As published in Verywell Fit Magazine on March 11, 2019
Broken Shed Vodka is Gluten-Free, GMO-Free and All Natural – No Additives or Sugar
Vodka traditionally is made from grains (usually the gluten grains wheat, barley, and rye). But there’s a growing slate of specialty vodkas made from alternative materials such as corn, potatoes, and grapes… and there’s some evidence that these vodkas may fit into a gluten-free diet better than traditional vodka options.
Many people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity find they can’t drink vodka that’s been distilled from gluten grains. However, these people frequently find that they can tolerate non-gluten-grain-based vodka just fine.
Gluten-Free Vodka Brands
It’s not always obvious which vodkas on the liquor store shelves are made from gluten grains and which are not, so here’s the list of your various gluten-free vodka options:
Broken Shed Vodka. This New Zealand vodka is distilled from “pure New Zealand whey” and blended with spring water. According to the manufacturer, it’s free of GMOs, additives, chemicals, or any added sugar. It’s widely available in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, or you can purchase it online.
Why Consider Vodka Made From Gluten-Free Ingredients?
Lots of people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity react to alcohol that’s made from gluten grains, even though experts agree that the distillation process gets rid of the harmful gluten protein. So what’s really going on?
Unfortunately, that’s not clear. It’s possible that some smaller pieces of the gluten protein remain even after distillation. It’s also possible that the problem is gluten cross-contamination at the place of distillation. Regardless, if you like vodka but find you can’t drink vodkas made from wheat, barley, or rye, you do have plenty of alternatives.
Vodka manufacturers are not legally entitled to use the words “gluten-free” on their products unless their vodka was not made with a gluten grain. Therefore, you should be able to trust brands that advertise their gluten-free status.
Does Gluten-Free Vodka Cost More?
No, not at all. Vodka made from non-gluten ingredients such as potatoes and corn is readily available right alongside gluten grain vodkas in the liquor store. Sure, you can purchase top shelf brands, but labels like Luksusowa are reasonably priced.
What About Flavored Vodkas?
Flavored vodkas are trendy and obviously have developed a huge following. If you need vodka that’s not made from gluten grains, you do have some excellent alternatives: try Iceberg Vodka’s Chocolate Mint or Devotion’s Blood Orange, for starters.
Unfortunately, sticking with gluten-free vodka will mean you can’t experiment with some of the top flavored vodkas on the market today, such as Effen’s cucumber vodka (it’s made from wheat). But any of Smirnoff’s wide variety of flavors should be safe, since Smirnoff is made from corn.
A Word From Verywell
Not everyone with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity needs to stick with gluten-free vodka—some people do just fine with vodka made from gluten grains. But if you’re someone who does react to conventional alcohol, you’ll be glad to know you still can enjoy vodka and still avoid a gluten.♢