Absinthe…a delicious, green fairy of a drink with a bad rap. It’s sipped in cafes and bars across the world as an alternative to coffee or tea.
And, yes, absinthe is gluten-free!
This is because most absinthe is distilled without grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Its flavors come from the various herbs used to make it which very rarely include gluten-laden substances.
However, if you or a loved one suffer from gluten allergies/intolerance, you will want to read on to learn WHY it’s safe!
Is Absinthe Gluten-Free?
Absinthe is a popular alcoholic drink that has been around since the 1800s. It was once banned, but now it’s back and better than ever!
It’s also gluten-free!
So maybe the original medicinal qualities of the Green Fairy weren’t so wrong after all, eh?
With there being so many rumors about this drink, let’s clear this one up: pure absinthe does not contain any gluten whatsoever.
So drink up!
But what exactly makes absinthe a gluten-free option?
What Makes Absinthe a Gluten-Free Option?
Absinthe is made from distilled herbs that don’t include wheat or rye–the two ingredients in bread and other baked goods that cause people to develop celiac disease due to their intolerance of these grains.
According to Healthpedian.org, spirits like absinthe are gluten-free due to the fact that they are made from distilled alcohol and herbs.
When absinthe is being made, the alcohol is first distilled. Typically, this base uses grapes or beets. From there, herbs are soaked in the distilled alcohol to give it its flavor and signature green color. It’s rare that this step will include wheat, rye, barley, or oats that would cause gluten to be present in the final product.
I recommend checking out my article that covers how absinthe is made to learn more about this fascinating process!
Just be mindful of what distillery is making the absinthe. Some distilleries might sell absinthes that use grain-based alcohol and/or add flavorings that might not be gluten-free. This can be very bad news if you can’t have gluten!
Additionally, if the distillery also makes products that contain wheat, rye, or barley, there is a risk of cross-contamination. It could come from equipment or mixing up the mash from producing a grain alcohol.
(Thankfully, this is incredibly rare as most distilleries pay very close attention to issues of cross-contamination for this very reason as well as to preserve their products’ integrity!)
If you have a gluten intolerance/allergy, make sure that you are buying from trusted distilleries where there is no risk of cross-contamination with grains.
As for sweetening the absinthe when preparing it at home, there is little cause for concern when using sugar, agave nectar, or a simple syrup. Just beware of grain-based sweeteners like brown rice syrup.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. It is found in bread, pasta, and other baked goods as a result of the baking process which produces this protein during cooking.
Gluten can also be found in many condiments such as soy sauce or malt vinegar because it’s often added to these sauces for extra flavor.
Most people who are gluten intolerant experience an intense stomach ache after eating foods or drinking beverages that contain gluten within a short time frame of about six hours.
This is due to how quickly your small intestine absorbs the food you eat if it contains gluten–most will feel really sick soon after they’ve eaten something containing gluten without even knowing what they’re allergic or sensitive to!
Because purely distilled absinthe does not contain any grains, anyone who is gluten sensitive or allergic will not experience any adverse effects from drinking it.
People with Celiac Disease must be especially careful when it comes to avoiding gluten. While absinthe is generally a safe drink option, some diligence is still required.
In short, according to BeyondCeliac.org, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack gluten, with adverse reactions in your small intestine.
Celiac Disease sufferers must be very careful of what they eat and drink–any input containing gluten will cause damage to their intestinal lining which may lead to malnutrition or even death if it’s not caught early enough!
According to the NIDDK, Celiac Disease affects about 1% of the world’s population. However, many people with this condition have not been diagnosed.
Conclusion – Is Absinthe Gluten-Free?
If you’re looking for a gluten-free drink to enjoy with friends or on your own, absinthe could be the perfect choice.
Make sure that you buy from trusted distilleries and brands so that you can have peace of mind knowing that your product is pure.
It’s important not to gamble with an ingredient like this when it comes to something as serious as gluten intolerance – do some research before buying!
Speaking of research, you’ll also want to know the different styles of absinthe. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered with this article that covers all of the absinthe varieties you’re sure to find!