strive to ensure that our food arrives to the table with its integrity intact.”
If I ordered a supposed gluten free grilled cheese sandwich, it would arrive at my table unreliable. Unsafe.
“We want its taste, texture, smell & appearance to make the utmost impact on your senses, heart and soul.”
My food would not make the utmost impact on my senses, heart and soul; but rather on my small intestine, stomach, and digestive tract.
Unfortunately, my off campus experience at Winslow’s Home was NOT a positive one, but I still have hope for the future. All you St. Louis Celiacs make sure to ask before you order! And First Watch, I’ll be in any day now for some First Watch Potatoes.
Good luck and be cautious!
Peace, Love, Gluten Free,
Check out this article on the Celiac Sisters by Susan Cohen, a fellow Celiac!http://yourbellalife.com/featured/getting-gluten-free-with-the-celiac-sisters/
Peace, Love, Gluten Free,
Brooke and Samantha
On October 14th, we attended the 9th Annual Gala Benefit for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. The honorees were: the Murphy family, Karen A. Kennedy, MD, Celiac Sisters and Jill Brack, Glow Gluten Free. It was a fantastic event! It is held annually at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC. We hope to see you next year!
Our acceptance speech at the Mandarin Hotel in New York City.
Us and our cousin with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Us with Dr. Peter Green.
Over February in 2010, we visited Paris, France.
Celiac Sisters visit the Eiffel Tower!
The French were extremely aware of Celiac Disease and Gluten Free. Our boutique hotel right off the Champs Elysees - Hotel Balzac - arranged to get us gluten free baguettes, cookies, cakes, and snacks to keep us going through our long days of touring. Every restaurant we walked into, we flashed our index cards in French explaining Celiac Disease, and each place found a way to accomodate us. We became accustomed to the French style of eating late, extremely long dinners, and their microscopic meal portions. The typical dinner was either grilled steak or chicken with vegetables and some sort of potato. A few places made us gluten free french fries in separate oil, which we couldn't have devoured faster! One place even made us a fresh batch of French Onion Soup without croutons.
Us with our cousin Scott after dinner at Le Moulin de la Galette before we headed down to Moulin Rouge
As dessert lovers, we were on a hunt for a gluten free French pastry. We read online that Ladurée, the famous French bakery, made gluten free macaroons. After dinner one night we stood on line for about 20 minutes in anticipation for the colorful desserts. Once we confirmed that they were 100% gluten free, we ordered one in every flavor. They were FABULOUS! Crispy on the outside and soft in middle, we were addicted. Just writing about it, we're craving them. Too bad they're so far away... If you go to Paris, Laduree is a MUST, whether you're gluten free or gluten full!
Enjoying the colorful macaroons with our cousin Scott in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, coffee, rose (which tasted like poo pourri, but Scott loved!), pistachio, caramel, orange, licorice, praline and lemon.
Gluten free and Celiac Disease awareness was much higher than here in the States. Every waiter and waitress knew exactly what it was, and we never needed to speak to the chef. Gluten free was a common issue, and finding something to eat was never a problem. If you're gluten free and looking for a vacation, Paris is a no-brainer! Hopefully the US will become more aware soon so travelling here for the French will be just as easy as it was for us!
Peace, Love, Gluten Free,
On July 13, 2010, we held our 2nd annual Celiac Disease Benefit Dinner! It was a huge success! We had two seatings and a fantastic silent auction. Special thanks to our guest speakers, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Dr. Peter Green. We raised almost $25,000!
A Special Thanks to…
Dr. Peter Green
B&B Coverage LLC
Babycakes NYC, Inc.
Camp and Campus
Chebe Bread Products
Dr. Lucy’s LLC
Eric Javits, Inc.
Grand Stand Sports
Katz Gluten Free
Marchon Eyewear, Inc.
Nubest Spa and Salon
Savory Palate, Inc.
Skinny Crisps, Inc.
On Tuesday, August 11, 2009, we hosted a Celiac Disease Benefit at Cafe Rustica in Great Neck, NY. The night included a gluten-free menu, fabulous raffles, gift bags, and a speech from Dr. Peter Green. We received donations from many companies and vendors including gluten-free snacks, mixes, products, coupons and much more. The menu included gluten-free pasta, pizza, and cake. Everyone enjoyed trying new gluten-free food, even our gluten friends! We raised over $9000 for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, and are planning to organize next year's event. We already have many volunteers to help out! If interested, please e-mail us! Check out our album which includes photos of the dinner, Dr. Peter Green, and a few of the dishes from the menu. The dinner was a great success, and we hope to see you at our next event!
A Special Thanks For Their Very Generous Donations…
Comprehensive Archives Inc.
B & B Coverage
Betsy Pine Tucker
Brickwell Cycling and Multisports
Camp & Campus
Chebe Bread Produts
Cookies for Me?
Ener-g Foods Inc.
Nana’s Cookie Company
Wing Time Buffalo Wing Sauces