As a celiac, you have to be careful about the beverages you consume. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an alcoholic beverage if you choose to. Alcohol is allowed in the celiac diet, as long as you choose the right types of alcohol.
Beer and ale are usually made from barley, and are not safe for celiacs to drink. Wines, which are made from grapes, are safe for people with celiac disease. This includes fortified wines, like sherry and port.
Rye Whisky, Scotch Whisky, and Other Hard Liquors
An area of possible confusion for celiacs is whether or not beverages such as gin, vodka, Scotch whisky, and rye whisky are safe to drink. According to The Canadian Celiac Association Handbook, 3rd Edition, these beverages aren’t recommended for the gluten free diet in the United States, but in Canada, authorities believe it is okay for people with celiac disease to consume them.
The reasoning behind allowing these types of liquor is that they don’t have detectable prolamin content. Prolamins are the proteins that damage the small intestine in celiacs.
So if you enjoy these drinks, you’re in luck. Although they are made by fermenting wheat, barley, or rye, these beverages are distilled, making them safe to drink unless otherwise indicated.
Always check the label on anything that you buy, including alcoholic beverages. Some liqueurs and coolers have other ingredients and may not be safe for celiacs to drink.