Society has, for the most part, done well to understand food intolerances, but can we say the same about alcohol yet? Drinks can be an afterthought when it comes to accommodating intolerances, with these ingredients finding their way into syrups, colouring agents and any number of additives. If you have recently been diagnosed with food intolerance or would like to navigate the bottle shop better and find a safe drink for you, read this guide.
Understand the role that ingredient has in alcohol
Knowing your food intolerance inside out when understanding the role that the ingredient plays in alcoholic beverages is going to start the education process. For example, vegans can’t drink all wine because there are some protein fibres that are found in certain wine barrels. Additionally, unless ordering a gluten free beer, gluten is found in most beers as yeast is one of the core ingredients that achieve fermentation. By understanding the reason why alcohol manufacturers use these ingredients and their function, you can better find alternatives that are made naturally without them.
Get to know your brands
When you have a food or ingredient intolerance, you don’t have the luxury of trying new brands on a whim. You have to do your research on the players in the market and this will get you acquainted with the brands that are known to be the best according to those with the same food intolerances. Some brands are naturally gluten, soy, fructose and protein-free by ingredient, and other brands have built their entire identity around being inclusive to all intolerances. Make your way through these naturally ingredient-free and purposefully ingredient free drinks and see what you think.
Keep asking your bottle shops and bartenders for recommendations
You are not going to get a more measured and well-researched opinion than the one that comes from your local bottle shop and local bar. They serve thousands of patrons all day with varied tastes and dietary requirements, and it’s part of their job to taste and review news brands that make their way into the market. Generally speaking, they also get to sample new alcohol when it comes to them so that they can recount the taste to customers. You might just get a winning recommendation or be inspired to try an entirely different liquor altogether.
Consider making your own
You might think that setting up a home brewery or fermenting your own wine might be a stretch in skill, but it’s actually easier than you might think, albeit a little messy. When you are the sole creator of the alcohol you drink and the ingredients you choose, you will never have to double-check or feel limited in your selection. There are many suppliers who offer all the parts to get your brewing started, but remember to be safe and do the appropriate research before getting started as you can do some harm if the right steps and safety measures are not taken.
Find a community
Facebook and all the other social platforms out there have made it so easy to find like-minded folk to connect with, regardless of what your shared interest may be. Connecting with others who have the same food intolerance to you might be a great way to share recommendations and trade information about new brands and concoctions that might be making their way to the market. If nothing like this already exists – consider making your own group and starting the discussion yourself!
There is no doubt that navigating a food intolerance can be tricky, and you may feel left out from time to time. By championing your choices and finding more options out there, you will never miss out again – so start hunting for that perfect, safe drink!