With a rise in health awareness in modern times, it’s no wonder people are curious about what is and isn’t gluten-free (regardless of whether they are celiac, sensitive, or just making better health decisions for themselves).
Beer, of course, is off-limits to gluten-intolerant people. But what about spirits like brandy or Schnapps?
Is Brandy Gluten-Free?
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to treat Brandy and Schnapps as the same thing. Both are spirits made by distilling a fruit wine. For brandy, this is made from grapes, and for schnapps, this is made from other fruit like peach, pear, or apples for example.
Firstly, the fruit wash (wine) made as the precursor to brandy will contain absolutely no gluten. Contrast this to whiskey for example which is made predominantly from barley, a glutenous startch.
Then, since brandy is distilled, any of the gluten protein that may have been present is left behind in the still, and none makes it to the final product.
Therefore Brandy and schnapps are safe for those with Celiac Disease, according to beyondceliac.org Foundation.
There are of course some exceptions. You’ll want to be mindful of any brandy-based liquors, as these have had other ingredients added after distillation that may contain gluten. Also watch out if the brandy has been manufactured in a facility that also processes glutenous substances, such as a distillery that also makes whiskey and therefore processes barley.
Does Brandy Contain Sugar?
Brandy, schnapps, gin, vodka, whiskey, and even rum are all completely distilled spirits and do not include any sugars.
When it comes to spirits, it’s more about what they’re mixed with. It will only contain sugar once it is mixed with other drinks like other liquors, juices, or soft drinks.
Does Brandy Contain Dairy?
No, fortunately, all brandies or schnapps are made entirely from fruit. This means all the fermentables come from plant-based sources!
Is brandy vegan?
Almost all brandy is vegan.
Why almost you ask? One thing to note is that brandy starts life as wine. So it’s possible for any non-vegan wine-making processes to be part of the brandy-making process too.
This filtering process of wine includes the addition of something called ‘finnings’. This helps flocculate the proteins which drop out of solution and render the final drink crystal clear.
Some of these fining agents include:
- Gelatin – from animal cartilage
- Isinglass Finings – a type of gelatin from fish.
- Albumin – from eggs
- Casein – from milk
- Carmine – from beetles
- Chitin – from shellfish
So, clearly, any wine that has been ‘fined’ which the agents above won’t be vegan. BUT, it’s very rare for the wine used in brandy to be fined in the first place.
Regardless if you are gluten intolerant, vegan, or trying to manage any other dietary requirements, brandy and schnapps are generally a safe bet when deciding what to drink.
It is very rare for brandy to contain gluten.
Remember that having adverse responses to gluten-containing foods and drinks is fairly typical after going gluten-free, so don’t be shocked if that brandy you often used to adore makes you sick suddenly.
Also, don’t forget to read the labels properly to check for the ingredients used in the brandy that you take to make sure that it is in conjunction with your diet and preference.
Alcohol consumption in accordance with the prescribed norms should not be ruled out. Although some alcohol, may have health benefits, this does not indicate that you should drink it excessively.