There are quite a few brands of vodka on the market that are becoming aware of the need to be “gluten free” — appealing to a wider, health-conscious market is of course a good idea for any company. And vodkas are truly no different. After all, vodka is made either with a potato (most often) or a grain (less often), and of course there is then the worry that the vodka will have some gluten in it. Even though the process of producing alcohol from the potato or grain wipes out most of the gluten in the starches, there is still the obvious and understandable worry of gluten intolerant people that drinking vodka will irritate their allergies or intolerance. Thus, Gluten Free Vodka is born!
These days, then, gluten free vodka is a popular creation. Star Vodka, Tito Vodka, and many others are coming to market with “gluten-free” as a part of the marketing campaign. These new vodkas hope to trade on the gluten free health phenomenon of the last decade in order to make their start-ups into bigger stars in the market. Older vodkas like Smirnoff and Ketel One have also been declaring themselves gluten free vodkas more and more prominently at trade shows and in advertising in order to keep their market share away from these upstarts. Does this mean then that gluten free is a trend, or here to stay?
The truth is, the distilling process truly does get rid of nearly every trace of gluten in alcohol, so it is difficult to say. Nearly all the brands out there can claim gluten free status — Skye, Grey Goose, etc — and they’ll be correct from any measureable standard. Thus, for most people, gluten free vodka can mean any vodka out there! So this is a great relief to most who are thinking about their health preventitively when they go gluten free.
For those that are already suffering from gluten intolerance, however, hearing the above doesn’t really bring any comfort or guidance about what kind of drink to enjoy on a Saturday night. Therefore, it’s our recommendation that people who suffer from a gluten intolerance and are a little paranoid about getting some gluten in their system accidentally (again, its understandable) go out and try to find one of these newer brands that specifically claim a gluten free status. Sure, it’s a little like a baby kitten claiming to be cute — duh! But just the fact that these brands are claiming to have zero gluten means its a good chance they are at the lower end of the spectrum. Besides, these upstart companies that don’t always make it are usually pretty tasty, so go for it. Enoy your cocktail with the knowledge you are avoiding gluten as much as you can!