Do you have bouts of indigestion and flatulence? Do you feel bloated after eating even a small meal? If the answer is yes, you may be gluten-intolerant and not even know it.
That sounds like clickbait but it’s true. Some form of gluten sensitivity affects 6% of the population. The symptoms range from comparatively mild (gastrointestinal discomfort, excessive wind) to severe (celiac disease).
It doesn’t have to be something you’re born with, either. It can creep up on you year by year so that you get used to it and think it’s normal; that this is the way everyone feels.
If you’re in any doubt, do what Novak Djokovic did: eliminate gluten from your food and drink and see how you feel after a couple of weeks.
Starting with alcohol…
In this article, we will look at the five best gluten free vodka brands, as well as look into what makes a vodka gluten-free.
Vodka and Gluten
Technically, distilled liquors don’t contain gluten. That’s to say, they shouldn’t. Gluten is a protein and distillation destroys the proteins in wheat, barley, and rye, the grains that contain gluten.
Which is all well and good in theory. In reality, you have problems like cross-contamination.
For example, flavored spirits. They might start out gluten-free only to have it added back in in the flavoring process.
Petrol and alcohol have got something in common: cross-contamination.
We stopped putting lead in petrol but we still put lead in jet fuel. Jet fuel and petrol share the same distribution system – the same tanks and pipes – so the lead-free petrol you buy at the pumps has lead in it.
By the same token, if it doesn’t take precautions, a distillery that also uses barley to brew beer runs the risk of the glutens in the beer contaminating their alcohol.
The TBB’s policy (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the arm of the Food and Drug Administration responsible for labeling and advertising) is that distilleries are allowed to advertise alcohol made from wheat, barley, and rye as gluten-free.
However, they need to adhere to, “good manufacturing practices are followed that prevent the introduction of any gluten-containing material into the final product” and “an appropriate qualifying statement and necessary documentation is available to substantiate the claim”.
At this point, a word of caution: The global wellness industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that thrives on spreading misinformation. It became fashionable in the early-2000s to blame gluten for everything from cancer to impotence.
Except for its known allergenic properties, the negative press surrounding gluten remains entirely anecdotal and unsupported by evidence. None of it has ever been proven in properly-conducted clinical trials.
If you don’t react negatively to gluten, if you feel exactly the same whether it’s a part of your diet or not, then there’s no reason you should abstain from it.
Gluten has a place in our diet. For one thing, it’s prebiotic. For another, without gluten, those delicious stuffed pizza crusts we all adore would be impossible. They’d fall apart.
Gluten is a binding agent: it’s what gives dough its stretch, its pull, and its elasticity. Without it, making pancakes would be like solving a jigsaw puzzle. And you can kiss goodbye to tortillas. And ice cream cones. And any kind of flatbread, basically.
Yes, there are substitutes, but none of them work quite as well as gluten.
Gluten Free Vodka Brands – The Best of the Best
Vodka can be distilled from lots of things that don’t contain gluten, like oats, potatoes, corn, grapes, and sugarcane. Here are the best of the best, genuinely gluten-free vodkas available today:
- Made from potatoes
- In Polish, the word luksusowa means ‘luxurious’.
- The brand has been in existence since 1928.
- A rectification process removes any fusel oils along with any impurities that might have survived distillation.
- It has been made by the Talvis distillery in the Russian province of Latvia since 1938.
- It’s made with buckwheat, rye, and artesian water, and triple-distilled.
- It is considered to be a super-premium, ultra-luxury vodka.
- While crystal-clear, it is imbued with the aromas of marshmallow and citrus rind.
- Stoli has been enjoyed by astronauts on the Mir space station. It’s also supposed to be the principal ingredient in James Bond’s martinis (bearing in mind that James Bond is a fictional character, not a real person).
- A vanilla aroma
- Considered harsh by some, it delivers the burning characteristic of vodka as it goes down;
- Made from King Edward, Lady Claire, and Lady Rosetta potatoes in Herefordshire, England, an area renowned for the richness and redness of its soil;
- Brewer’s yeast is added to the potato mash and allowed to ferment for about a week. The resulting low alcohol wine is distilled four times in a custom-built copper batch pot and twice more in the Chase distillery’s 70-foot-high rectification column, one of the tallest in the world. The entire process from start to finish takes two weeks.
- Made with vodka distilled five times from French grapes in a bespoke copper still. Infused with mango and other natural flavors;
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- Best with mixers
- Made outside Austin, Texas
- Founded by Bert “Tito” Beveridge
- His original intention was a vodka so smooth you could drink it straight.
- Sold his first case in April of 1997.
- In the tradition of single malt scotches and French cognacs, Tito’s is distilled using copper pot stills
- Made with corn
- each sip begins with notes of cinnamon, white pepper, and lemon peel followed by pepper spice, black cherry, a touch of vanilla, and a dry, impeccably clean finish.
And the Winner is…
A curry that doesn’t burn your mouth isn’t curried, it’s curry-flavored. By the same token, a vodka that doesn’t burn your throat isn’t vodka, it’s vodka-flavored. T
hat fiery blast on its way down to your stomach is a part of the vodka experience. If smooth sipping is your preference, there are plenty of other alcohols that more than meet that need.
If you’re eating bouillabaisse, you want a drink that serves as a palette cleanser; something that’s going to enhance the taste of the fish. You don’t want something that tastes and smells of fruit.
If you want to add flavor to it, by all means. There’s a world of mixers at your command. But, once a flavor has been added, you can’t take it out again.
Vodka is supposed to be like moonshine, the name given to poteen when the Irish settled in America. You can’t go wrong with plain, well-refined potato vodka.
With all that in mind, the number one slot goes to Chase Vodka for the quality of its ingredients.