With an ever-increasing number of individuals curious about what is and isn’t gluten-free (regardless whether they have a genuine sensitivity or not), it’s always important to know what you can drink without anxiety and what you should avoid.
Beer, of course, is off-limits to gluten-intolerant people. But what about spirits like gin?
Is gin gluten free?
Gin is made by distilling gluten-containing grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. Since gin is distilled, the all of the gluten protein is left behind in the still, and none makes it to the final product.
Gin is safe for those with Celiac Disease, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Even though the gin in question is derived from gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye, or barley, the allergen is removed during the distillation process. You may credit science for this occurrence. Alcohol is isolated from everything else in the mash when distilling a grain (or potatoes, or fruit, or anything). This alcoholic vapor passes through the still and condenses on the other side into a liquid. The only thing left after this process is pure alcohol-all traces of gluten and sugar are gone.
However, this does not appear to be true in all cases. Some gluten-sensitive people get a reaction after drinking gin as if they swallowed gluten. It’s a case-by-case basis because not everyone with a gluten sensitivity reacts to gin. If you’re one of the individuals who has had a response to gin, then you’ll need to be extra cautious, there are gluten-free gins available.
Does gin contain sugar?
Gin, vodka, whiskey, and even rum are all highly distilled spirits do not include any sugars. When it comes to spirits, it’s more about what they’re blended with. It will only contain a certain amount of sugar once it is flavored and mixed with other drinks.
One thing to watch out for is gin variations such as Old Tom Gin and Genever, as these are both sweetened after distillation with a small about of table sugar.
Does gin contain dairy?
Spirits derived from fermented milk have traditionally been distilled all over the world. Despite its rarity today, certain distillers are resurrecting this forgotten art to create vodkas- and, predictably, these spirits have also made their way into gin. Some distilleries repurpose byproducts from the dairy industry. Cheese is created from curds, however, whey is mostly a waste product in the cheese making process. Brewers could use it as a source of ferment to create a vodka or gin base spirit, however once again there is no dairy in the final product.
Is gin vegan?
Most gin is a vegan beverage. Gin is primarily composed of juniper berries, as well as natural botanicals including such spices, coriander, fruits, natural flavorings, and flowers. As a result, gin is in theory suitable for vegan consumption
One thing to watch out for is to check how the neutral base spirit is made.
Most gin distilleries buy in their neutral spirit (think ethanol and water) and this is often from the cheapest source locally available.
In the United States for example, this is typically fermented from corn as this is a cheap starch source. This will result in a completely vegan gin.
Here is New Zealand however, we have a large dairy industry, and most neutral spirit is derived from fermented milk whey. This means any gin made from this base spirit isn’t actually vegan!
Is there some gin that is not vegan?
Although most gin is vegan, animal products are rarely used in the filtering process of gin, unlike wine and beer, so you don’t need to worry about finings like gelatin.
Certain gins may contain honey, and other animal products may be utilized in the manufacturing of gin on rare occasions.
Honey can be used as a sweetener in some gins, but it’s not common. Honey is indeed a product of an animal, the hardworking honeybee, even though it is considered natural. As a result, many vegans shun any honey-based products, along with some gins that contain the ingredient.
Is flavored gin gluten-free?
Gin is a popular choice among coeliacs, despite the fact that it is often prepared from distilled rye, wheat, or barley spirit. Some flavored gins and gins with additions (such as shimmer) may include gluten-containing substances or have come in contact with gluten.
It’s always recommended to check the product label, or manufacturer if you’re not sure.
Does flavored gin contain sugar?
While it is uncommon for producers to add sugar to classic-style gins, it is not uncommon for flavored gins to do so. There are examples of gins with significant sugar content, particularly in gins flavored with harsh or acidic ingredients like rhubarb or berries. According to a 2019 MailOnline article, certain popular flavored gins can contain up to 15 teaspoons of sugar per bottle. Concurrently, there are several drier type flavored gins and ‘Pink Gins’ that don’t have any sugar added.
Check the product label or enquire with the manufacturer to be sure if you are trying to restrict sugar or on a ketogenic diet.
Is flavored gin vegan?
Almost all gins are vegan excluding the cream-based liqueurs and items that include honey on the packaging.
Again, check what base neutral spirit the distillers use as this could be derived from animal milk whey.
Regardless if you are gluten intolerant, vegan, or trying to manage any other dietary requirements, gin is generally a safe bet when deciding what to drink.
It is very rare for gin 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 gin 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 gin 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, particularly gin, may have health benefits, this does not indicate that you should drink it excessively.
- Boyd, C. (2019, June 25). How the nation’s best-selling flavoured gins secretly contain up to 15 teaspoons of sugar. Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7178613/How-nations-best-selling-flavoured-gins-secretly-contain-15-teaspoons-sugar.html
- Gin FAQs: Is gin vegan, gluten free & sugar free? (2021). The Gin Guide. https://www.theginguide.com/gin-dietary-faqs.html