Have a jolly Gluten Free Christmas

As the famous saying goes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (!) with the party invites starting to appear on the calendar from friends, work colleagues and of course, family. Christmas can certainly be one of the toughest times in the year for people living with Coeliac disease, predominately due to the lack of awareness the people we celebrate with have about our special dietary needs. So this year, LFGF, with the help of Coeliac Australia, would like to provide you with a list of alcoholic beverages that you can and can not have this silly season, to ensure everybody has a “jolly” gluten-free Christmas.

The list is taken from the 9th edition of the “Ingredients List” by Coeliac Australia. This is a little booklet provided to their members. If you are not yet a member, we highly recommend you sign up. As you know, we have been tested and endorsed, which is why you see the “no wheat” logo on all our products. As Australia has the strictest Gluten Free standards in the world, achieving our endorsement is no mean feat!!

That said, we hope everyone has a jolly gluten-free Christmas, but please remember to drink responsibly, don’t drink ‘n’ drive and always organise a designated driver to take you home.

Alcoholic Beverages

Wine, including sparkling varieties and cider, is gluten free. Liqueurs spirits, champagne, sherry, port and brandy are traditionally made from gluten free ingredients, or are distilled, and are suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Distilled spirits are acceptable for people with following a gluten-free diet. Although some spirits may be produced from wheat, rye or barley, they undergo a distillation process that ensures protein (gluten) is not carried over to the final product*.

Beer, ale, lager, stout and Guinness are produced by the alcoholic fermentation of germinated cereals, usually barley, and may contain varying amounts of gluten. These are NOT suitable for a gluten free diet.

There are beers made specifically for gluten free market in Australia. (Research undertaken by beerguide.com.au found two Gluten Free Breweries that provide Gluten Free Beer, that is completely Gluten Free, not just low Gluten Beer: Silly Yaks and O’Briens Brewing.)

The colour of apple cider, fortified wines and spirits may be enhanced by the addition of caramel colour. Although caramel colour can sometimes, but not always, be derived from wheat starch, it always tests as gluten free.

Accordingly normal beer, ale, lager, stout etc. are the also alcoholic beverages to be avoided.

* A note from Robyn: We recommend you still stick to rum based not whiskey based spirits.

If you would like any more tips on having a jolly gluten-free Christmas this year, don’t forget you can always contact Live Free Gluten Free founder, Robyn on Thursdays for our “Chat Free” with Robyn days, or if you would prefer, email your contact details to chatfree@lfgf.com.au or simply e-mail Robyn directly on info@lfgf.com.au

Finally, if you are still not sure about certain food and drinks at your next Christmas function, remember what Robyn always says – ”When in doubt, Leave it out!”

Merry Christmas x