Restaurants may offer a slew of gluten-free menu items, but let’s face it—the cocktail list leaves a lot to be desired. And while wheat-based vodka is traditionally distilled, that doesn’t always mean it doesn’t contain gluten. "If something is wheat-based, you’re inherently having wheat,” says Nicole Cogan, founder of NOBREAD, a popular blog that features pin-worthy gluten-free dishes at restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
That’s why she teamed up with Stolichnaya for the launch of Stoli Gluten-Free ($23; arlingtonwine.net), the Russian brand’s first-ever gluten-free offering. Below, she talks about the merits of gluten-free drinking.
What cocktails aren't gluten-free?
Spirits with wheat, rye, or barley should be avoided. (Ed note: That means whiskey, bourbon, and beer are a no-go.) Mixers are typically gluten-free.
Stoli Gluten-Free is made of 88 percent corn and 12 percent buckwheat. For the uninitiated, what makes that gluten-free?
Corn and buckwheat are both naturally gluten-free ingredients—even though buckwheat includes the word "wheat,” it doesn’t contain wheat or gluten.
Does this vodka taste different than regular vodka?
Unlike most other vodkas, it has a clean finish—I drink it straight (no joke!), but of course, it tastes even better in mixed drinks. The added buckwheat lends a smoother taste.
For non-vodka drinkers, what are some hard liquor alternatives?
Tequila, rum, or wine. Cider is another great option for those who long for their beer-drinking days.