It’s almost New Years Eve, and you know what that means — a lot of folks will be getting their drink on. If you have a gluten sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you need to miss the revelry. A lot of hard alcohol is naturally gluten-free, and for those not into hitting the hard stuff, there are quite a lot of companies making gluten-free beer and cider.

Gluten-Free Liquor Selection
Most hard alcohols don’t contain gluten, so if you prefer to make mixed drinks, you’re in luck! Here is a list of alcohols that are generally gluten-free and safe to consume if you have a gluten sensitivity. Note: Product recipes can and do change, and some brands may add caramel coloring to their liquors, which may contain gluten. Be sure to check the label before imbibing! Only you can be responsible for your gluten intake.

  • Absinthe
  • Bourbon
  • Brandy
  • Cognac
  • Gin
  • Grand Marnier
  • Grenadine
  • Jägermeister
  • Kahlua
  • Mead
  • Ouzo
  • Rum
  • Sherry
  • Southern Comfort
  • Tequila
  • Triple Sec
  • Vermouth
  • Vodka
  • Whisky

Gluten-Free Champagne
The traditional drink of the evening for New Years Eve is Champagne or sparkling white wine, but is it gluten-free? Traditionally, sparkling wines are not made with any gluten-y ingredients, so it is usually safe to consume. As with any food or beverage, you should still check with a manufacturer before buying a bottle to double-check that they haven’t added any non-standard ingredients to their product.

Gluten-Free Beer
A great default drink if you’re just looking to have a mellow night is beer. Anyone with a gluten sensitivity will tell you that beer is a sore point — until recently, gluten-free beer options were few and far between. These days, there are almost too many varieties to count! Here are a few of the best gluten-free beers, at least a few of which you should be able to find in most large natural grocery stores:

  • Green’s
  • New Grist
  • Redbridge
  • O’Brien
  • Glutaner
  • Bard’s
  • Rampano Valley
  • Mission Amber

Gluten-Free Cider
Cider is a lot of people’s drink of choice, since it’s sweet and relatively low alcohol. Standard ciders often contain caramel coloring or other gluten-y additives, so it’s important to check the label before drinking cider. The following brands are know to contain no gluten products, and have proven safe to drink in the past:

  • Ace Cider
  • Blackthorn
  • Blue Mountain
  • Cider Jack
  • Fox Barrel
  • Magner’s
  • Newton’s Folly
  • Original Sin
  • Spire Mountain
  • Strongbow
  • Woodchuck Granny Smith
  • Wyder’s

Where Can You Buy Gluten-Free Beer and Cider?
Here in the Bay Area, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by shops that provide a huge selection of gluten-free products. Here are a handful of places you’ll find a variety of gluten-free alcohol beverages. When you shop, be sure to let the manager know you appreciate the fact that they stock gluten-free products!

The Wine Mine
5427 Telegraph Ave, Ste D1
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 547-9463

Mollie Stone’s Market
Mollie Stone’s supermarket has eight locations around the bay, and each location carries a good selection of gluten-free beer and cider.

Whole Foods Market
With locations all around the Bay Area, there is probably a Whole Foods near you.

Take Care!
No matter what you’re drinking, don’t forget to take care of yourself by eating a big meal early in the evening and drinking lots of water throughout the night. And if you wake up with the obligatory hangover on New Years Day, there are always hangover cures to help through.

Happy New Year!

Ring In the New Year with Gluten-Free Booze! 28 December,2010Stephanie Stiavetti

  • joanne

    you can also find Redbridge GF Beer at Bev Mo.

  • I’m not much of a cider drinker, but they have such cool names I think I’m gonna convert!


Stephanie Stiavetti

Stephanie is a writer and cookbook author recovering from her former tech-startup life. On the side she’s also a media consultant, specializing in all forms of digital goodness: audio, video, print, design, and social media.

After leaving the tech world nearly a decade ago, Stephanie made a career jump to her lifetime love, writing. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, KQED’s Bay Area Bites, NPR, and other select media outlets. Her first cookbook,Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, is due out in fall 2013 on Little, Brown with coauthor Garrett McCord.

Being a recovering techy leaves an indelible mark, and everything Stephanie does is infused with her deep fascination with digital technology. She has been blogging since 1999, before blog engines even existed and a great readership consisted of a handful of friends who occasionally thought to check out your site. In 2005 she started her first food blog, which she repurposed in 2007 to become The Culinary Life.

Stephanie can be called many things: food writer, essayist, professional recipe developer, cookbook author, social media consultant, videographer, documentary maker, website developer, archivist of life. Despite all of these titles, she most commonly responds to Steph.

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