In today’s society, gluten-free alcoholic options are becoming more and more popular. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also inclusive to those with gluten allergies and disorders. Gluten can be present in both foods and drinks, which can be a problem for people who cannot consume it.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein present in grains, especially wheat, and it is what is responsible for the texture of bread. It acts as a binder, holding food together.
Gluten is common in many foods and drinks, including but not limited to pasta, cereal, and beer. It can also be found in things like vitamins, cosmetics, and even certain medications.
Gluten Disorders and Allergies
While there are individuals who live gluten-free by choice, there are individuals who genuinely cannot stomach the protein.
Celiac disease is a chronic digestive order that affects the small intestine. It is triggered by the consumption of gluten, which can cause long-lasting digestive problems and damage the small intestine. The disease can prevent your body from absorbing all the nutrients you need.
Symptoms can include:
- Lactose Intolerance (due to small intestine damage)
- Stools with irregular smells and consistencies
- Abdominal pain
- mental health problems
- Reproductive problems
Symptoms can differ for individuals of different ages and sex. There is no cure for celiac disease; the only way it can be treated is by following a gluten-free diet.
A wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to anything containing wheat; reactions can even be caused by the inhalation of wheat flour. Though it can sometimes be confused with celiac disease, a wheat allergy occurs when your body generates antibodies against proteins found in wheat.
Symptoms of a wheat allergy include:
- Itchy Rash
- Difficulty Breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
It’s also completely possible for someone to have both a wheat allergy and celiac disease, and the symptoms can certainly be confusing.
Gluten sensitivity is a term to describe individuals who have symptoms when they eat gluten, symptoms that are similar to those with celiac disease. The difference is these individuals don’t have the same antibodies and intestinal damage that is seen in celiac disease. Individuals with gluten sensitivity also don’t have the same reactions from a wheat allergy.
The exact causes of gluten sensitivity aren’t very well understood. There is some research that shows that those who are gluten sensitive may not be sensitive to gluten itself but to a certain carbohydrate found in many foods. Their bodies don’t absorb the carbohydrate in the way that they should. Instead, it remains in their guts and ferments, causing the person to be sick.
There are many symptoms someone who is gluten sensitive can experience after consumption.
- Abdominal Pain
- Brain Fog
- Diarrhea or IBS
- Joint Pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
These symptoms can occur for several hours or days after gluten consumption, making the lives of those who are sensitive miserable. It’s important to note that the presence or persistence of these symptoms doesn’t always mean gluten intolerance.
Alcohols That Don’t Contain Gluten
There are a lot of alcoholic drinks that contain gluten, which is unfair to those who can’t consume that protein. So, we’ve compiled a list of martinis and cocktails that are gluten-free. These delicious drinks will not only help you avoid gluten, but they also taste amazing.
Cosmopolitan – The Cosmopolitan is made with all gluten-free ingredients: vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and citrus peels. However, some flavored vodkas might contain gluten, so be cautious.
Daiquiris – Regular daiquiris are made with white rum, lime juice, and sugar syrup that are all gluten-free. Rum is obtained by processing sugarcane molasses and juice. However, additional flavorings, spices, and additives can make them unsafe, so make sure you look into the specific brands and products.
Margaritas – Margaritas are both gluten-free and vegan-friendly. The tequila comes from processing the agave plant, which makes it completely safe to use. Even if it is a mix and has added sugars, it is still approved for consumption by people suffering from celiac disease.
Moscow Mule – Vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice are the main ingredients in the Moscow mule. As long as you’re certain that the vodka is from a gluten-free, reputable brand, this drink is completely safe for you.
Espresso Martini – A twist on the normal martini, an espresso martini is a mixture of coffee liqueur, fresh espresso, and vodka. As long as you select gluten-free vodka, this drink is perfect.
There are many spirits made from gluten-free ingredients, such as brandy, rum, tequila, and gluten-free vodka.
Having to determine if a cocktail is gluten-free can be a bit of a hassle at first, but it will eventually become easier as you familiarize yourself with brands. There are plenty of gluten-free cocktail options for you to enjoy!