Peter Green, the director of Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and the Phyllis and Ivan Seidenberg Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, explained to us what alcohol you can drink that are gluten-free.
Peter Green: Gluten is a term for the storage protein component of the cereal grains: wheat, rye, and barley. In a grain of gluten, the bulk of it is a carbohydrate and it’s a major source of carbohydrate for the Western population. And a small component of it is this protein component that we term “gluten.”
A question that comes up is, “If I’m on a gluten-free diet, what forms of alcohol can I have?”
So beer is out, unless it’s gluten-free. Beer is made from hops, etc. It’s got gluten in it. There are gluten-free beers that are made from say, sorghum.
Wine is gluten-free. And any liquor that’s distilled is gluten-free.
In the distillation process, the vaporous products containing alcohol and … that comes off the main product and so the protein components aren’t transferred in the distillate. Whereas, something like beer is brewed and all the protein components remain in the final product.
Some of these brands have on the label, “distilled from French wheat.” That’s perfectly fine. Many individuals on a gluten-free diet attempt to find say, vodka or vodka mainly that’s made from gluten-free grains. It doesn’t matter.
Any form of distilled liquor is gluten-free.
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