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Gluten-free vodka is a type of alcoholic drink that does not contain any gluten protein, which some people have an allergy to that causes unpleasant reactions when consumed. Vodka is often thought of as an alcohol that is distilled from potato mash, but there are actually relatively few major brands of vodka made from potato. Many types of vodka are made using wheat, and wheat contains the gluten proteins that some people can't consume. Gluten-free vodka is any type of vodka that is made from a source other than wheat, such as corn, potato, or grape, as well as wheat-based vodkas that do not contain gluten.
There is a great deal of debate over what types of gluten-free vodka can be consumed by someone with an intolerance of gluten. Scientific evidence indicates that the distillation process that all vodka undergoes eliminates any gluten proteins that may be present in the vodka itself. This means that even vodka made from wheat, which might inherently have gluten in it, should be gluten-free after distillation. The problem with this type of naturally gluten-free vodka is that some manufacturers may include flavor additives or other ingredients that can reintroduce gluten to the vodka, which can then cause a reaction.
Gluten is a type of protein found in foods such as wheat, barley, and rye and is a major source of protein in many foods and diets. There are some people who have an allergy to gluten and some who have celiac disease, and consuming foods or drinks with gluten can cause violent and unpleasant reactions for these people. This is why choosing gluten-free vodka is important for anyone with a gluten intolerance who wishes to consume alcohol. Like any other type of alcoholic beverage, however, gluten-free vodka should be consumed in moderation and only by those who can legally drink in their area, as it still causes all of the same impairments on driving and other activities that standard vodka causes.
Someone interested in finding gluten-free vodka should consider any type of vodka that is not made from wheat, rye, or barley. Numerous lists can be found online and in other resources that indicate what is used to make different types of vodka, though Grey Goose®, Ketel One®, and Absolut® are all popular brands of vodka made from wheat. These vodkas should all be gluten-free, however, since the distillation process removes gluten proteins from the vodka. For people who are especially concerned about gluten and do not wish to risk any possible exposure, there are types of gluten-free vodka made from other materials. Luksosowa® is made from potatoes, while Ciroc® and DiVine® are made from grapes, and Smirnoff® is made using corn.
In theory, any distilled spirit should be gluten-free, but many find they are still sensitive. I love that this article posts some gluten-free options. I drink potato gin, but now I've got some new choices!