By Jane Anderson – Reviewed by a board-certified physician.
Updated November 13, 2016
Vodka traditionally is made from grains (usually the gluten grains wheat, barley, and rye). But there’s a growing slate of specialty vodkas made from alternative materials such as corn, potatoes, and grapes … and there’s some evidence that these vodkas may fit into a gluten-free diet better than traditional vodka options.
Many people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity find they can’t drink vodka that’s been distilled from gluten grains (see my article Is Vodka Gluten-Free?
However, these people frequently find that they can tolerate non-gluten-grain-based vodka just fine.
But it’s not always obvious which vodkas on the liquor store shelves are made from gluten grains, and which are not, so here’s a list of your various gluten-free vodka options:
Blue Ice vodka. Blue Ice makes two different vodkas: one potato-based and one wheat-based. If you decide to try it, make sure you grab the blue bottle, which contains the potato vodka. Both the wheat and the potato vodkas are processed in the same facility. Blue Ice Vodka is specifically labeled “gluten-free.”
Bombora vodka. Bombora, a grape-based vodka, is imported from Australia. The company makes only grape-based vodka, so there should be few concerns about gluten cross-contamination in the facility.
Boyd & Blair vodka. Boyd & Blair, made at Pennsylvania Distilleries in Glenshaw, Pa., is crafted from small, local batches of potatoes in a gluten-free facility.
Cayman Blue vodka. Cayman Blue, produced in the Dominican Republic from sugar cane and spring water, is the first distilled spirit certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which tests products to make sure they contain fewer than 10 parts per million of gluten.
CooranBong vodka. This is another grape-based vodka imported from Australia.
Chopin vodka. Chopin makes three varieties of vodka: wheat, potato, and rye. Obviously, if you react to vodka distilled from gluten grains, you need to stick with the potato-based vodka, which comes in a bottle with a black cap and lettering.
Ciroc Ultra Premium vodka. Ciroc, another premium vodka, this time, made from grapes, comes in four different flavors. Ciroc’s plain vodka is gluten-considered gluten-free.
Cold River vodka. Cold River potato vodka is made in Maine and comes in two flavors: plain and blueberry (made with real Maine wild blueberries). Both are considered gluten-free. Interestingly, the company also makes an unusual potato-based gin (see the article Is Gin Gluten-Free? for more information).
Crystal Head vodka. Available in — you guessed it — a clear head-shaped bottle, Crystal Head vodka is distilled in Newfoundland, Canada, from peaches and cream corn, making it grain-based but free of gluten grains. It’s then filtered through semi-precious crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. The vodka contains no additives. The company producing Crystal Head vodka was co-founded by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander in 2007.
Deep Eddy vodka. This American-made vodka is distilled from corn (the manufacturer calls it “gluten-free”) in Austin, Tex. It comes in plain vodka plus four flavors, including Ruby Red (grapefruit), Sweet Tea, Cranberry, and Lemon.
Devotion vodka. Devotion vodka bills itself as the first brand to introduce a full line of U.S.-produced gluten-free and sugar-free flavored vodkas. Devotion features five flavors: Wild Cherry, Coconut, Blood Orange, Black and Blue and “The Perfect Cosmo.” If you’re sensitive to dairy, note that Devotion adds casein protein from cow’s milk to its final products to improve “mouth feel.”
DiVine vodka. DiVine vodka is made from grapes by RoundBarn Winery in southwest Michigan. The winery/distillery does not process any gluten grains.
DOT AU vodka. This Australian small-batch vodka is distilled from Queensland sugarcane. It’s not widely available in the U.S., but can be found at some events featuring Australian culture and products.
Famous vodka. Famous vodka is made from Idaho russet potatoes and water from the spring-fed Snake River in Idaho. Famous sells a traditional vodka and a rose-flavored vodka infused with rose extract.
Glacier vodka. Glacier vodka, made in Idaho out of Idaho potatoes, does not include any gluten grains, according to the company. Be aware it’s made in a facility that also makes a wheat-based vodka (actually, it’s the same facility that makes Blue Ice vodkas).
Grand Teton vodka. This potato-based vodka is made from Idaho potatoes in Idaho, in the Grand Teton foothills. The company also makes corn-based whiskey.
Iceberg vodka. This is another Canadian vodka made from peaches and cream corn, rendering it safe for those who are gluten-free and react to alcoholic beverages made from gluten grains. Iceberg vodka also uses ice harvested from Canadian icebergs, which it considers far purer than tap water (it’s been frozen for some 12,000 years). Iceberg vodka also comes in three flavors (all of which the company says are gluten-free): Cucumber, Chocolate Mint, and Crème Brulee.
Kissui vodka. Made in Japan, Kissui vodka is crafted from rice and natural spring water. “Kissui” means “pure,” or “made from one ingredient.” Manufacturer Takara also makes multiple varieties of sake (for more on this, see Is Sake Gluten-Free or Not?)
Kleiner Feigling vodka. This is the only vodka I’ve seen that’s made from figs (which, of course, are gluten-free). Some say it’s more a liqueur than a vodka, as it has a lower alcohol content than traditional vodka. It also contains natural fig flavoring (I’ve seen references to a “Fig Newton nose,” which might suit you if really miss Fig Newtons).
Kleiner Feigling is imported from Germany.
Krome vodka. Krome vodka is made from corn in Oregon and bills itself as “naturally gluten-free.” According to the manufacturer, there is barley present in the facility where Krome is made, and some of the same equipment is used for both the barley-based and the corn-based alcohol products. “All tanks are cleaned far beyond standards” between products, according to the distiller.
L’chaim Kosher vodka. This Israeli-made vodka is distilled from organic corn and is labeled gluten-free by its manufacturer, which also produces wine, rum and tequila (nothing from gluten grains).
Lokka vodka. Lokka vodka, manufactured in Turkey, is distilled from grapes. It’s packaged in an eye-catching purple bottle with orange lettering. It’s available in the United Kingdom but not in the U.S.
Luksusowa vodka. Poland-crafted Luksusowa (which means “luxurious” in Polish) is the top-selling potato vodka in the world, according to distributor W.J. Deutch & Sons. Luksusowa makes only potato vodka, so again, any concerns about facility cross-contamination should be minimal.
Monopolowa vodka. This potato-based vodka originated in Poland and now is distilled in Austria. The company also produces a gin made from potatoes (see Is Gin Gluten-Free? for more grainless gin options).
Portland potato vodka. Eastside Distilling in Portland, Ore., bills this vodka as “the Northwest’s new premium vodka.” Note that the company does distill gluten grain-containing bourbon and whiskey in the same facility.
RWB vodka. This vodka, made from Idaho potatoes, is marketed by Luxuria Brands and prominently features the words “gluten-free” on the package. Be aware that it’s made in a facility that also processes gluten grains.
Schramm Organic potato vodka. This British Columbia potato vodka is certified organic, and certified “salmon safe,” meaning the agricultural processes that go into producing the potatoes used protect salmon habitat and water quality. The vodka is made in small batches using mountain water. Schramm also makes an organic potato-based gin.
Smirnoff vodka. Smirnoff is distilled from corn, and the company’s plain vodka should be safe, even if you’re sensitive to gluten-grain-based alcohol. Smirnoff also is offering “Smirnoff Sourced” flavored vodka, which contains 10% fruit juice from concentrate and is labeled “gluten-free.” Smirnoff Sourced flavors include Ruby Red Grapefruit, Pineapple, and Cranberry Apple. However, watch out for Smirnoff Ice beverages (the kind that comes in six-packs) — they are malt-based and not gluten-free (see my article Gluten-Free Ciders and Beer Alternatives for more information).
Stoli Gluten Free vodka. Unlike regular Stoli Premium Vodka (which is made from the gluten grains wheat and rye), Stoli Gluten Free is made from a recipe of 88 percent corn and 12 percent buckwheat, according to the company.
Tito’s handmade vodka. Tito’s is made in Texas from corn. Here’s the rather extensive (but helpful!) a gluten-free statement: “Tito’s is made from 100% corn and as a distilled spirit, is completely gluten-free. Some producers add a bit of mash back into the spirit after distillation, which would add gluten content into an otherwise gluten-free distillate (if using wheat as the base), but I don’t do that regardless. It’s an important thing for us, and we actually include “GLUTEN-FREE” in lots of our materials and on the website so people can make informed choices. But, I am a vodka man, not a doctor, so if you have more questions or concerns, you should definitely talk to your doctor about it!” Tito’s is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).
Vikingfjord vodka. Vikingfjord is another pure potato vodka which is made in Norway.
Zodiac vodka. Made from potatoes in Idaho’s Snake River aquifer, Zodiac is crafted in small batches and labeled “gluten-free.” It’s available in plain and black cherry flavors.
Given all these alternatives, you should be able to find a vodka to drink even if you can’t tolerate the ones made from gluten grains. Cheers!