I was going to make this a three-part series, with an entire post dedicated to wine, but really, wine is a glorious blessing to celiacs, in that virtually no wine exists that contains gluten. If you do have an adverse reaction to wine, it could be the sulfites.
So on to the big mother of them all: liquor, liquor liquor.
Finding truly gluten-free liquor is trickier than just avoiding whiskey. In fact, some whiskeys, like my dad’s all-time favorite, Jack Daniels and my brother’s arch-rival, Crown Royal, have all the nasty distilled out of them and are safe to drink. The danger lies in the lower-quality stuff and flavored liquors. I’ve never felt worse than the day after a friend bought me a Stoli Blueberry and Sprite, and it wasn’t from a hangover.
Part of the problem is that alcoholic beverages are not required to list allergens or ingredients on their labels, unlike foods. Current regulations under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) do not require the disclosure of major food allergens on alcohol beverage labels. This is regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), not the FDA. There’s even a petition set up to change the requirements so that people with serious food allergies don’t accidentally poison themselves if they don’t choose to avoid liquor altogether.
To help narrow it down, Celiac.com has a list of officially safe gluten-free bevs, but it doesn’t list specific brands. An even better source is the gluten-free forum, where people list what gave them problems in the past, depending on one’s sensitivity, of course, and what their go-to drinks usually are. I already mentioned that you might want to stay away from any flavored Stolichnaya, but there are plenty of safe alternatives:
And my guilty, girly pleasure: