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Want to have a drink during while giving thanks, need a drink because your family is driving you crazy and you want to be as Paleo as possible?  We found a guide on Paleoeffect.com for you.

Paleo Alcohol Guide

We get it. You’re a lifestyler and don’t want to give up the juice. Hey, we’re with you. If you can’t seem to cut it, you may as well make the best choices that you can with your alcohol selection. Yea, we’re not sure if the distillation rids the alcohol of grains or gluten, so just to be sure, this Paleo Alcohol Guide will outline the core components of each type of alcohol, so you can make those decisions on your own. We’ve outlined the types to avoid and also, made a couple of selections in each category for the best Paleo solutions most easily found in major retailers. Cheers!

The Lighter Side…

Beer : No & Yes

Traditional beer contains 3 basic ingredients: wheat, barley and hops. Wheat and barley are grains, and hops are actually the female flower clusters of a vine. As you should know by now, grains are out, and thus, so are traditional beers. For the best selections in this category, try to stick to gluten free sorghum varieties and cider beers.

Sorghum Suggestions: Bard’s and Redbridge

Cider Suggestions: Woodchuck, Angry Orchard

Red Wine : Yes

Red wine is my all time favorite recommendation for those who want to drink, while maintaining a Paleo lifestyle. Why you ask? For so many reasons! Red wine can be found organic, from sustainable farms that promote local economy. Yes for that! Additionally, in moderation, its good for your heart, and has antioxidants like resveratrol. This is the healthiest thing on this list. Go get you some.

Suggestions: Choose 100% organic from sustainable farms

White Wine : Yes

What makes whites different from reds? They are usually made from white grapes, but more importantly, they remove the skin, which changes the color and taste (called tannins) and removes the resveratrol (bummer). White wine is also full of good stuff like antioxidants, but not as much as the red wine.

Suggestions: Choose 100% organic from sustainable farms

Champagne : Yes

A sparkling wine, champagne is made from grapes and sent through a secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create the carbonation, this is done by adding yeast and sugar.

Suggestions: Choose 100% organic from sustainable farms

Sake : No

What is sake you ask? It is a rice wine that is served often in Japanese sushi houses. One of my sad moments in Paleo can be attributed to the fact that sake is made from rice. And though it is gluten free (be careful, some cheapo brands add barley), it is not made from Paleo ingredients and should be avoided. Not the worst of the worst, but still made from a grain. Drink very sparingly.

Suggestions: None, you should avoid this beverage

Now let’s bring on the booze…

Vodka : No & Yes

Vodka is primarily made from distilling grains or potatoes and sometimes fruits and/or sugar. Again, we’re not sure if the multiple distillation rids this liquor of grains and gluten, but if you have an allergy and you’re not sure, shoot for the stuff made from fruits like grapes or sugarcane.

Suggestions: Ciroc (made from grapes, flavorless), VuQo (coconut)

Cachaça : Yes

Cachaça is often confused with rum, but unlike its not-so-identical twin, Brazilian law requires that the liquor can only be made from the distillation of fermented sugarcane juice. No byproduct molasses or additives of any kind, making it the optimal choice when available.

Suggestion: Leblon

Rum : No & Yes

Here’s the skinny. Rum can be made from the distillation of fermented sugarcane juice or sugarcane byproducts like molasses. If given the choice, you’ll want to stick to the sugarcane juice version. And don’t worry about the color, dark rum is dark because it is distilled in charred oak barrels, while white in steel drums, not because of ingredients.

Suggestions: 10 Cane Rum

Whiskey : No

Whiskey is made from the distillation of fermented grain mash. This can include barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat and corn. If that doesn’t scream STOP!!!, I don’t know what does! You may as well go to a bakery, buy one of every type of bread, put it in a blender with water and drink it…well, not really, but it sounds funny doesn’t it?? Haha, but again, we’re not sure if the multiple distillation rids this liquor of grains and gluten, but if you have an allergy and you’re not sure, avoid this beverage.

Suggestions: None, you should avoid this beverage

Bourbon : No

Bourbon is a whiskey that is made primarily of distilled corn, but also wheat, rye and malted barley. Didn’t I say no to whiskey? I did, so don’t drink it if you’ve got an allergy!

Suggestions: None, you should avoid this beverage

Scotch : No

Didn’t you see what I wrote about whiskey? Oh, you didn’t know scotch was a whiskey? Well, now you do, so you can’t use that excuse anymore. It was originally made from malt barley (grain), but now is made with wheat and rye as well. Single malt or blended doesn’t matter, this drink is made from grains, so if you have an allergy and are unsure, avoid this drink.

Suggestions: None, you should avoid this beverage

Gin : No

This one makes Angel really really sad because he loves Nolet gin, but gin is made from the distillation of grain mash including barley, corn and wheat, very similar to whiskey. The difference is that gin is usually infused with juniper berries and a variety of floral or fruit extracts. No matter the variety, this one is out if you’re scared of allergic reactions or sensitivities. Sorry baby!

Suggestions: None, you should avoid this beverage

Tequila : Yes

Tequila is made from the agave plant. And I know what you’re going to say… “But agave is processed!!!” and just to give you affirmation, yes it is, as is everything on this list. Though as far as alcohols go, this one is a keeper. Stick to 100% agave. If you stray, you’ll be consuming 51% plant and the rest is allll sugar. What’s the difference between silver and gold you ask? Same as rum – gold is aged in oak barrels.

Suggestion: Easy. Patrón.

Brandy : Yes

Is made by distilling wine. It is made predominantly from grapes, but can be from other fruits as well. There are many different varieties – watch out for the cheapo brands, they sometimes add caramel color to their product and you don’t want that!

Suggestions: Catoctin Creek Organic 1757 Virginia Brandy

Cognac: Yes

Cognac is a variety of brandy. To be considered a cognac, it must meet requirements like what type of grape (ugni blanc), must be twice distilled in copper pots and aged at least 2 years in French oak barrels. The grapes are combined with yeasts and left to ferment.

Suggestions: We don’t drink cognac at all, but have heard that Bio Attitude is very good.

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