Last week we hosted a team building cocktail workshop and the group requested that we consider gluten free choices for the cocktails and spirit choices. While it can be challenging at times to find gluten free options in food, it turns out cocktails are much easier to accommodate.
Here are our tips for keeping to a gluten-free diet while still keeping cocktails in your consumption repertoire:
- Pick spirits made from wheat-free ingredients like rum (made from sugar cane), tequila (made from agave, ensure the bottle says 100% agave) or vodka/gin (made from potatoes or rice, not barley, wheat or other gluten containing grains).
- Watch your mixes. Some common liquids, like ginger beer, may in fact use a gluten containing ingredient like wheat during fermentation. Stick to fresh fruits and home-made syrups mixed with soda water. Making your own mixtures ensures there aren’t any sneaky additives or ingredients hiding in the mix. Alternatively, seek out gluten-free certified options.
- Stick to the following cocktails, which already incorporate the above, and are gluten-free to begin with:
- Vodka or Gin Cocktails (assuming your base is made with potato or rice)
- Gin & Tonic
- Tom or John Collins
- Margarita (Cointreau is also gluten free)
- Caipirinha (Cachaca, Brazilian rum)
Gluten Free Spirit suggestions available locally in Calgary:
- Vodka: Rig Hand Potato Vodka (local craft), Tito’s Vodka,
- Rum: Secret Barrel Rum (local craft), Rig Hand Brum (beet sugar rum)
- Tequila: Hornitos
Although many sources claim that all gluten is removed through distillation, the best way to guarantee you’re steering clear is to make sure it was never on the original ingredient list to begin with.
Happy gluten-free cocktailing!