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Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Vodka August 1, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.

pretty cocktails gluten freeAs I sipped my Ketel soda last evening I wondered is this gluten free? I’ve brushed over information on alcoholic beverages but have yet to determine what is and isn’t beyond beer which I’ve avoided for over a year. I don’t miss the calories much. I do miss it on a hot day and have easily replaced it with a crisp white wine, gin and tonic or mimosa. I found that many vodka including Ketel One is made from 100% wheat. However studies have found the distilling process removes gluten from the final product. I did not get sick from my Kettle soda because and can come to one of two conclusions; I’m not sensisitive to the point of irritation or it’s true. Not expecting to rely on myself to be the white lab rat to scientifically prove it either way, I’d really love it if you’d weigh  on this one. Here’s the argument for either side which addresses the larger question of distilled beverages includes vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey. And I know we will all agree this is a VERY important debate, life changing. laughing…here you go.

It Is

Sourced from a well referenced article on celiac-disease.com

All vodkas are gluten-free unless gluten containing flavors have been added to them. Vodkas made from corn, soy, potatoes and even wheat are gluten-free.  According to every celiac specialist in the world and Shelley Case, the foremost authority on the gluten-free diet in North America, the gluten protein is not present in grain alcohols once they have been distilled, period.

>>Read More on Vodka is Gluten Free

It Isn’t

The debate from the deep, dark, depths of the gluten free forums, it’s a scary place I know don’t worry I won’t let anything happen to you. Then to useful info from About.com. Go in to take a look and come back to join our discussion here.

I am one of the ones who reacts strongly to any grain alcohol, (I black out after 1 drink and get very sick from grain alcohol). I drink Luksusowa Polish Potato Vodka and have NO problems. I can have 2 or 3 in an evening with no ill effects at all, not even a mild hangover. There are other potato vodkas around but this brand is the least costly.

>>Read more at celiac.com

You are quite right, and as many most likely know I am one of the people who do react.
I would suggest having one or two drinks three or four days in a row when not consuming anything else that is risky, and watching for a reaction. For those of us who do react to gluten grains they often have an overintoxicating effect and can give some really douzy of a hangover with very little injested so do take it easy though till you know.

>>More at celiacdisease.com

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.

>>Read more at about.com

A Bright Spot

Here’s my favorite find, a website completely dedicated to gluten free alcohol providing recipe substitutions to our favorite cocktails. The Web never disappoints.  >>Visit glutenfreedrinks.com

Final Thoughts

When considering whether or not something is gluten free it’s easy to draw the line at it containing a wheat ingredient, period. Trace amounts can irritate some people depending on their sensitivity. The only way to be 100% safe is to 100% abstain. The complexity of the distillation process mixed with claims to sensitivity throws me for a loop. I want to say based on scientific fact that the process does remove gluten. Yet scientific fact has a history of changing its facts. Remember when milk was good for you? Oh right it still is.



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