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Eliminating foods from your diet because of an intolerance is difficult, especially when it comes to going yeast-free. However, you don’t have to worry about alcohol, as there are plenty of spirits and beers that are completely yeast-free. This definitive yeast-free alcohol list was put together to help you decide which alcohol you should be choosing for your next party or visit to the local bar. Let’s get started.
List of Yeast-Free Alcohol
- Blanco Tequila
- Irish Whiskey
- Bourbon Whiskey
- Yeast-Free Beers
You could say that distilled spirits are your yeast-free saviors when it comes to a yeast-free diet.
Ah, vodka, the clearest of alcohol—it is clear, odorless, and often, tasteless. Traditionally, vodka is brewed from rye grain, though other grains can be used. Once the rye has been mashed, yeast is added. This begins the fermentation process, where the sugars get converted to alcohol. After fermentation, vodka is distilled, then tested for purity, which means that it has to undergo getting set on fire. Once the alcohol holds a flame, it is deemed pure and ready for filtration. After that, it can be bottled.
By the time the vodka is bottled, all of the yeast has been removed, making it safe to drink if you are avoiding yeast. If there yeast was still present, the vodka would not be clear.
A shot of tequila is often enough to create some wild stories. Two or three shots, and you might be getting cozy with the floor. But regardless of this alcohol’s potency, tequila is also pretty healthy. However, if you are looking to avoid alcohol, you have to avoid the golden tequila. Opt for blanco—or silver—tequila instead. This variety is made from 100% agave and is crystal clear.
Blanco tequila is distilled after fermentation, removing any remaining trace of yeast. Now, blanco has not been aged, and it is often bottled and shipped shortly after distillation. Because the tequila has not aged, it’s going to be far more caustic than anejo and reposado tequila. It’s recommended that you blend blanco tequila with a mixer or use it in margaritas.
You may begin to notice a theme with most of these yeast-free alcohol options. Gin is also free and clear—literally—of any yeast, due to the filtration process. Check out how this alcohol is made:
You can still enjoy a Gin and Tonic, Southside, Gin Rickey, Gin Martini, or Gin and Coke. Another plus is that gin is preservative-free, so you can feel good about drinking it.
The downside? Gin is a diuretic. You will be running to the lavatory repeatedly throughout the night, especially if you plan on having multiple G&Ts. Be sure to drink plenty of water or mix your gin with something more hydrating. Don’t want to get dehydrated!
A lot of people tend to think that they have to avoid Irish Whiskey when they go on a yeast-free diet, but that’s not true. Irish whiskey is popular among those who are gluten-free and yeast-free, because it has been distilled prior to bottling. Plus, the gluten present is less than 20 ppm.
Irish whiskey is made with water, malted and unmalted barley, as well as some yeast during the fermentation process. Once the fermentation is complete, the alcohol is distilled, removing the remnants of yeast. Generally, any alcohol that undergoes distillation before it appears on the shelf is going to have zero yeast in it.
Go on, have some Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bushmills 21 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey, or Kilbeggan Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey.
Yes, you have read it here. Bourbon whiskey is totally safe to drink when you are avoiding yeast. Bourbon also has a low amount of gluten present (way less than 20 ppm). What separates bourbon from other kinds of whiskey? In order to be classified as a bourbon, the grains must be at least 51% corn. The corn is what gives the bourbon its distinct flavor. Plus, bourbon has to be aged in charred oak barrels without any coloring or additives.
Similar to Irish whiskey, bourbon is distilled. Most brands will send their bourbon whiskey through the distillation process twice, which boosts the amount of alcohol while removing any impurities, including yeast.
Looking for a delicious bourbon for your yeast-free alcohol cabinet? Try out Knob Creek, Wild Turkey 101 (skip the 81 proof version if you want the maximum amount of flavor), Four Roses, Maker’s Mark, or Elijah Craig.
You have probably heard of peach schnapps at some point in your life, but there is more than a single flavor. Let’s start with what schnapps is and why it is yeast-free. First, schnaps (originally containing a single ‘p’), is a German distilled spirit that contains fermented fruit juices and a base liquor. The end result is a spirit that tastes like a flavored vodka.
There are two kinds of schnapps—European and American. The European version refers to any fruit brandy that is made from fresh fruit juice. The American version is created by steeping fruit in alcohol, making it a kind of liqueur. Depending on the kind of schnapps you buy, it may be boozier, fruitier, drunk straight from the bottle or as a mixer.
Jagermeister is considered a schnapps, as is Underberg. If you want to try the American liqueur version, go with DeKuyper, Dr. McGillicuddy, or Hiram Walker. You can use schnapps to make a Jolly Rancher cocktail or a Peach Margarita.
Is yeast added to wine? Most wines. There are some wine types that do not require yeast, but most of the red and white wines that you can purchase at the liquor store have had yeast in them at some point. Does that mean that you are consuming yeast? Nope.
Yeast is used to add flavor and color and alcohol to wine. However, since wine is run through a filtration process, the yeast gets removed from the liquid. If the yeast was allowed to remain, your glass of wine would be cloudy and off-putting. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your red and white wines containing yeast. Drink responsibly!
Want to make your own wine without any yeast? Follow this video:
Cognac is a kind of brandy that is made by double distilling white wine with a copper pot still. During the first phase of distillation, the lees—dead yeast cells—may remain to help add more complexity to the cognac. However, the lees are always removed after the second distillation, prior to putting the cognac into a barrel for aging. In other words, your cognac is safe to drink on a yeast-free diet.
It is safe to say, though, that opting for cognac will make your yeast-free drinking habits very expensive. If that’s not an issue, pick up some Courvoisier or Hennessy the next time you are shopping.
In the United States, any domestic beer must be filtered and pasteurized. This means that your Budweiser, Miller, and Coors are all yeast-free. You can happily drink a domestic beer without any consequences. Pick up an imported, unfiltered or unpasteurized beer, and you may end up consuming some yeast. Look for filtered beer or brands like Stella Artois, which is made without yeast, or Omission, which contains zero yeast and gluten.
You could also brew your own yeast-free beer, if you have the equipment for it.
Ready To Go Yeast-Free?
Hopefully this yeast-free alcohol list will help you decide which kinds of alcohol or beer to purchase. Just remember that no yeast is going to remain in alcohol and beer that has been filtered and/or distilled. That means that vodka, gin, wine, and whiskey are all good ideas when you are on a yeast-free diet.