There are many things to learn when going vegan and gluten-free, but it may seem like alcohol is straightforward. After all, what could your favorite cider or wine contain that might go against your diet?
Unfortunately, many animal products can be found in alcohol, including casein (derived from milk), isinglass (derived from fish), and albumin (derived from eggs or even blood). During a process called fining, these kinds of ingredients are often added toward the end of the production. Finding vegan, gluten-free alcohol can be tricky but there are always options.
With these helpful guidelines and tools like Barnivore, you can feel confident picking out your next drink with friends. As always, please drink responsibly, and remember that your favorite alcohols can also be perfect additions to your favorite recipes.
Ciders might seem straightforward, but proceed with caution! Some cider brands use animal products like honey, gelatin, and even collagen in their final products. Most ciders are considered gluten-free, but some do use gluten-containing yeast during the fermentation process. There are still many options for cider-lovers, though. Give Blue Mountain Cider Company a go next time you’re looking for a verified gluten-free, vegan option.
Many vegans already know that vegan beers can be tough to find. Isinglass is the culprit in many beers. It is often used to clarify beer, and some brewers consider the ingredient a key part of the process. However, most German and Belgian ales tend to be vegan. Simple enough – except that gluten-free readers know beer is often off the table completely due to wheat and barley contamination. Luckily, there are many gluten-free and vegan beer brands available, like Glutenberg. Picking a beer that is brewed entirely gluten-free and not ‘gluten-removed’ can be important for those severely sensitive to gluten. Those ‘gluten-removed’ beers can still cause a reaction in sensitive drinkers.
Try using your favorite vegan, gluten-free beer to make Tofu Fish and Chips. Just be sure to choose gluten-free bread crumbs! Be sure to check out our handy guide to pairing your favorite beers with some of our best recipes.
Wine, like beer, can often be non-vegan thanks to the use of fining agents like isinglass and gelatin. Happily, there are new trends in the fining process that have resulted in more vegan wines. Instead of animal products, winemakers can use fining agents like bentonite or activated charcoal to make their final products. However, gluten-free wine is a different story. Some winemakers actually use wheat gluten in the fining process, which can turn a perfectly safe bottle into a recipe for disaster. Wines advertised as vegan and gluten-free, like Tarantas, can be found easily. Just be sure to do your research and don’t hesitate to ask questions!
For a decadent night in, pour a glass of red wine and indulge in these Raw Mini Chocolate Cream Cakes. Or, get out your favorite gluten-free flour and try making this Champignon au Vin impress your date.
When it comes to hard liquor like whiskey, most options are vegan. However, the question of whether whiskey is appropriate for gluten-free consumers has long been debated. Many people agree that the distillation process removes any gluten from the final product, but others argue that because whiskey contained gluten at some point in the process, it can’t possibly be safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Those sensitive to gluten should talk with their doctors before drinking whiskey and understand that while many people do not have reactions, there is always a chance.
Most clear liquors are entirely vegan. Like whiskey, vodka can be made from gluten-containing grains. Those most sensitive should look for vodkas made from corn, potatoes, or grapes. Pick out your favorite bottle of vodka and use a little in this Vodka Cream Sauce.
Rum and tequila are also usually safe options for vegan, gluten-free drinkers. As a general rule, try to avoid pre-made drink mixes. Bartenders will often happily adjust a cocktail to fit your dietary needs, but you should be sure to ask for a full list of ingredients including the brands of alcohol prior to ordering. Be sure to try your hand at making this Rum Raisin Fudge or even these Bloody Marias Made with Infused Tequila for a memorable night in with friends.
Need more allergy-friendly recipe ideas? We highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, gluten-free friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Download it today!
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