Last week's announcement that Blue Ice Vodka is eligible for gluten-free labeling provoked an interesting dichotomy of reaction: some people said it made sense for a vodka made solely of potatoes to earn a gluten-free label, while others said it was ridiculous, since distillation makes all alcohol inherently gluten-free.
There's no doubt there are two camps on this, with some experts (but not all) saying distillation removes the toxic gluten protein, but multiple people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity responding that they do, in fact, react to alcohol derived from gluten grains.
My theory (and I'm in the group that reacts) is that distillation breaks down the gluten protein, but enough fragments remain in the resulting alcohol to cause a reaction anyway. For the record, my reaction to gluten-grain-derived alcohol is mainly neurological in nature -- it feels like the world's worst hangover, even if I've had only a sip or two.
Do you react to alcohol that started out life as gluten grains? Vote in our poll!
Photo © Getty Images/Lisa Romerein