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The Great Gluten Free Vodka Debate – The Answers, Please.

Ciroc & diddy
The Great Gluten Free Vodka Debate – The Answers, Please.
by K.C. Pomering, Posted September 21st, 2010 at 8:54 pm

So – the stories on Gluten Free Vodka are mixed as a 21-year old’s birthday cocktail.  Many Vodkas are distilled from grains that contain Gluten, but most experts say that the Gluten is removed during the distillation process. I’ll provide you with the info, you make the decisions for your health.

Here’s a little more info from folks who know – I think even they’re confused:
The European Food Safety Authority considers distilled alcohol “unlikely to cause a severe reaction” in those with grain allergies and the Canadian Celiac Association allows distilled alcoholic beverages for celiacs even if they’re made with wheat, rye, or barley, since “the distillation process should remove the reaction-causing proteins”. However, the Celiac Sprue Foundation recommends no hard liquor from grains containing gluten, at least during the early phases of a gluten-free diet.

Here’s a list of popular Vodkas & what they’re distilled from:
- Wheat: Stolichnaya (blend), Grey Goose, Ketel One, Snow Queen, Pearl, Van Gogh (blend), La Chance, Vox, Polar Ice, Absolut, Trump, X-Rated (blend), *Three Olives is also Wheat-distilled, but declares itself to be Gluten-Free on the Three Olives website
- Rye: Belvedere
- Barley: Finlandia, Koskenkorva
- Corn: Smirnoff, SF Vodka “Baker Beach”
- Potato: Chopin, Teton Glacier, Monopolowa, Vikingfjord, Luksosowa, Blue Ice
- Grape: Cîroc, Bombora, DiVine, SF Vodka “China Beach”

For the record, I’m with P.Diddy. It’s Ciroc at home and where I can find it, and wine the rest of the time.  I’ve had Grey Goose & Absolut without a problem, but I don’t see any reason for me (or you) to risk it.

Bottoms up!

PS: Wine is Gluten Free, as are Cognac & Grappa. They’re all made from grapes.  If you’re concerned about contamination from barrel paste (which I am NOT AT ALL concerned about for a number of reasons) then choose wines that are stainless-steel fermented or are not aged in new barrels.

Wine Coolers, Fruit Flavored Wines & other wine-based drinks that aren’t 100% wine can contain Barley Malt, colors & flavorings.

Filed under: KC's Blog
More by K.C. Pomering

Thank you!

by Jeanie, Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm

this is great information… I know there are times when I have a cocktail that is not gf or wf and I get congested.

by Kristina @ spabettie, Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Interestingly, most winemakers (both home and commercial) use something in the fermentation process called "yeast nutrients". Yeast nutrients nearly always contain barley. Still (and I’m very sensitive and drink a lot of wine) I’ve never had a reaction drinking wine. One presumes that the yeast consumes the barley completely during fermentation, and leaves no gluten residue.

by R.O'Quinn, Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Hey Guys – we’ve had a few questions about my opinion on wine, so here’s my explaination:

Barrel paste VERY rarely contains wheat anymore – that was a mostly European practice. (I can’t say never, because some obscure story will pop up, but I want to.) Further, the paste rarely touched the wine, and in the case that it did, the extended fermentation period would kill all traces of the gluten protein.

So – I’m not worried about it, and I don’t think you should be either. If you want to be super-safe, drink domestic wines.

KC @ G-Free Foodie

by Administrator, Posted November 24, 2010 at 2:14 am

Does anyone know about Vermont Gold Vodka – made from maple sap?

by Pam McGuffey, Posted November 24, 2010 at 2:23 am

Cold River Vodka from Maine is gluten free and good :-)

by KK, Posted November 24, 2010 at 4:00 am

Cold River & Tito Vodkas…both gluten free and great flavor with a little soda and lime!

by karamel, Posted November 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Prairie Organic Vodka made by RJ Phillips is made from corn. Gluten free, delicious, and for the "green" drinker, it is low waste and organic.

by Andi, Posted January 22, 2011 at 1:44 am

Boomerang vodka is very good and made from grapes!

by Chari, Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:39 am

Ceren, local vodka made in Colorado, is gluten free, made from sugar cane (?the famous Colorado sugar beet?) and is great! Too bad, gluten free vodka is not everywhere….

by lr, Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Learn something new everyday. I thought Grey Goose was not distilled from wheat or gluten. I have been drinking Grey Goose sodas for years with no problem! Go figure…

by Rose, Posted June 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Tito’s vodka is great!! it says on the bottle "gluten free" and it is a smooth vodka that has been distilled 6 times…..

by kim, Posted June 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Don’t forget about our little Ocean Vodka brand! We are family owned, handcrafted on the island of Maui, 100% organic AND 100% Gluten Free. We are the only vodka in the world made from organic sugar cane, and the only spirit in the world made with Hawaiian deep sea mineral water from 3000 feet below the Big Island. Needless to say, the high mineral content of our vodka makes incredible cocktails! We are only sold in 7 states now, mostly on the west coast, but we going national in the next few months. Cheers!

by Don, Posted July 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Great post. I’m still learning about this gluten free life. Thanks for doing the hard work.

by J. N., Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:57 am

Found out the hard way several weeks ago, thought I was CC from gluten w/ the food. Thankful I had the list last week @ an affair. Now it’s Tito’s or LIV (Long Island Vodka – comes flavored too). Thanks for the article.

by Cathey, Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I can only have tito’s (corn), Chopin (potato) and Ciroc (grapes). Most pinot grigio and Sauvignon Blancs are made in steel barrels. I do not drink anything without calling the company and finding out first. I have gotten very ill from Belvedere (rye)!

by Tiffany Ennis, Posted December 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I recommend trying 3 vodka. It’s a soy vodka and is fantastic. It’s a clear bottle with a red 3 on it. Hard to find but great when you do.

by Adam, Posted February 12, 2012 at 4:23 am

As a scientist who has Celiac’s, I can tell you the distillation process alone does not allow gluten into the final product. If they add malt afterwards, that’s a different story. However, scientifically, gluten is non-volatile compared to ethanol that IS volatile; therefore ethanol is collected as the final product. Think about it like vaporization/condensation. If you boil sea or sand water with a slanted top lid that collects the condensation, the water collected will NOT have salt or sand bc they cannot vaporize like water can. Same thing with ethanol, it will vaporize and be distilled but gluten is too heavy of a molecule to vaporize. So if the alcohol is purely distilled, regardless of the source, it should not contain gluten (unless other things are added after distillation).

by WordMD, Posted February 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm

All i know is.. if i drink anything w/ grain, distilled or not i pay the next day.. NON-Grain, i’m fine! long as i don’t get dehydratingly drunk..hehe

by kdjones, Posted March 24, 2012 at 4:36 am

WordMD, while that may be true, we have had reactions here from grain vodkas (Grey Goose). Whether its an issue of cross-contamination as I have heard (distilled or bottled in the same facility that processes the grain) or something else, some people are sensitive for some reason.

This reaction is actually the way I found out Grey Goose was made with wheat! I assumed vodka must certainly be gluten free. Oy.

by Alli, Posted September 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

I wish I woulda saw this article before last night…I drank Stoli Blue and club. I’m paying for it this morning. I realised my allergy a month ago and started the gluten free diet at that time.

by Eric, Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

Another great Gluten Free vodka is Opulent. Not only is it gluten free, but it’s made from American corn, which is a double bonus.

by Tara, Posted November 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Actually, American corn, whether it be organic or not, is pretty much genetically modified….not so good.

by Cristinmeow, Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm

If its organic corn, it should be non-gmo.

by jeanne, Posted December 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I have had three bad reactions to Ketel One recently, and I have been GF for 4 years. I have tried Ciroc and loved it. No more vodka that is made from grains for me!

by Nicole, Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I thought perhaps I should let you all know that The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America has certified only ONE distilled spirit as truly Gluten Free. Yes only one !!
Cayman Blue Vodka from the Dominican Republic, made from Sugar Cane and Distilled 6 times. And there is no compromise on smoothness, flavour or finish. Try it, you will like it. ( oh yes, it is also very reasonably priced )

by Doug, Posted May 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Thanks Doug – it’s cool that you’ve gotten certified by GIG!
the G-Free Foodie crew

by Administrator, Posted June 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm

When the GIG certifies something as gluten free is there any consideration of whether or not the source is a GMO product or not? I am shooting for a gluten free. non GMO diet.

by Mike, Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:55 am

absolute ALWAYS gives me a headache and intestinal pain. vikingfjord does not….neither does red wine
…..but, oh how I missy ipa!!

by sheryl, Posted June 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I have been gluten free for 6 months. Last night at dinner I had a lovely gluten free meal and two kettle one martinis. This morning while dealing with that old familiar bad celiac stomach I found this site! Guess I’ll be sticking with wine like I usually do! Thanks for the info!

by Karen, Posted June 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I love Ciroc vodka!

Controversy or not concerning hard alcohol…the brands made with grain still give me gluten symptoms. I stick to non-grain alcohol only. :)

I also just learned that many wineries seal their wine casks with wheat paste. I always wondered why some gave me gluten symptoms and some didn’t. I’ve recently come to the realization that none of the wines made in Germany give me symptoms.
~ April

by April, Posted August 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Does anyone know if Stoli Vodka is GF? Or what it’s derived from??

by Mar, Posted January 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Martinis are my favorite adult beverage outside wine. Very helpful article!

by Aletha, Posted January 18, 2014 at 2:31 am

I am gluten free, but I find the gluten free alcohol is very expensive. Almost twice or three times what I pay for vodka. I don’t buy the cheap vodka, but I don’t want to pay a huge price either.

by Judy, Posted February 27, 2014 at 3:07 pm

I stick to Smirnoff it’s affordable and made from corn. It’s widely available and has never given me a problem. I love very expensive vodkas but I’m afraid to try them!

by Sarajay, Posted August 13, 2014 at 7:15 pm

What grains are in White Eagle Vodka? Thank you

by dena, Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Tito’s vodka is made from corn. I drink a lot of it and am always perfect the next morning. I just had skyy last night and I feel terrible right now. Not worth it.

by joe shipley, Posted November 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

i just bought a bottle of Grey Goose, but see wheat on the label of ingredients…so, guess i will take it back for refund tomorrow…am i being overly cautious?

by Karen Barteaux, Posted July 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm

It really depends on your preference, Karen. I prefer to drink distilled spirits from GF grains if I can. KC

by G-Free Foodie, Posted July 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm

The issue is not which grain, but which distillation process. Reverse osmosis does not ‘kill’ gluten, whereas steam distillation does. So the question is, is the liquor steam distilled or is the reverse osmosis process used. It is far less labor intensive to produce liquor using the reverse osmosis (wrongly considered a viable distillation process) than steam distilling.

See if you can get a straight answer from the liquor companies on that one!

by Keith Pierson, Posted August 19, 2015 at 8:26 pm

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