Gluten Free Spirits and Liqueurs

Scotch Whisky and Bourbon Whiskey

Many people ask: Can I drink Johnnie Walker scotch if I am a celiac?  Well, luckily the  answer is Yes.  Whisky is made by distilling cereal grains such as corn, rye or barley. Examples of gluten free scotch whisky are Johnny Walker (Red, Blue, Black and Green Label), Chivas Regal, Glenfiddich, Black Douglas, Teachers and Ballantine. A bourbon whiskey is Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Canadian Club Whiskey and Jim Beam.

See note below in reference to Malt Whiskys.





Rum is made by distilling fermented molasses or sugar cane into a clear liquid and producing white Rum such as Bacardi, Cuban White Rum and Havana Club. Sometimes during the fermenting process they add a caramel colouring thus producing a 'coloured' rum such as Bundaberg Rum.


Brandy is distilled from fermented fruit juices. An example is: Christian Brothers, Cognac and Coronet.




Gin is also distilled but made from a combination of alcohol, water and various flavours. An example is: Gordon's, Glenmore London Dry and Aristocrat.


Traditionally vodka was distilled from potatoes, corn and a variety of other plants.  Vodka that is produced today in the United States and Western Europe is usually made from wheat or rye.  Vodka is a spirit that has no color, smell or flavor and therefore good to use as a base for mixed drinks or cocktails.   Some of the common brands of vodka include:  Absolut, Smirnoff, 360 Vodka and 1.0.1. Vodka.

Popular drinks can be:  Gin and Tonic Water,   Scotch (whisky) and Coke,   Bacardi and Coke,  Brandy and Lemonade, Bourbon and Coke,  Bundaberg Rum and Coke, Canadian Club and Coke, (CC and coke) and Jim Beam and Coke.

Liqueurs are made by adding sugar and flavourings like fruits, herbs or flowers to brandy or to a mix of water and alcohol.

Some liqueurs may contain caramel color which can be derived from glucose syrup (wheat) but contains no detectable gluten, thus making it gluten free. This is the case for Baileys Irish crème.




The rule to remember is, due to these products being so highly processed, they have no detectable gluten even if derived from a grain that contains gluten.  To further clarify this matter, this response was received from Chivas Regal Company in Scotland in regard to drinking malt whisky.   This is an extract from the Scotch Whisky Association and quote:

Scotch Whisky and Celiac disease
Since malted barley and other cereals are used to make Scotch Whisky, it is not surprising those who suffer from Celiac disease query whether whisky can be safely included in a gluten-free diet.   Proteins (including gluten), however, do not carry over to the distillation process and are not present in the final product.   Scotch can therefore be safely consumed as part of a gluten free diet.

Gluten Free Mixers

All soft drinks and soda's are gluten free and are perfect to use as a mixer with spirits and cocktails.

An example of some of these are:  Coke (including coke light and diet coke), pepsi, dry ginger ale, tonic water, soda water, club soda, 7-up, lemonade and orange juice.