Distilled Alcohol: Gluten-Free and Full of “Spirit”!

Distilled Alcohol: Gluten-Free and Full of “Spirit”!

Define: spirit

/ˈspirit/ — Noun: 1) The vital principle or animating force within living beings. 2) Incorporeal consciousness. 3) An alcoholic beverage, especially distilled liquor.

/ˈspirit/ — Historical: the name given to alcoholic drinks because they were believed to be a gift from the spirits/gods before the process of fermentation was understood.

Alcoholic drinks can still be seen as gifts from the spirits that are good for the spirits today! However, partaking in this treat can be difficult scene to navigate for those living gluten-free. While we like to talk about beers made from gluten-free malt, today we are going to focus on distilled alcohols. Distillation is the separation of one substance from another by evaporation and condensation. Most of the experts agree that there is no physical way a distilled alcohol can contain gluten because the gluten protein cannot travel through vapor and become part of the final alcohol product. Distilled liquor contains gluten if it comes into contact with it after the distilling process. In this day and age, it can be hard to determine if this is the case because alcohol is not currently required to have ingredient statements declaring what was used to make it. If you want to be certain about what’s in the indulgent beverage you’re drinking and want to put the guessing aside, call the manufacturer. Another item to point out- at this time any spirit made with gluten containing ingredients cannot be labeled gluten-free by the TTB.

Here is a list from Celiac.com that contains alcohols (most are distilled) that are gluten-free.

  • Armagnac
  • Bourbon
  • Brandy
  • Champagne
  • Cider
  • Cognac
  • Gin
  • Grappa
  • Kahlua
  • Kirschwasser
  • Mead
  • Mistico
  • Ouzo
  • Rum
  • Sake Scotch Whiskey
  • Sherry
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Tequila
  • Vermouth
  • Vodka
  • Wine

Not 100% confident that you want to go and pick out a distilled alcohol on your own? That’s fine because here are a few products that we recommend that are distilled from gluten-free grains!

Koval whiskey:

“Established in 2008, Koval is the first craft distillery to operate in Chicago since Prohibition. All of their small batch spirits are handcrafted with grains, fruits, herbs and flowers sourced from the surrounding Midwest region, and their water is sourced from Lake Michigan using a natural charcoal purification method. Every Koval product is kosher and certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association.

Koval Single Barrel Millet Whiskey is distilled entirely from millet, a flavorful, yet relatively unknown grain. Aged in oak for less than two years, this single barrel whiskey offers a pronounced nose of green apple, peach and ginger, backed by toasted almond and caramel. The fruit carries through to the palate, where it is joined by notes of brown sugar, cedar, anise and spice. To preserve the character of the grain, Koval whiskeys are not colored or chill-filtered.”

Feisty Spirits Unaged Elementals (“Clear whiskeys that let the full grain flavor shine through”):

Millet Whiskey — “Nose: strong nutmeg and allspice, with some wild flower notes within. Soft mouth up front that transitions to saffront-like spice towards the end. Palate is heavy with a solid earthy finish that resides on the tongue.”

Quinoa Whiskey — “Green peppers and grassy meadows are apparent in the nose and the mouth is savory but creamy. Body is light but complexly floral, transitioning from gentle to spicy.”

Old Sugar Distillery 

Queen Jennie Sorghum Whiskey- Made from 100% Wisconsin sorghum and aged in small charred oak barrels

 

What are your favorite truly gluten-free distilled beverages?

Here’s to a gluten-free life full of spirit! Zum Wohl!

 

Further Reading

http://www.alcoholprofessor.com/blog/2013/04/02/what-really-makes-a-spirit-gluten-free/

http://www.celiac.com/articles/222/1/Gluten-Free-Alcoholic-Beverages/Page1.html

http://www.feistyspirits.com/about

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