Gluten Dude

I know. I know. It’s such a shallow question. I mean, you’ve just been diagnosed with Celiac disease. Alcohol is the last thing on your mind. Or is it??

I’ve been known to enjoy a cocktail or two and for me, it was front and center in my mind. I knew beer was out the window (sigh) but what about wine…or vodka…or my special margarita (lots of fresh lime, dash of orange juice)?

Rest easy. You can still drink.

If you’re a beer snob like me, it hurts. No getting around it. But there is good news. There are some decent gluten free beers out there made from sorghum (New Grist is currently my personal favorite) and there are more and more coming to market as the brewers realize there is a demand and it’s not going away. Dogfish Head, my pre-celiac favorite brewer, is coming out with a gluten-free beer in December. Very cool. And here are a few more you may want to try. If you find one you love, by all means let me know and I’ll spread the word.

Hard Alcohol
This includes vodka, gin, rum, tequila, scotch and whiskey. You may think these are prohibited because many of them are made from wheat, barley or rye. But the distillation process actually removes all of the gluten making them completely safe to drink. There are also vodkas made from potato instead of grains, so if you want to play it extra safe, you can always go in this direction.

Totally safe. Some wine coolers may not be safe so be sure to check with the manufacturer. But if you’re still drinking wine coolers…well, that’s a topic for another day.

Flavored Liquor
Tread lightly and be conservative. There seems to be no definitive answer on these. If in doubt, don’t drink it.

Most are safe, but check the labels as some are made with barley.

So What’s the Bottom Line?
Make a Grey Goose martini. Enjoy a Tanquery and tonic. Go nuts with your Captain Morgan and Cokes. Savor a nice Merlot. Do your shots of Cuervo.

You may not feel great in the morning…but it won’t be because of gluten.

16 thoughts on “I have Celiac disease? OMG! Can I still drink??

  1. Love your writing style. and had one of your margaritas last night. You’re right. The orange juice was a nice touch. Thank you.

  2. When I tell people I am gluten-free one of the first things they say is “What??? No beer??” Luckily there are more options available. Have you tried New Planet beer yet? It is one of the best beers on the market.

    Also, there are a lot of creative vodkas out there. I read about one made from honey and another from grapes.

    Tequila is safe too. ;-)

    • I think much error is being accepted in terms of alcohol and celiac disease. Based on my personal Celiac experience and my mother’s Celiac and auto-immune hepatitis condition, alcohol is not recommended for a celiac patient at all.

      My GP, hematologist, gastroentorologist and my hepatoligist concur.

      The idea being that the liver is the most common major organ to be affected by Celiac, (plus of course bones and intestines,)

      I would make a common sense case against alcohol consumption across the board. I have since stopped drinking completely, i.e alcohol in every ingestion damages the liver in some small way, and can, but not always trigger an autoimmune response in the organ, which usually can’t be reversed.

      I am speaking from my own and my family experience, a lot may be hereditary, but not all. Err on the side of caution. I’m not taking the chance, since I have committed 100% percent to a gluten-free life, (as much as humanly possible) I certainly can completely eliminate the alcohol related risk on my body.
      That’s my opinion.

  3. I want to know the name of the beer to drink for celiac people. I like beer once in a blu moon when it is really hot. I live in toronto I just want a know names of beer for celliac people.


  4. Before being diagnosed with Celiac Disease (lowest Vitamin D on record), I never drank liquors, so I am clueless. What can I order without the fear of getting sick. I’ve been ordering Patron, but that is getting expensive and I’m drunk before I know it. Tangeray and Tonic sounds good, but I don’t want a girly drink in a bar – like a margarita, although I do love it. What are some vodka drinks? Can I drink Gin? I am staying away from the brown liquors as I am not taking any chances, I don’t care how distilled they are.

  5. I had a drink with Galliano last night and I definitely think it had gluten. I can’t find information on it, though. Are flavored liquors safe?

  6. I am still in a lot of confusion about my condition I was only diagnosed two weeks ago with celiac disease anyone with any info for me would be greatly appreciated x

    • It take time for it to sink in. You’ll go thru all the stages. But you’ll find peace with it eventually. We have a great community here who love helping others. Stick around. Wishing you health.


  7. I hv cd.. I was 30 32 kg till 18 year of my age. When diagnosed I gained 45kg weight in two year with hardcore gym training and beeerrr.. oh yeah

  8. Distillation does NOT make grain alcohol safe for celiac disease patients. You need to update this post!

    This misconception stems from the fact that, if you catch CD early enough, you may not feel pain or other severe symptoms when exposed to small amounts of gluten, so you think that the distilled alcohol isn’t hurting you. ALL grain alcohol is damaging your intestine, no matter how many times it was distilled. Distillation does not break gluten up enough- components such as gliadin remain intact and continue to cause an immune reaction. My fiance, who went undiagnosed for a long time, has tried these supposedly safe distilled vodkas and was violently sick every time.

    You think having celiac disease is bad, try Lupus, Crohn’s, or colorectal cancer- all diseases you put yourself at risk for if you consume ANY amount of gluten regularly.

    As pointed out by Pim Zond above, liquor is probably not great for you anyway if you have CD. Why double your risk by consuming gluten while you drink?

    • That’s simply not accurate TC. It has been proven by all of the experts that the distillation process does indeed remove all gluten.

      And there is no need to compare diseases…it doesn’t serve a purpose except to belittle those with “less” of a disease.



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